Mission objectives

The Polk Foundation is an organization focused on uniting people
to a common goal of promoting the values and issues that will enable our
children to have access to better performing schools and teachers, and
creating education environments where they can achieve their full potential.
Go to develop


To develop and provide innovative and practical solutions for educators.

Go to support


To provide a reliable, competent and aggressive legal support structure to empower educators.

Go to promote


To promote the values of leadership, collaboration and innovation in education

Receive updates from the Polk Foundation

our current project

The Tennessee Star
Constitution Project

"To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race."
Calvin Coolidge

The Tennessee Star Constitution Project is a process to do more than simply teach the basic tenets of the United State Constitution.

We will empower our students with the understanding of the Constitution in its entirety and the fundamental ideas that are its underpinning.

Students will learn how our founding documents came to be, and how its application effects their every day lives from the judicial system to the very classroom they're sitting in, right now.

Our comprehensive course study of the Constitution provides vital knowledge that is the cornerstone of the unique nature of America's culture of freedom.

Tennessee Star Constitution Project participation is open to educators of secondary and middle school students, and is fully compliant with the most current Tennessee law (TCA 49-6-1028).

  • Participate in this important project in three ways

  • Get your pilot project edition of The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students.

  • Introduce The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students to your class this fall.

  • Secondary school students are eligible to participate in the Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, September 23rd.

Meet the team

Polk Foundation Tennessee Star Constitution Project Leaders


Polk Foundation President
A Chase Law honor graduate, Mr. Sheppard has lived all over the world, serving as an executive for a number of companies. He now serves teachers as Associate Director for Professional Educators of Tennessee and has been nationally recognized for his advocacy of veterans rights. He lives in Franklin with his wife Sharon.

Michael Patrick Leahy

Michael Patrick Leahy is the CEO and Editor-in-chief of The Tennessee Star, a Breitbart News Contributor, and the author of the book, Covenant of Liberty. A graduate of Harvard University, he has an MBA from Stanford University. Michael lives in the Nashville area with his wife and two daughters.


Claudia Daniel Henneberry graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1979, with degrees in History and Secondary Education. She taught Social Studies and English in North Carolina and is now retired. Since her retirement, Claudia has substitute taught, tutored, and has been involved in reviewing textbooks. She testified before the Tennessee Textbook Commission and the Tennessee Senate Education Committee in 2013 on inaccuracies, biases, and omissions in the social studies texts. Claudia started a “Ladies for Liberty” group with a neighbor to encourage women to learn about the Constitution and get involved in the political arena. She also helped organize several summers of Camp Constitution held in Brentwood, Tennessee.

John Harris

John Harris graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1983. He obtained his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1986. Since 1986 he has maintained a law practice in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Harris serves as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc., he has served as a legal consultant for four of the NRA-ILA’s lobbyists in Tennessee, and he has also served as the registered lobbyist for the Tennessee Firearms Association Legislative Action Committee.

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