Our Team

Our Leadership Team

  • Scott Shirey, Executive Director

    Scott Shirey is the founder and Executive Director of KIPP Delta Public Schools. Prior to founding KIPP Delta College Preparatory School in 2002, Mr. Shirey completed the KIPP School Leadership Program, which included intensive study at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Mr. Shirey taught for three years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was a Teach For America corps member. In November 2011, Forbes Magazine listed Mr. Shirey as one of the world’s seven most powerful educators. Mr. Shirey graduated Cum Laude from Colby College with a B.A. in History.

  • Janelle Renee Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer

    Ms. Jenkins directs regional operations, people management and development, finance and strategic planning. After a successful career in the auto manufacturing and banking industries, Ms. Jenkins transitioned to the public education sector through the prestigious Broad Residency. She most recently served as Director, Project and Change Management for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, supporting 168 schools. Ms. Jenkins earned a Master of Educational Leadership from The Broad Center for School System Management, a Master of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan. She is passionate about optimizing processes and systems to support employee development, and social and academic outcomes for all children. Ms. Jenkins is a native of Detroit, Michigan.

  • Carissa Godwin, Chief External Affairs Officer

    Carissa Godwin is in her fourth year at KIPP Delta Public Schools. She oversees regional development, marketing, and communications needs. Prior to joining KIPP, Mrs. Godwin held senior development positions at Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. She has a passion for issues related to social justice, children, and animals. Mrs. Godwin has a degree in Communications with a Public Relations emphasis from the University of Central Arkansas.

  • Todd Dixon, School Director

    Todd Dixon graduated magna cum laude from Colby College in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in physics and a minor in education. After graduation, Mr. Dixon joined Teach For America to work as a teacher in the Arkansas Delta. Mr. Dixon has taught seventh through twelfth grade math, science, and engineering courses over the last eight years. In 2010, Mr. Dixon became an assistant principal at KIPP Delta Collegiate High School and participated in the KIPP School Leadership Program’s Principal Prep training during the summer of 2011.  He served as the School Director of KIPP Delta Collegiate High from 2011 to 2015 when he transitioned into the School Director role at KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy.

  • Stephanie Bennetts, School Director

    Stephanie Bennetts is originally from Rumford, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in English. After graduation, Stephanie joined Teach For America’s 2007 Mississippi Delta Corps and was placed at KIPP Delta Collegiate as a social studies teacher. For the next three years, Stephanie taught a variety of subjects including English 9, 10, 11 and AP Language. Stephanie served as Assistant Principal at KIPP Delta Collegiate for five years before becoming the School Leader in 2015. 

  • Heather Johnson, School Director

    Heather Johnson is originally from Scotch Plains, New Jersey. After graduating from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania in 2007, Mrs. Johnson joined Teach for America as a corps member in the Arkansas Delta. Since Mrs. Johnson's teaching career started, she has taught a variety of subjects at KIPP Delta. She originally was placed as a Spanish teacher working with 9th and 10th grade students and eventually found her love as an English language arts and social studies teacher working with 7th and 8th grade students. Mrs. Johnson moved through the leadership pipeline at KIPP as a grade level chair participating in the KIPP Teacher Leader Program and onto an assistant principal participating in the KIPP Leadership Program. Mrs. Johnson now serves as the School Director of KIPP Delta College Preparatory School.


  • Alice Goldsberry, School Director

    Alice Goldsberry currently serves as the School Leader at KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she came to the Arkansas Delta by way of Teach for America in 2007. As a classroom teacher, Ms. Goldsberry taught every content area, including 5-8 mathematics. Ms. Goldsberry holds a Masters degree in Public School Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University, and served as an assistant principal in the Helena and Blytheville communities before assuming the School Leader role.



  • Kenisha Hawthorne, School Director

    Kenisha Hawthorne has served as an Assistant Principal for the last 18 months at the Elementary Literacy Academy in Helena. Prior to that, Ms. Hawthorne was Nashville's 2013-14 Teacher of the Year. She has successfully completed Vanderbilt University Principal's Leadership Academy of Nashville (PLAN) and went on to work with the unversity's Director of Debate to found a fourth grade debate program call "Free Speech... the Movement". Ms. Hawthorne holds a Bachelor's Degree from The University of Alabama, her Masters of Education from Tennessee State University, and her Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech University.