Dear Memphis Delta Prep Family,
I am incredibly grateful to rejoin the South Memphis Community and to open the doors of Memphis Delta Prep in August 2016. I have been working towards this moment for the past 10 years and cannot believe it is finally here. I cannot wait to work alongside you to build a great school for students and families.
In 2007, I met my wife at The Soulsville Charter School at the corner of College and Mclemore. We were both starting our first job after college with no previous experience as teachers. Eight years, a wedding, three kids, a dog, and one quick stop in Philadelphia later, and we are starting another new journey in South Memphis.
When we left Memphis in 2012, my wife Elza and I were expecting our first child and were drawn to the idea of moving closer to our families in the Philadelphia area. Three years in Philadelphia provided wonderful opportunities for me to develop as a leader and learn from some of the best schools in the country; even more importantly, the three years away affirmed for us that Memphis is truly our home. We have missed the Bluff City every day; we are so excited to come back home to our friends and our community.
I love education. I loved being a student and I looked forward to school every day. I remember my teachers, my friends, the projects, the papers, and the countless great books. I love teaching. I love working with students, teachers, and families, watching them grow, and learning alongside them. I smile every day that I go to work, because watching a person learn something new is the greatest joy I know. I look forward to sharing that joy with 540 students, 42 teachers, countless families, community members, and you.
When I was in 3rd grade, Mrs. Geary read us Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go, and it has been my favorite book ever since. We read it at our wedding, I read it to my kids, and I have read it to every student I have ever taught. I look forward to teaching, learning, and smiling with you all, and I leave you with this:
Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go. You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street. And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And then things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too! OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
HAPPINESS AND EDUCATION!!
Michael K. McKenna