Nominees showcase wide range of talent and diversity

On Friday, October 24, Teach For America Memphis announced finalists for the third annual Barbara Rosser Hyde Leadership Award.


The Barbara Rosser Hyde Alumni Leadership Award is a $5,000 award honoring an alumna/alumnus 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 to “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.

Our inaugural winner, Ayo Akinmoladun (Memphis Corps ‘13) was selected for his work as a transformational teacher leader, leading his students to an average of 2.73 years of growth and providing opportunities that disrupt racial and socioeconomic disparity cycles. Last year’s winner, Jack Replinger (Memphis Corps ’07) was chosen for his innovative work creating, an online platform of physics lessons and materials being used by over 6,000 students in 500 schools now use this platform across 34 countries.

2019 Barbara Rosser Hyde Finalists

Mahal Burr (Memphis Corps ’12)

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 this new pipeline here in Memphis. 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, our hope is to be able to exponentially grow the number of youth we are able to place in opportunities and bring to the table around making our community better.

Andrea Criollo Echetebu (Memphis Corps ‘09)

Andrea Criollo Echetebu started her career in education as a 2009 Teach For America Memphis corps member. After six years of teaching, she became the assistant principal of KIPP Memphis Academy Middle and is now in her third year as the school’s principal. Andrea is proud to be one of the only school leaders in Memphis that identifies as Latinx and has intentionally worked to create a diverse and welcoming school environment for her staff, students and families. Under her leadership, the Latinx community has representation in a way they have not before in Memphis.

Deidra Hawkins (Memphis Corps ’16)

Upon returning to her hometown, Deidra Hawkins relaunched Made 2 Glam to empower young women in finding their passion to make a difference in the world. Made 2 Glam was born out of Deidra’s research into the educational challenges facing girls in foster care and quickly expanded to benefit all girls. Made 2 Glam offers free, thought-provoking, programing that inspires young girls to break down the barriers that stand between them and the impact they want to have on the world.

James Johnson (Memphis Corps ’12)

James Johnson began his teaching career as a 2012 Teach For America Memphis corps member. In 2018, James was the recipient of the New Memphis Educator of Excellence Award in recognition for being the highest performing science teacher for Shelby County Schools’ i-Zone. In his second year of coaching, James led his boy’s track team to a city championship and State. James has used sports as a vehicle to build a village and help his student athletes and parents improve the quality of their lives. As an alum, James has stayed connected with Teach For America and with a passion for alumni empowerment, James was elected as President of The Collective Memphis, Teach For America’s association for alumni of color. 

Anthony Oddo, M.D. (Rio Grande Valley Corps ’11)

As a teacher in the Rio Grande Valley, Anthony Oddo witnessed how poor health undermined his student’s educational progress. Now a pediatrician, he is uniting the fields of medicine and education to better serve students through publishing scientific research, developing educational training, and innovating community outreach. From the clinic to the sidelines to the classroom, Anthony has been creating avenues for corps members to pursue medicine and for pediatric residents to join him in working in local schools.

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to 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 nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence and to lead. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Jeff Hulett
(901) 859-9430

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