Teshanda R. Middleton

Cues and Views

Nonprofit executive leader Teshanda R. Middleton, in brief.

April 6, 2023
3 Minutes[=
Teshanda R. Middleton

Home: Memphis, TN.  Birthplace: Jackson, MS.  Profession: social justice and educational equity.  Organization: Communities In Schools of Memphis.  Title: Chief Executive Officer.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: Jackson State University (B.S., Education); Union University (M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction).

Current project: Serving as one of six anchor leaders with an initiative designed to increase resources and improve the long-term quality of life for residents in Memphis and Shelby County.  Recent professional development: Completed an anti-racist Results Based Accountability (RBA) apprenticeship.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Stepping away from employment with a Fortune 500 company to complete the “hard and heart work” of founding and leading a public school designed for children of color living in poverty-stricken communities.  Hobbies: Travel, attending concerts.  Recent travel or adventure: Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Recent unique acquisition: An electric vehicle.

Personality profile: Deliberate, humble, resolute.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Loyal.  Moral compass: The Bible.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Well-funded, with collective impact that contributes to the empowerment of others.  What is your greatest joy? Giving to others.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Real estate and community developers.  How do you relieve stress? Neighborhood walks.  What is your go-to workout? Streetstrider. 

What was your first paying job? Carhop at SONIC Drive-In.  What was your favorite college course? Psychology.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Playing make-believe.  What book have you repeatedly read? The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovel Shinn.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Life.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My sister, Angelique.  What is your favorite app? Instagram.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? 

Equitable access and inclusion in education.

What change would you like to see in the world? Dismantling of systemic barriers.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Stick with love.

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My uncle, Kennie.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A philanthropist.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? A vintage train case with combination lock.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Praying and writing love messages of hope and faith to my family.  

Personal mission: Leading in service to mankind with excellence and joy.  Personal motto: #characterovereverything.  Desired epitaph: God’s child.

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