Our Staff

The Mississippi First team is a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to promote the mission of Mississippi First.

Policy Team


Rachel Canter

Executive Director

Rachel leads the work of Mississippi First,
including strategy, financial management,
and decision-making.

Micayla Tatum

Director of Early Childhood Policy

Micayla supports Mississippi First in the development
and execution of its early childhood policy agenda,
with a particular focus on pre-K and child care.

Toren Ballard

Director of K-12 Policy

Toren assists Mississippi First in developing
and enacting our K-12 policy agenda.

Grace Breazeale

K-12 Policy Associate

Grace supports Mississippi First in
implementing our K-12 policy agenda.

Communications Team


MacKenzie Hines

Chief of Staff

MacKenzie supports the operations of the organization
and directs Mississippi First’s communications.

Brooke Williams

Associate Director of Communications

Brooke is responsible for developing, coordinating,
and executing strategic communications efforts.

Special Projects Team


Pheron Russell

Associate Director of Special Projects

Pheron is responsible for assisting and managing projects for the Mississippi First team, specifically focusing on charter schools.

Our Board


The Board of Directors is the governing body of Mississippi First. Individuals who sit on the board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities. Board members meet quarterly to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. They serve three-year terms and can serve two terms back-to-back.

Tim Abram, II
Board Chair

Catoria Martin
Board Treasurer

Kate Gluckman
Board Member