• Too many students fall behind academically too quickly in Mississippi, often two grade levels behind by third grade. By high school, this translates into ACT scores that fall below the national average and only 11 percent of graduates ready for college.

  • Despite these challenges, we believe hardworking, transformative classroom, school, policy, and community leaders can improve the educational outcomes for students across our state.

About Mississippi

The birthplace of American music, a major arena in the Civil Rights Movement, and the home of many of our nation’s most prolific voices and creative minds - Richard Wright, William Faulkner, BB King, Tennessee Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Jim Henson, and Eudora Welty – Mississippi and its residents have long been recognized for their contributions to American society. The introduction of mechanized farming and the effects of globalization, however, have forced many people to leave the state to find employment elsewhere and have made Mississippi, and its Delta region in particular, a largely forgotten national treasure.
Despite the barriers that stand between Mississippi and newfound prosperity, it remains to be defined by its greatest asset: its people. Many residents who remain rooted here, and those who have come to join them through organizations like Teach For America, are creative, entrepreneurial, and visionary. They are brimming with the desire to see their home live up to its potential and become a successful and vibrant state in the 21st century.
In 1993, Teach For America’s Delta region expanded from 9 teachers in Arkansas to 20 teachers across both states, and by 2012, nearly 2,000 teachers moved to the region to make a difference in education. After growing to over 550 teachers in more than 50 districts in 2012, our leadership saw the potential to deepen our impact by focusing the efforts in Arkansas and Mississippi independently. Throughout our history in the region, we have sought to build relationships and partnerships with individuals and organizations in all of the communities we serve, and as we launch Teach For America-Mississippi in 2013 we continue to stand by our commitments to educational excellence and deep-rooted relationships.
Consensus is building across Mississippi that a brighter future for the state can only be created by ensuring that every child receives an excellent education. Teach For America has been forming vital partnerships with our districts since 1993, yet the pool of highly-qualified teachers from which administrators can hire remains too small. For the past two years, Teach For America has received requests from partnering districts exceeding our total corps size. Mississippi’s greatest asset remains its people, and Teach For America is committed to bringing great, young leaders to the birthplace of American creativity to join in the movement toward educational equity and the region’s renaissance.

Connect With Us

299 S. 9th St. Suite 212
Oxford, MS 38655
Tel (662) 234-6202
Fax (662) 234-6404

Executive Director

Barbara Logan Smith
Barbara Logan Smith will become the executive director of Teach For America’s Mississippi region in January.

Barbara Logan Smith is a graduate of Lakeland College and holds her M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She began her career in education as a teacher and administrator with Milwaukee Public Schools, and over two decades has developed the leadership capacity of students, parents, educators, administrators, and business executives. Before joining Teach For America she served as vice president of the Efficacy Institute, a national nonprofit focused on increasing academic achievement and character strength for all students. Logan Smith, who formally begins the executive director role in January, is completing a PhD in Education and Leadership at Cardinal Stritch University, and lives with her husband, Christopher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Ron Nurnberg
Deputy Executive Director

Ron Nurnberg became the executive director of Teach For America’s Delta region in 1996 and led the expansion of the Delta corps from 32 teachers then to more than 550 across Arkansas and Mississippi. Now, as deputy executive director of the Mississippi region, Ron continues to build state-wide relationships that ensure those who have the most power, influence, and resources understand and champion the potential of our students and communities. 

Prior to joining Teach For America’s staff, Ron completed a master's degree in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, and Oxford remains his home. Prior to TFA, Ron successfully grew and sold a pub and restaurant business in St. Louis, coordinated and led cultural non-profits in Vicksburg, Miss., and Helena, Ark., and served as assistant director of Central College's American Program at Trinity College in Carmarthen, Wales.

Regional Stats

Data valid as of: Aug 2014