Be part of our diverse community of alumni leading the way in innovation and impact for kids in Memphis.
Our Alumni Network
Our alumni in Memphis are a force of leaders at every level—from classrooms to school systems, civic and cultural advocates, and social innovators. Their diverse backgrounds and leadership experiences are unified by the singular vision that all children deserve no less than an exceptional teacher and educational experience.
Alumni working in Memphis
Alumni working in education
Alumni working as teachers
Alumni working as school leaders (principals, assistant principals, deans)
Meet Some Alums in the TFA Memphis Network
Mahal Burr, Memphis '12, Diversity Pipeline Coordinator at University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law
Mahal Burr is a native Memphian and former teacher who saw the school to prison pipeline first-hand. Mahal has been leading a groundbreaking initiative with the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law’s Diversity Pipelining efforts to build a 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 they are able to place in opportunities and bring to the table around making our community better.
Archie Moss, Jr., Charlotte Piedmont Triad '11, Principal at Bruce Elementary School
As Shelby County Schools' youngest principal, Archie Moss, Jr. has been praised for his innovation and passion for students. While in residence at a middle school in Memphis, Archie founded The Gentleman’s League, an organization charged with mentoring and supporting at-risk boys, modeled after a program he participated in as a student in Miami. In his tenure as principal, Archie founded Shelby County’s first elementary school basketball league and was recognized for reading bedtime stories to his students through Facebook Live. Archie has received numerous awards including the SPARK Award for Educational Leadership, delivered a talk at TEDx Memphis, and has been covered by local and national media, including the Ellen Show.
Jack Relinger, Memphis '07, Co-Founder of Positive Physics
Jack taught physics in Memphis for over a decade at Kingbsury High School, Treadwell Middle School, and The Soulsville Charter School. After realizing that traditional physics-teaching materials were not reaching his students, he built PositivePhyics out of his classroom. The site has grown to reach 30,000 students in over 100 countries around the world. Jack was the 2015 Tennessee Charter School Teacher of the Year, winner of the 2018 Teach For America Memphis Barbara Hyde Alumni Award, and a 2020 Teach for America Social Innovation Award Finalist. Jack is currently completing an MBA at the University of Oxford on a social entrepreneurship scholarship.
Britney Thornton, Memphis '14, Founder of JUICE Orange Mound
Britney Thornton was raised in Orange Mound, America’s first community built by and for African Americans. Britney left Memphis to receive her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but returned to her hometown as part of the Memphis corps. In 2016, Thornton founded JUICE Orange Mound with an idea to lead spare change drives and then put the money back into the community. Since then JUICE has invested thousands of dollars toward efforts like a neighborhood garden and a community baby shower. JUICE has become a nexus for neighbors to build relationships and connections. Recently, JUICE began focusing on economic engagement, starting with the launch of a neighborhood small-business incubator.
Regional Alumni Programing
Each year Teach For America Memphis offers a variety of leadership development opportunities for local alumni. Below are some of the available options.
Regional Awards & Fellowships
The Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award is a $5,000 award honoring an alum in Memphis who is doing innovative work to disrupt systems of inequality in Memphis. The award will celebrate profound acts of leadership that ensure we are making progress toward One Day for the students and communities we serve and that our students are globally competitive, socially aware, and have access to opportunities that develop their leadership potential. Learn more about the 2019 award finalists.
The application for the Award will launch early 2021.
This developmental experience is designed to meet school-based leaders where they are and provide them access to the people, tools, and practices that make a real difference with what they’re dealing with and what they really care about. The new Fellowship is built on six foundational leadership capacities—essential for any leader serious about transformation for kids at this exceptional and unusual time. Each capacity has tools and practices, which can be used again and again over time. The fellowship is designed to propel your leadership while simultaneously getting content to help re-imagine and lead something new for the kids and communities in the Memphis ecosystem.
The application for the inaugural Leadership Accelerator Fellowship will launch in August 2020.
The Social Justice & Education Fellowship is a one-year fellowship resulting in the development of education leaders who have an advanced understanding of social justice and a high cultural competency. Through experiential training, readings and discussions, Social Justice Fellows will deepen their commitment to social justice and develop a stronger commitment to creating change in the communities in which they work, live and play.
The application for the 2020 Social Justice & Education Fellowship will launch fall 2020.
Interested in school leadership? One of our key alumni leadership priorities includes fostering excellent leadership in schools. To accomplish this we are excited to offer the Aspiring School Leader Fellowship. The fellowship is a six-month program open to Teach For America alumni, with at least three years of teaching experience, who are interested in pursuing school leadership (dean, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal) in the next 1-3 years. The fellowship will be capped at 12 participants and will take the form of a cohort model.
The application for the 2020 Aspiring School Leader Fellowship will launch fall 2020.
Teach For America Memphis also provides several opportunities to come together as an alumni community to celebrate our collective accomplishments and the progress made toward educational equity in our city.
- Winter Celebration - The winter celebration is a chance for alumni, corps members, and staff members to celebrate the end of the calendar year before winter break. You can expect to dance the night away while having fun and enjoying great company! The Winter Celebration takes place in December.
- Alumni Brunch - At our annual alumni brunch, or Grits & GRIND, we come together to celebrate the impact of Teach For America alumni across Memphis and recognize alumni marking milestone years in this work. The event is also when we announce the winner of the Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award. The alumni brunch takes place in spring.
- End of Year Celebration - At the end of year celebration, we convene the Teach For America community of alumni, corps members, staff members and families to celebrate the end of the school year and induction corps members completing their corps commitments to alumnihood. The End of Year Celebration takes place in April.
Note: Given risk of gathering large groups due to the outbreak of COVID-19, timelines and celebrations are subject to change.
Connect with Fellow Alumni
Teach For America Memphis knows that much of our impact comes from strong connections made within our alumni community. To that end, we offer many opportunities for alumni to connect - whether it is to plan their next career move, share resources and opportunities, or connect over shared identity.
- TFA Connect Beta - Connect with alumni from across the TFA network on Teach For America’s career and connections site. Find opportunities, build local and national relationships, and meet future employers and colleagues.
- Teach For America Memphis Alumni Facebook Group - A space for alumni in Memphis to come together and share ideas, opportunities, and resources.
Teach For America Memphis offers a variety of corps members and alumni led affinity groups. Affinity groups are spaces for corps members, alumni, and partners to create community through shared identity. The following affinity groups are active in our community.
- Asian American, Native Hawaiin, Pacific Islander / Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian
- The Souls of Black Folk - Black Affinity Group
- Black Male Educators
- Mental Health
- PRISM Memphis - LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group
If you’re interested in connecting an affinity group or starting one in our community, reach out to Ramon Williams!
The Collective is Teach For America's national association for alumni who identify as Native, Indigenous, and people of color. The Memphis chapter aims to strengthen the professional and personal network among Teach For America’s alumni of color to accelerate their leadership capacity and increase access to opportunities that deepen impact in the city.
Connect with Our Team
The Teach For America Memphis alumni leadership team plays a critical role to cultivate and activate the leadership of alumni in order to ensure equity of opportunity for students in Memphis. We support alumni to develop their personal, professional and collective leadership in the areas that they believe are most critical.
The TFA Memphis Team
Managing Director, Alumni Leadership
Contact Ramon if you would like to connect about our alumni leadership programming and learning opportunities.
Director, Alumni Engagement
Contact Josalynne if you want to stay connected with everything happening for alumni in Memphis.