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Meet Rhea


At an early age, Rhea realized the power of positive thinking.  Her mother named her RheaSunshine because she always searched for the bright side.  At the age of 9, she was paralyzed for months and still found a way to overcome.  Through many health issues, she has found the joy in learning and teaching.    Believing that every person can achieve their own success and be the best form of themselves each day, Rhea challenges students and staff to return to the joy of learning in order to make school a place we all want to be.

Rhea often says that poetry saved her life.  She uses the lifeline that she found to create a connection and safe space for those that she has the pleasure of inspiring with words.  She loves finding the beauty in schools and organizations and using it to motivate and inspire audiences.  

“Burn with the motivation that only poetry can inspire!”

- RheaSunshine

After serving as Poet Laureate of the City of Knoxville from 2020-2023,  RheaSunshine strives to touch hearts and inspire people to scribe their own stories. She believes that owning your story can be liberating and lead you to your destiny.  She has authored five chapbooks and has recorded three audio CDs.  Even with an autoimmune disease, Rhea continues to push herself both in the classroom with her own students and on stages across the country.  Not motherhood, MS, or any obstacle can slow this renaissance woman down.

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