Member Spotlights: Mississippi Delta Academies

Dr. Tamela Boyd Shaw, Founder/Executive Director

Founded in 2018 with a vision to create high performing public charter schools across the MS Delta, MS Delta Academies is the non-profit that operates Leflore Legacy Academy Public Charter School. Leflore Legacy serves as the foundation for this vision and opened its doors virtually (during the height of the global pandemic) in the fall of 2020 serving 123 founding 6th grade scholars. Serving as the founder and Executive Director of MS Delta Academies~Leflore Legacy Academy is Dr. Tamala Boyd Shaw, a native of Greenwood, MS.

Tamala is an education advocate who believes teacher effectiveness is the great equalizer to providing students the basic civil right of a quality, public school education. Tamala began her career in education in Jackson, MS, teaching English at Provine High School and now has 25 years of experience serving in roles that span the US. That experience brought her back home to Mississippi in 2014 with a goal of positively impacting the education landscape in our magnolia state. Tamala also believes in the power of minority female leadership. Operating in her passion, overcoming obstacles and optimizing opportunities to develop others, Tamala offers Legacy leaders (teachers) at her school various experiences that open doors for teacher leadership. She notes one of her favorite quotes from Maya Angelou, “my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style” as one that drives her daily.

Tamala earned a BA degree from Touglaoo College, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Jackson State University, and a Doctor of Education degree from The University of Memphis. As a member of the 2019 Leadership Greenwood cohort and a 2020/2021 graduate of Leadership Mississippi, Tamala has been equipped for impacting positive change in her community and throughout the state. Tamala, a wife and mother, balances work, family, and social life by surrounding herself with others who share her desire for excellence. She believes in empowering others through her work and example.

With a focus on reimagining learning for students in rural areas to improve the number of college-going and college-graduating students in her role as the Founder/Executive Director of MS Delta Academies; Tamala considers this her dream opportunity to go back and give back to the place she calls home while creating space for others to join her in this effort through fiscal, physical and personal donations that support the organization’s core values of Excellence, Empowerment, and Enjoyment.

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