Skip to main content

Meet the Winner of the 2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award

The Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leaders making a difference in the Memphis community. 

Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award

October 28, 2019

The Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership among Teach For America alumni in Memphis. Each year finalists are chosen based on the award's stated values of impact, sustainability, courage, community and partnerships, and the pursuit of equity.

This year's winner is James Johnson (Memphis '12) for his work building champions inside and outside of the classroom.

2019 Barara Rosser Hyde Winner

James Johnson (Memphis '12)

James Johnson began his teaching career as a 2012 Teach For America Memphis corps member. In 2018, James was the recipient of the New Memphis Educator of Excellence Award in recognition for being the highest performing science teacher for Shelby County Schools’ i-Zone. In his second year of coaching, James led his boy’s track team to a city championship and state. James has used sports as a vehicle to build community and help his student athletes and parents improve the quality of their lives. As an alum, James has stayed connected with Teach For America. He has a passion for alumni empowerment, and was elected president of The Collective Memphis, Teach For America’s association for alumni of color. 

James Johnson, 2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award Winner


Mahal Burr (Memphis '12)

Mahal Burr is a native Memphian and former teacher who saw the school-to-prison pipeline firsthand. Mahal has been leading a groundbreaking initiative with the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law’s Diversity Pipelining efforts to build this new pipeline in Memphis from juvenile detention center to leadership opportunities. Her work is paramount in helping youth receive full scholarships to pre-law summer programs and Youth Leadership Opportunities like Bridge Builders as well as employment and paid internship opportunities around the city. With the support of funding, resources, and public awareness, her hope is to be able to exponentially grow the number of youth this initiative places in opportunities.

Mahal Burr, 2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award Finalist

Andrea Criollo Echetebu (Memphis '09)

Andrea Criollo Echetebu started her career in education as a 2009 Teach For America Memphis corps member. After six years of teaching, she became the assistant principal of KIPP Memphis Academy Middle and is now in her third year as the school’s principal. Andrea is proud to be one of the only school leaders in Memphis that identifies as Latinx and has intentionally worked to create a diverse and welcoming school environment for her staff, students, and families. Under her leadership, the Latinx community has representation in a way they have not before in Memphis.

Andrea Criollo Echetebu, 2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award Finalist

Deidra Hawkins (Memphis '16)

Upon returning to her hometown, Deidra Hawkins relaunched Made 2 Glam to empower young women in finding their passion to make a difference in the world. Made 2 Glam was born out of Deidra’s research into the educational challenges facing girls in foster care and quickly expanded to benefit all girls. Made 2 Glam offers free, thought-provoking programing that inspires young girls to break down the barriers that stand between them and the impact they want to have on the world.

Deidra Hawkins, 2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award Finalist

Anthony Oddo (Rio Grande Valley '11)

As a teacher in the Rio Grande Valley, Anthony Oddo witnessed how poor health undermined his student’s educational progress. Now a pediatrician, he is uniting the fields of medicine and education to better serve students through publishing scientific research, developing educational training, and innovating community outreach. From the clinic to the sidelines to the classroom, Anthony has been creating avenues for corps members to pursue medicine and for pediatric residents to join him in working in local schools.

Anthony Oddo, 2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award Finalist