Teach For America–Alabama Announces New Regional Board Members

New Board Members Lend Expertise to Support Teach For America’s Local Efforts to Strengthen Educational Equity and Excellence in Alabama


Birmingham, Ala., October 18, 2016—Teach For America–Alabama today announced that David Donaldson, vice president of governmental and community relations for Vulcan Materials Company and Neil Lamb, vice president of educational outreach for HudsonAlpha Institute, have joined the organization’s regional board to support Teach For America–Alabama’s mission to ensure local students have access to the high-quality educational opportunities they deserve.

Teach For America recruits talented and diverse college graduates and professionals to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity. In the short term, Teach For America trains and develops these leaders to become excellent teachers in the rural and urban schools that need them the most. In the long term, Teach For America works to create a force of leaders working from all sectors to expand opportunity for students in low-income communities.

“From Birmingham, to Huntsville, to the Black Belt, the stakes have never been higher for Alabama’s children growing up in poverty,” said Teach For America—Alabama executive director Khadijah Abdullah. “We’re excited to welcome David Donaldson and Dr. Neil Lamb to our growing network of leaders committed to moving the needle for our students and permanently closing the opportunity gap that persists across our underserved communities.”

In addition to Donaldson and Lamb, the following community members serve on Teach For America – Alabama’s regional advisory board:

  • Mike Goodrich (Board Chair), Founder, Timberline Holdings; Director, Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation
  • Gary Bolton, Vice President of Global Marketing, ADTRAN Inc.
  • Carol Butler, Executive Director, Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation
  • John Davis, Senior Vice President/Compliance Executive of Community Affairs and Contributions, Regions Bank
  • Julie Ellis, Director of Business Development and Marketing, Bridgeworth Financial, LLC.
  • John Heard III, Superintendent, Perry County Schools
  • John Hudson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Alabama Power
  • Thomas Rains, Teach For America, 2005 Mississippi Delta Alum; Vice President of Operations and Policy, A+ Education Partnerships
  • Debbie Smith, Managing Partner, Christian & Small LLP and Appellate Litigator
  • Donna Smith, Retired Vice President of Human Resources and Ethics, Alabama Power

“As board members for Teach For America–Alabama, we hold a tremendous responsibility in helping to cultivate Alabama’s next generation of transformational leaders who will effect change within our schools and communities,” said Teach For America–Alabama board chair, Mike Goodrich.  “Across Alabama, where a child is born largely dictates their opportunities later in life. Our children deserve better, and we are proud to be a part of the local movement to end educational inequity.” 

As of this fall, Teach For America–Alabama has a network of almost 250 corps members and alumni working across the state. Nearly 150 of these network members work directly in pre-K-12 schools, and about 50 others work in the education sector. Some 40 are first and second year teachers who are part of Teach For America’s national corps of almost 7,000. Teach For America–Alabama has trained and supported almost 350 corps members in Alabama since its inception in 2010.

Recently, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) published a new review of research on Teach For America, identifying seven rigorous studies of corps members that were previously conducted and met their bar of research standards. Collectively, the studies looked at more than 65,000 students in grades pre-K-12 in a variety of states across the country. The review concluded that Teach For America first and second year teachers have positive effects on student outcomes, especially in mathematics and science. Teach For America is among the most rigorously evaluated teacher preparation and development programs in the country.

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, more than 53,000 Teach For America corps members and alumni are leading within schools, school systems, and every sector and field that shapes them. Among them are 19,000 teachers, including nearly 7,000 first and second year corps members in 53 urban and rural regions across the country. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter



Jamila Reeves