Governing Board


Governing Board Chair

Emily holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Memphis. She has more than five years experience in teacher recruitment and retention strategies, grant writing, strategic communications, partnership cultivation, and team leadership. As a native of the MS Delta (Tunica, MS), Emily understands how very much the lack of educational options for families limits the potential of students. She is an effective and passionate change agent. As a board member, Emily is responsible for advocating on behalf of the school, keeping accurate records of board business, and developing the communications and recruitment plans.


Governing Board Vice Chair

McKinley’s qualifications include a Master’s of Banking Law Studies, a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance, and a Juris Doctorate. Currently, he serves as Senior Attorney at Federal Express in Memphis, TN. He has non-profit board experience and legal expertise. McKinley has a heart for the MS Delta as he’s a native of Clarksdale where he was born, reared and educated. As a founding board member, McKinley is responsible for learning details of the organization’s proposal to operate a school in the state of Mississippi and advocating on behalf of the school. He will offer advisement on legal matters and facility attainment for the school.


Governing Board Treasurer/Secretary

Steve holds a Master’s of Divinity and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature. He brings extensive experience leading and educating youth groups. Currently, he serves as an associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, MS. He founded a non-profit and has extensive experience with non-profit management and serving on nonprofit boards. As a board member, Steve is responsible for advocating on behalf of the school and lending his non-profit start up expertise.


Governing Board Member

Dr. Sonja Hollins-Alexander is the Director of Professional Learning for Corwin Publishing. She has been in the field of education for 24 years with 18 of those being in educational leadership at the school, district and higher education levels. During this time, she has served as a school social worker, teacher, assistant principal, principal, coordinator, assistant director and director of professional learning, and chief of staff in two Metro Atlanta, GA school districts. She has served on numerous United Way non-profit boards in the community and most recently served as the affiliate board president for Learning Forward, GA. She currently serves on the National Affiliate Leadership Council for Learning Forward.

Through her professional journey she has had experiences in Strategic Planning, Organizational Improvement, Policy Development, Stakeholder Communication and Engagement, Grant Writing, Instructional Design, Curriculum Development and Implementation, Facilitation of Adult Learning, Leadership Coaching, Conference Facilitation and Design, and served as a Quality Assurance Team Member for AdvancED. She is fully engaged in the development and use of Online Collaborative/Instructional Software. She is the author of Online Professional Development through Virtual Learning Communities, Corwin Press (2013).”

As the Director of Professional Learning for Corwin, Sonja is committed to partner engagement and the design and implementation of professional learning services that positively impact teaching and learning.


Governing Board Member

Jacquelyn Brownlow, DNP, RN has served as a faculty member in the associate degree nursing program at Coahoma Community College since 2011. She has been a nursing educator since 2009, initially working at Delta State University as an adjunct clinical instructor. During that time she discovered her love of teaching, working as a graduate assistant helping prepare undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students for which she received the departmental award for outstanding nurse educator students.

Jacquelyn completed her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education in 2011 and was hired as an adjunct faculty at Coahoma Community College Associate Degree Nursing and Delta State University School of Nursing. In 2013, she completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree at The University of Southern Mississippi with an emphasis on System Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice. While at USM, she received the Outstanding DNP Award. She continues her academic work at Coahoma Community College.

Jacquelyn’s past experiences include charge nurse of ICCU at Greenwood Leflore Hospital and floor nurses on med-surgical units, emergency rooms, mental health, home health, telemetry and, pediatrics. She currently works part-time as a House Supervisor at Greenwood Leflore Hospital.

Jacquelyn currently serves as president-elect of the Mississippi Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (MOADN), a peer evaluator for the Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education (ACEN), National League of Nurses (NLN) Ambassador.

She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Mississippi Coroner’s Association, Kappa Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Mississippi Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and Organization for Associate Degree Nursing.