We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Terica Butler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dr. Terica, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
This question takes me back to a time when I was under a lot of pressure with my business and the responsibilities of a full-time job. To bring a semblance of peace into my life while traveling excessively, I physically sat down and thought about all the external aspects of life that brought me happiness. The list is as follows: spending uninterrupted time with my heavenly father, spending quality time with my parents and loved ones, developing and cultivating my intellect, enjoying a delicious, clean meal, and allocating time to unwind from the pressures of the day (even if it is only 30 minutes). I listed more than one element because all of these work in concert to bring happiness which turns into the more permanent feeling of joy.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
APEX Education Consulting Solutions, LLC, offers a comprehensive suite of educational services. From professional development to student solutions, our primary goal is to eradicate inequities by addressing students’ learning needs (i.e., literacy, school climate, remote learning, etc.), especially in historically underserved communities. Students are our focus, and we meet their needs through teacher professional development, customized learning solutions, resources for families, and community engagement. Our sweet spot is customization. As the principal consultant, knowing your needs will enable us to develop a plan of action based on research, history, and the present, to create a solution specifically for you. Since 2009, I served as an education consultant for some of the most prominent education companies in the market. Those experiences allowed me to understand the business side of educational services, experience high-level conversations with district leaders, and value the art of partnership when collaborating with individuals. The biggest challenge for me was the feeling of “can I really do this,” but after transitioning from a well-known, established company to a smaller one, I gained the confidence to turn my vision into a reality. In 2018, I became keenly aware of a need ignored and overlooked by many large companies. Over the years, my most valuable lessons include- trust the process, make the vision plain even when you have no evidence in front of you, walk in your gifts, and discipline aligns with your destiny. When you hear the name APEX Education Consulting Solutions, LLC, I want the quote by Jamal Joseph to come to mind – “love the people; serve the people- mind, body, and soul.”

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In my hometown of Memphis, TN, we will start our adventures by checking out some of the best places for bar-b-que. So, hitting up a small yet locally owned favorite spot is a must. For this, we will head to Whitehaven and grab a delicious plate of smoked goodies from Big Bill’s Bar-Be-Que. Before we get ready for our first night on the town, we will bask Beale Street’s humidity during the day and honor those who laid the foundation of Memphis by visiting the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery. The museum and Gallery is 7,000 square feet of Memphis History. Before exiting Downtown Memphis, we will make a detour and grab a few cheesecake slices for the week at the Cheesecake Corner- a small dessert shop where you can indulge in flavors like cookies and cream, strawberry daiquiri, and sweet potato pie. These decadent slices will have you floating on a sweet heavenly cloud. Now that we picked up a few pounds dancing and enjoying the nightlife is a must. We are off to Beale Street (again) that evening to enjoy the sounds of rhythm, blues, and soul through music! Beale Street is one of the most iconic streets in America. With three blocks of nightclubs, restaurants, and good music, we are bound to enjoy the evening!

Since Memphis, TN, has a rich culture and multiple museums to highlight and celebrate the Black experience, we will spend two or three days exploring, reeducating, and touring the National Civil Rights Museum and The Stax Museum of American Soul Music. If you want to explore music before Motown, then Stax is a must! Also, touring Soulsville is on the list, and stopping at the historic Four Way Grill will make the day complete. We will round out our educational experience for the week at the Slave Haven / Burkle Estate Museum. During our week-long excursion, we will need our coffee and tea fix at Muggins Coffee Shop located on Brownlee in Whitehaven. We will also grab our doughnuts at Blue’s City Donuts in Raleigh as they sell out quickly because the made from scratch flavors cannot be found anywhere else in the city! The bakery offers a variety of flavors and boasts a signature list of assorted flavors, such as coconut, strawberry crunch, Oreo, lemon-head lemon crunch, raspberry pop rocks, fruity pebble, triple chocolate cake, Chick-O Stick and strawberry cheesecake

With all this eating and indulging in great food, we will check out Shelby Farms to unload the extra pounds. We will rent our bikes beforehand online and join the scores of fellow Memphians in hitting the bike trail and trek from one side of the city to the other on the beautiful Greenline. Shelby Farms Greenline is a 10.65 mile paved, urban trail that connects pedestrians and cyclists in Midtown Memphis through Shelby Farms Park to Cordova. The Greenline is a rails-to-trails project that transformed an unused railroad line into one of Tennessee’s favorite trails. Before leaving town, we must catch a play at the Hatiloo Theatre located in the bustling area of Madison Square. I call the area mini-New York because of the two theatres in the midst and the wide variety of eateries (so, in Memphis, we love food). Hattiloo is the only freestanding Black repertory theatre in five surrounding states. Hattiloo is known for offering high-quality, free programming and performances staged throughout the city. After partaking in theatre, we will head to the upstairs patio of Lafayette’s Room and continue to enjoy good food and music for the rest of the night. Lafayette’s kitchen, led by Chef Jody Moyt, is located on Madison Avenue. It features a variety of southern-inspired offerings – for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch – like po-boys, shrimp and grits, wood-fired pizzas, and made-from-scratch desserts. The original Lafayette’s Music Room was short-lived but still vividly remembered. LaFayette’s is credited for launching the careers of music superstars such as Billy Joel, Big Star, KISS, Barry Manilow, J.J. Cale, and Leon Russell, to name a few. On the last day, we must visit the historic neighborhood of Orange Mound. Orange Mound is the first neighborhood in the United States built for Black Americans by Black Americans. Many incorrectly believe it is Harlem, nope, it is nestled right here in the city known as the “Home of the Blues.” Due to the renewed interest in the area because of its rich history, we will visit the newly built Art Gallery called the Orange Mound Gallery. It was once a liquor store but now a converted space for events, art exhibits, music, and theatre. I cannot send her home without stopping by Ivory Spa and Wellness located right off Poplar Avenue to receive a full spa treatment from head-to-toe. They perform services from facials to massages that can make you look beautiful and feel great!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I stand on the shoulders of so many people who paved the path, advised me, know my struggles, and love me fully. First, I must recognize God for the gifts that He placed on the inside of me. Next, my parents who raised me with love and established a solid foundation. Over the years, they continue to encourage, motivate, and push me to become a better version of myself spiritually, morally, intellectually, and financially. My family and closest friends (it’s an army) who support, pray, and put me in my place when necessary. All of the fellow educators and entrepreneurs I connect with consistently via text, phone, or social media. Finally, my mentors (Dr. Cross, Dr. Dennis, and Dr. Brady). These individuals are not related to me but decided to invest their time, energy, and love throughout this journey to elevate my thinking, purpose, and impact in this world.

Website: http://apexeducationsolutions.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.terica_/?hl=en
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/terica-butler-ed-d-80868412/

Image Credits
Shemeka Blocker is the credit for the first picture. David Wallace for the picture of me in front of the bricks.

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