Tamala is an education advocate who believes teacher effectiveness is the great equalizer to providing students the basic civil right of a quality public school education. Currently, Tamala focuses on reimagining learning for students in rural areas to improve the number of college-going and college-graduating students as the Founder and Executive Director of MS Delta Academies, a non-profit education organization that has launched Leflore Legacy Academy, a tuition-free public charter school that opened Fall 2020 in Greenwood, MS. She was born and reared in Greenwood and considers this her dream opportunity to go back and give back to the place she calls home.
Her career in education began in Jackson, MS, teaching English at Provine High School, and now includes 25 years of experience in a variety of roles. Tamala is an experienced educator, administrator, and leader with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. She is skilled in educational technology, recruiting, training, education policy, business development, and teacher development.
Tamala earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Touglaoo College, a Master of Teaching degree from Jackson State University, and a Doctor of Education degree from The University of Memphis. Her leadership training for urban education is attributed to her participation in The Memphis Leadership Fellows Program (2005-2006). Additionally, she is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Memphis, a 2017 graduate of the Leadership Development Intensive class with New Memphis Institute, a graduate of the 2019 Leadership Greenwood and a member of the 2020-2021 Leadership Mississippi Cohort.
A strong believer in community service, Tamala enjoys contributing through civic associations. She is a Life Member (and Silver Star) of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated where she currently serves as President of her chapter; she is an active member of the Mississippi Roses (MS) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She serves as President of the North MS Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and she is a recently inducted member of the Greenwood Rotary Club.
Tamala is married to Eric J. Shaw and is the mother of Eric Shaw II (EJay) and a bonus daughter, Emyah.