Since receiving the Milken Educator Award in 1998, Della took a sabbatical from teaching in 2001 to earn a Master of Divinity Degree from the Candler School of Theology/Emory University in 2004. While at Emory, she was one of four graduating seniors named to the Who's Who Among American Students in American Universities and Colleges. In addition, she also received the prestigious Candler School of Theology Community Service Award given to a graduating senior. After graduation, she moved to Nashville, TN to complete a year-long clinical residency for chaplaincy at Baptist Hospital. Afterwards, she joined the pastoral care staff of the Saint Thomas Healthcare System, serving as a staff chaplain. Della's passion for teaching led her return to the classroom as a teacher in the Metro Nashville Public Schools. In 2014, she was named Teacher of the Year at Thomas Edison Elementary School, where she currently teaches kindergarten. Della is a candidate in the Specialist in Accountability and Instructional Leadership (EdS) Program in the School of Education at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.