Dr. Patrick Washington
Founder & CEO
Dr. Washington is a fifth generation educator, inspired by his great-great grandfather Richard Adkins, who was born into slavery in 1860. Richard became literate and taught other slaves to read. This family history lives through Dr. Washington, his mother and several family members who pursued a career in public education. Dr. Washington is a cohort 4 member of New Leaders, Inc. and in 2008 became the first African-American Superintendent of Benton County Mississippi schools. Dr. Washington is the founding principal of Promise Academy Springhill located in Memphis, TN that opened in 2014. The urgency to launch Man Up Teacher Fellowship was realized as he began to recruit teachers for Promise Academy Spring Hill. “This is a movement, not a program that is aimed to change the world by placing highly effective men of color in classrooms throughout our nation.” Dr. Washington is a graduate of Mississippi State University, Union University and Ole Miss. He and his wife Vicki have two daughters Olivia and Emily.
Mrs. Erica Gray
Human Resources Director
Erica has worked in the charter schools arena for over ten years. In addition to working as the Human Resources Director for Man Up Teacher Fellowship, Erica works as a Data Manager and Analyst for a Memphis-based charter network. A collegiate softball player at Crichton College, Erica enjoys outdoor recreational sports and spending time with her husband Terry, son Case and two Great Danes, Venus and Nyx.
Ms. Nicole Lytle
Community Relations Director
Nicole has worked with a Memphis-based charter network as an Office Manager for over three years. Nicole worked in the business management sector prior to joining the charter schools movement. As the Community Relations Director for Man Up Teacher Fellowship, she works with partnering colleges and universities to identify and enroll MUTF Residents. A Middle Tennessee State University graduate, Nicole enjoys making memories with her wonderful children, Noah, Isaiah and Skylar.
Ms. Carmenseda Fondren
Chief Finance Officer
Carmen has worked in the charter schools arena for over 3 years. In addition to working as the Chief Finance Officer for Man Up Teacher Fellowship, Carmen works as the Accounting Assistant for a Memphis-based charter school/network. Carmen also worked in Finance in the medical/business sector prior to joining the charter schools. Carmen has a Sanford-Brown College graduate and is also pursuing another degree in Accounting. Carmen enjoys spending time with her 3 daughters, Brittany, Terri, Victoria, family and her pitbull Grady.
Ms. Sarah Isenhart
Sarah is originally from Littleton, Colorado. However, she has called Memphis home for over 7 years now. Sarah graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and relocated to Memphis with Teach for America. She was a founding teacher at a Memphis-based charter network and taught there for 6 years. She also taught within the Shelby County School District for 1.5 years. In her free time, she likes to read, be outdoors, and spend time with her dog, Roscoe.
Mr. Vaughn Thompson
Director of Content Development
Vaughn Thompson has been a champion for educational equity from his roots in Brooklyn, NY.
After graduating from Clark University he
returned to NYC and began a career in finance. After working for several Wall Street firms
he decided to pursue his dream as a teacher and mentor in Brooklyn, NY.
Vaughn later joined New Leaders for New Schools (Cohort 4) as a principal resident. After serving as principal and founding school leader in NYC, Vaughn continued his career in educational leadership as a consultant to schools. Vaughn humbly served as the founding principal of Eagle Academy for Young Men of Newark, the first all-boys public school in the state of New Jersey.
He joined ANET 6 years ago as Executive Director
of Tennessee. He has since taken on the role of Executive Director,
Partnership Development with ANET for the Southern Region. As a champion for equity especially
for men of color, Vaughn continues to support grassroots initiatives like Man Up towards
As a married father of three boys with Tichanda Thompson, Vaughn remains focused on
improving the lives of students and families through supporting and developing instructional
leaders, teachers, coaches, and district personnel.
Dr. Michael Brown
Mike Brown, a native of New Jersey, has spent the last 20 years fighting for high-quality education for students and families in urban schools. He earned his BA from Hampton University, Master’s from Boston College, and his Doctorate from Vanderbilt in Educational Leadership & Policy. Mike’s education journey began as a middle school teacher and eventually led him to the principalship. He served as a turnaround Principal, Chief Schools Officer managing a network of Principals, and currently helps high-impact education leaders redesign existing school models and launch innovative schools in underserved communities around the country as the Founder of EdRevolution.
Jonathan Humphrey has had the opportunity to serve as a professional educator for over a decade having served as a principal, assistant principal, instructional coach, and classroom educator. He has engaged in extensive leadership and teacher development training with the New Leaders organization through the Emerging Leaders and the Aspiring Principal’s
program. He was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He obtained is bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Memphis and later earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Christian Brother’s University.
Jonathan is passionate about serving children in all capacities as well as creating positive life experiences by focusing on the impact that all adults have on children both inside and outside the school. He believes that all students must have access to educators that hold high expectations, expose students to
consistent grade appropriate work, and are committed to building their knowledge beyond the curriculum.
Jonathan continues to serve children across the country as an education consultant. He specializes in leadership development and organizational structure. His personal drive is fueled by the commitment to ensure that all children, especially African-American boys have the opportunity to experience life in it’s fullest potential.