Tessa NeSmith

Director, VCU Child Development Center

Tessa NeSmith


  • B.A. in Education, Old Dominion University
  • M.S. in Education, Old Dominion University
  • M.Ed. in Educational Psychology and Developmental Science, University of Virginia


As Director of the VCU Child Development Center, Tessa brings nearly three years of experience as a VCU School of Education staff member and more than 10 years of educational experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, literacy consultant, and curriculum developer in both public and private settings. She earned her B.A. and M.S. in Early Childhood Education at Old Dominion University and later received her M.Ed. from University of Virginia in Educational Psychology. Tessa is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a research focus on early childhood emotional regulation. 

As CDC director, Tessa will work to support classroom teachers and staff and coordinate programs with SOE that enrich teacher preparedness and optimize education quality. She will work closely with enrolling new families, engaging in a variety of Virginia education initiatives, and providing leadership through training workshops that support relevant and responsive best practices for educators. 

Tessa is passionate about supporting teachers, instructional leaders and early childhood settings to ensure that all learners are valued and engaged in their learning experiences.

(804) 828-7377