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Teach For America Nashville Chattanooga Names New Executive Director

Stephen Santellan Will Lead Teach For America Nashville and Chattanooga Tennessee

Stephen santellan

April 25, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. April 25, 2022— Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga has named Stephen Santellan as the new executive director. Santellan joins the region from South Carolina, and he plans to continue advancing academic gains with students and growing the organization’s impact through collaboration with schools across Nashville and Chattanooga.

Santellan previously served as the chief of staff for Teach For America’s South Carolina region. For over 20 years, he has dedicated his personal and professional life to the support of organizations that create opportunities for equitable educational and economic advancement, especially in communities with the greatest need. Santellan succeeds Benjamin Schumacher, who led Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga to consistently excel as one of the top educator preparation programs in the state during his five years as executive director, and plans to continue this legacy of success for the region.

“As a non-profit leader with a track record of action and results, Stephen Santellan’s breadth of experience and ability to thought-partner and foster collaboration will dynamically serve our growing Nashville and Chattanooga communities,” said Crystal Rountree, senior vice president and regional field executive of Teach For America. “Stephen will continue to advance the work our local team has accomplished in deep partnership with the community over the past decade, and he is deeply committed to continuing to grow our impact for years to come.”

Santellan’s record building partnerships with key stakeholders to secure over $70 million in funding, his ability to champion legislation and implement sustainable programming for equitable educational and economic advancement will aid his ability to lead the Nashville-Chattanooga region in a way that prioritizes educational excellence and collaboration.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I am excited to have Stephen Santellan on board as executive director. His extensive background and leadership roles as well as his experience and familiarity with Teach For America is extremely valuable as he navigates the complexities of leading the Nashville-Chattanooga region,” said Charles Sueing, Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga board chair and community leader. “With our 2030 goal in mind, he’s already hit the ground running in terms of setting strategy and direction, programmatic excellence, financial stability, team and talent, and public engagement.”

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About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with 350 urban and rural communities across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, Teach For America is a force of 66,000 alumni and corps members working in more than 9,000 schools nationwide in pursuit of profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they are reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, lead, thrive, and co-create a future filled with possibility. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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