The Mississippi First Board of Directors is made up of a group of dedicated and diverse individuals. Each board member serves a three-year term.
Matt Bengloff, Interim Board Chair
Project Director, Race to the Top
Native of New York, NY
Matty Bengloff is the new Project Director for the Race to the Top grant for Clarksdale Municipal School District. Prior to his new position, he was the Managing Director of District and Alumni Partnerships for Teach For America: Mississippi. He worked as the liaison between TFA and their 30+ school district partners across the Delta and Jackson, MS area. Matty grew up in New York City and attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Following graduation, Matty taught 8th grade math in Marianna, Arkansas before moving across the river to support new teachers in Jackson, Holmes County, and Yazoo City. Matty lives in Cleveland, MS and owns a small frozen yogurt shop (Delta Dairy!) with his wife Suzette Matthews.
Maggie Middleton, Board Member
Native of Lula, MS
Term: FY2012; FY2013-FY2015
Maggie Middleton currently serves as Chairperson of the Mississippi First Board of Directors. She has had a life-long desire to be an active participant in the improvement of educational opportunities for the children of Mississippi, due in large part to the educational inequalities she witnessed growing up in Lula, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta. Middleton attended the University of Mississippi for both her undergraduate and law school education, moving to Jackson, Mississippi, in 2009 to begin her career as a lawyer. She joined the board of Mississippi First in January 2012, and was elected to the position of Interim Chairperson in March 2013. Middleton was elected to the position of Chairperson in July 2013, and will finish her term in June 2014.
Middleton’s other activities include serving as a three-year member of the planning committee for Santé South, a food and wine festival which serves as the largest yearly fundraiser for the Mississippi Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and membership in the Jackson Downtown Neighborhood Association.
Mary Thompson, Board Member
Mary M. Thompson lives in Clarksdale and is a farmer of cotton, soybeans, rice, and corn. A retired educator, she has taught in Mississippi public, parochial, and independent schools and has a deep interest in educational policy and in the teaching of writing. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. Her other current board memberships are Board of Governors of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, Center Advisory Committee for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Friends of the Museum Board of Directors for the University Museum at Ole Miss, and the Vestry of St. George’s Episcopal Church. Mrs. Thompson has two adult sons.