MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The New Memphis Institute has kicked off a special program to award distinguished teachers and school leaders in the city’s highest needs schools.
Recipients of the New Memphis Institute Educators of Excellence Award were recently honored at a luncheon with a panel of Memphis’ top education leaders, including Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Achievement School District Superintendent Sharon Griffin. This effort is part of New Memphis’ leadership program that works to attract, develop, activate and retain talent in Memphis.
“Educators are a vital strata of talent in our city that often goes under acknowledged. At New Memphis, we believe it is essential to recognize the contribution of our best educators, to learn from their experiences, and to support them in their growth,” said Nancy Coffee, New Memphis President and CEO.
Five graduates of the New Memphis program made the inaugural list of 2018 honorees and each received a $1,500 check. The recipients are:
Rebecca Bowers - Category: Teacher - Rebecca currently teaches 3rd grade at Kingsbury Elementary. She is the grade level chair, serves on her school’s instructional leadership team and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Auburn University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Rebecca has seven years of service and is a Memphis Teacher Residency mentor.
Teacher James Johnson - Category: Teacher - James currently teaches Science at Chickasaw Middle School. He serves as the science department chair, student council advisor and track coach. He has also worked a diversity, equity and inclusion coach at Teach for America’s regional institute for several years. James has seven years of service, is a Teach for America – Memphis alumnus and a former Student Government Association President at the University of Memphis.
Mr. Kevin Kimberly - Category: Instructional Staff - Kevin currently works as a development coach at Perea Elementary and a Chief Educational Consultant at ForwardEd Consulting. A former middle and high school principal at Memphis Catholic, Kevin has seven years of experience and completed his Master’s in Education at the University of Notre Dame.
Ms. Tamera Malone - Category: Instructional Staff - Tamera currently works as an instructional coach at Gestalt Public Schools and previously worked as a middle school teacher and special education teacher. Tamera completed her Masters in Teacher Education, Special Education at the University of Memphis and is currently completing her Doctorate at U of M in Instruction & Curriculum. Tamera has nine years of experience, is a graduate of UT – Knoxville and served on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s National Teacher Advisory Council.
Mr. Jeffrey Veale, Jr. - Category: School Administrator - Jeffrey currently works as the School Director at Leadership Preparatory Charter School but previously taught 3rd grade mathematics at Ford Road Elementary in the Innovation Zone. He has been recognized with the 2012-13 Most Effective First Year Teacher award and the 2012-13 Featured Teacher for Elementary Effective Practice conference. He also worked for four years in operations leadership at Teach for America-Memphis regional institute.
Coffee says the institute will continue to share these educators’ stories, which she says demonstrate the sacrifices they have made in our classrooms for a better Memphis.