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An Educator's
Perspective

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WHY I SERVE

As parents, we all want quality education for our children. It is time to advocate as if all children are our own. Being an educator and current Policy and Advocacy Equity leader, I am moved by the number of students in Memphis-Shelby County schools who cannot read on grade level.  According to the Tennessee Department of Education State Report Card, Memphis Shelby County Schools has an 11% success rate and a 20.7% ready graduate rate which represents the percentage of students who demonstrate readiness for college and careers after high school. This data cannot be ignored and the implications of it will eventually impact us all.

 

 In Memphis, our lowest performing public schools are zoned in the zip codes with the top homicide rates in Memphis to date. In many ways, the lack of opportunity for some students may be a matter of life and death. As a first generation college student who grew up in poverty, I strongly believe that all students can succeed when held to high expectations and given the right supports. A student’s zip code cannot be the single largest determinant of the education that they receive in this city.

Our students deserve a school board that leads with conviction and is the voice of the communities and families they serve. I believe that all students deserve access and an equitable education that is governed by leaders who have a strategic and informed plan for success. My personal experience and expertise around curriculum implementation, strong data analysis, policy, and equitable outputs will be a valuable asset to the board when making informed student-centered decisions. We need educators at the table who are in touch with the way that education is changing and invested in all children's future.

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Priorities for District 1

Accountability &
Transparency

Informed and  Student-centered Budget Decisions

My priority is holding leadership accountable by promoting transparency and using data to ensure that students are at the forefront of decision making. I will push for school site autonomy, equitable outputs, and proven practices, while being the voice of the people.

College and Career Readiness

Economic Mobility & Maximizing Community Partnerships

I will strengthen community, government, and family partnerships to leverage impactful academic supports and resources as well as create career pathways that enable students to go directly into the workforce at a competitive salary.

Talent Retention & Staff Development

Retaining & Developing Talent

I am committed to creating a culture that values and incentivize talent by creating effective support structures and profitable wages.

 

MEET RACHAEL

Rachael Spriggs is most proud to be the mother of Vincent III and Victoria. A native Memphian, she and her husband are the Founders of G.A.M.E. Changers LLC, a mentorship program that focuses on leadership development and the character building of youth who are traditionally marginalized and lives in underrepresented communities. She has more than 15 years of professional experience in youth advocacy, community outreach, and academic consultancy that includes serving students and families here in Memphis, TN. She is a graduate of Central High and HBCU, University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she played Division 1 basketball on a full scholarship. She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a M.Ed. in Counseling Education.

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Returning to serve in her own city, she worked as a Project Specialist with the Workforce Investment Network. She had a 95% success rate of matching students with post-secondary education or career opportunities. Her experience also includes working in Student Engagement for Memphis City Schools, a department that reduced truancy during her tenure by 65% through gang intervention and exclusionary discipline practices.

Noticing the deficits in students’ academics, Rachael joined Teach for America where she became a nontraditional corps member and licensed teacher who taught for years after her commitment. Promoted due to her leadership and expertise around curriculum implementation and the state standards, she supported the design and facilitation of district and school wide professional development. She served as an Instructional Support Advisor in Shelby County Schools to more than 50 schools and developed more than 100 teachers around proven instructional practices and district’s initiatives.

 

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Rachael is a proud member of NAACP and Leadership for Educational Equity. She is a certified Policy and Advocacy Equity Leader who works with Shelby County Schools in the Department of Research Performance Management and the Department of Equity and Access. She is skilled in solving complex problems using data-driven resources and collaborating with a diverse group of stakeholders to develop strategies to improve schools' performance and equitable outputs.