Two Teach For America-Mississippi Alumni Named Southerners of the Year

The annual list from Southern Living Magazine honors leaders and innovators changing the South.
Monday, December 19, 2016

The 2016 edition of "Southerners of the Year," an annual list of groundbreaking leaders selected by Southern Living magazine, includes two alumni of Teach For America-Mississippi.

Sanford Johnson (Mississippi '03) is the deputy director of Mississippi First, a non-profit public policy group that he launched with Rachel Canter (Mississippi '04) in 2009. Mississippi First works to ensure the state is first where it historically has been last -- particularly in terms of providing an equitable education for all students.

Dr. Michael Cormack, Jr. (Mississippi '03) is the CEO of the Barksdale Reading Institute, which provides literacy coaching and leadership support in public schools across the state. Before rising to the non-profit's helm, Cormack was the principal of Quitman County Elementary School, where he helped lead a culture change that resulted in higher test scores.

Last year's list also included alumna Caroline Randall Williams (Mississippi '10), a writer whose cookbook, Soul Food Love, delivers a healthy twist on traditional soul food.