Darryl Willie has been named executive director of Teach For America – Jacksonville. Willie, who brings more than 13 years of experience in education and community engagement to the role, succeeds founding executive director Crystal Rountree.
Willie, will oversee nearly 200 Teach For America (TFA) corps members teaching in more than 40 of Jacksonville’s highest needs schools and engage with 150 local TFA alumni. He will be responsible for building community partnerships; cultivating public, private and foundation support; and overseeing daily regional operations of recruiting, training, and supporting a diverse group of teachers to work in Jacksonville’s difficult-to-staff classrooms.
A Teach For America alumnus himself, Willie will also partner with and support Teach For America alumni living and working in Jacksonville who have become lifelong advocates and leaders in the movement to expand educational opportunity.
“I’m thrilled to work in a community united around educational equity,” said Willie. “From parents and students to school district leaders, elected officials and the philanthropic and business communities, Jacksonville has a strong group of advocates who will help us ensure that all students have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”
Willie served most recently as the managing director of partnerships for Teach For America – Jacksonville where he spearheaded relations with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), managed alumni relations efforts and strengthened community engagement.
Before joining the Jacksonville team in 2011, he served Teach For America as a corps member advisor at the Houston Institute and as a school director at the Jacksonville Institute. Willie also worked as the program director for new student services at UC Berkeley. His career in education began when he joined Teach For America in 2002 as a Mississippi-Delta corps member. Willie taught Beech Crest Elementary School in Helena, Arkansas for three years and won the annual Teacher of the Year award twice.
“Darryl is a charismatic leader whose focus is on expanding educational opportunities for students to ensure every child has access to the quality of education that will prepare them for life opportunities in college and career. From leading the work at TFA to creating local initiatives to support youth, he has demonstrated an unwavering passion for strengthening this community,” said Teach For America – Jacksonville Regional Advisory Board Chair Steven T. Halverson. “During the past seven years, in partnership with DCPS and others, Teach For America – Jacksonville has made significant gains in narrowing the opportunity gap, but there’s still more we can do. I am confident that Darryl is the person capable of continuing this momentum to improve outcomes for our underserved students.”
Teach For America – Jacksonville was established nearly a decade ago when a group of community supporters advocated that its efforts to recruit and support teachers and program alumni become a vital part of the solution to improve educational prospects for students in Duval County. Since 2008, Teach For America – Jacksonville has grown from a corps of just 55 members to one of nearly 200 corps members who are now teaching more than 16,000 students, while TFA alumni in the region are working from every sector to level the playing field for students and families in low-income communities.