Jacquelene Nigrelli

Executive Director


Jacquelene Nigrelli is the founder of Illuminate Academy. She’s always dreamed of opening an academic program that would meet the needs of all learners, regardless of academic obstacles or learning challenges present. After spending time in the non-profit, private, and finally public sector and school system in Nashville, Jacquelene became familiar with the educational needs of the exceptional education community. Her most recent position in Metro Schools afforded her many new relationships with families that assisted her in realizing how big the need was for an alternative to public schooling in the area. After many talks, meetings, and brainstorming sessions with families in the area, Illuminate Academy was birthed in the summer of 2013.

Jacquelene brings 15 years of varied experience in working with children with Autism, ADHD/ADD, Specific Learning Disability, Traumatic Brain Injury, ODD, Emotional Disturbance, and behavioral disorders. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Belmont University, her Master of Art in Special Education from Lipscomb University, and studied Applied Behavior Analysis at Florida Institute of Technology.

Around Illuminate, you will find Jacquelene making connections with the learners and staff. Her primary goal is to build relationships. From there, she works towards engagement and growth.

When the day is done you will find Jacquelene spending time with her husband, J. and their sons Ollie, Theo, and Trip. When J. is not filming and school is out for Jacquelene you can find them diving into local film and music, traveling to new destinations, and volunteering their time with their church family.

Jacquelene’s vision is to live in a world where all children have the opportunity for quality education.