Like the ancient Egyptian capital that is its namesake, Memphis is a proud, soulful city that sits along a mighty river. Educationally, the tide is turning here, with the River City becoming an epicenter of significant school reform.

Education Pioneers’ work in this region is primarily concentrated within the city limits of Memphis. (Fellows also collaborate with their peers in Nashville, just a few hours away.)

The city’s once-struggling schools are being addressed from all angles. The Center on Reinventing Public Education cited a few of key factors: new leadership, efforts to attract high-quality educators, a growing charter school sector, and a committed philanthropic community.

Especially ambitious changes are underway in the Memphis schools managed by the statewide Achievement School District, which pledges to drastically improve the performance of low-performing schools within the next five years.

With so much activity and collaboration between sectors on improving the city’s public schools, there is still plenty of room to make a difference here.


Education Pioneers has been working in Memphis since 2013 to supply local organizations with the talented people they need to achieve their goals.

  • 14 partner organizations, including Achievement School District, Shelby County Public Schools, and City of Memphis Mayor’s Office.
  • EP Fellows in the Memphis area have worked on strategic projects that make a difference, including leading "Parent University" engagement programs for Shelby County Schools, optimizing financial processes for the Achievement School District, coordinating stakeholders interested in increasing achievement for young men of color for the Mayor's Office of the City of Memphis, and much more.
  • Several EP alumni are contributing to the Memphis region’s education work, including 2009 Fellow Saumil Shah, now Chief of Staff at Achievement School District, and 2007 Fellow Ash Solar, who is the Executive Director of Achievement Schools in Frayser.

Local Contact

Gerald Fanion, III (Director, Tennessee),


Cornerstone Prep
Memphis Music Initiative
Memphis Teacher Residency
Noble Impact
Southern Avenue Charter School
Teacher Town


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