our staff

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 graduate of Mississippi State University, Union University, and Ole Miss. He and his wife Vicki have two daughters Olivia and Emily.

Mrs. Erica Gray

Chief Finance Officer
Erica has worked in the charter schools arena for over ten years. In addition to working as the Chief Finance Officer 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

Talent & Human Resources
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 Talent and Human Resources Manager 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.

Board of Directors