Faculty and Staff
Tari C. Harris, Head of School
Ms. Harris is a Christian educator who brings educational leadership that fosters and promotes achievement where spiritual growth, creativity, motivation and integrity drive success. As Head of School, Ms. Harris is in charge of all the operations of The Neighborhood School including the Golightly Residential Homes and the Afterschool Enrichment Program. Her training includes: Masters in Educational Leadership, Union University; Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction; Teacher Licensure at Rhodes College, and B.S. from Christian Brothers University in Psychology. In addition, she has been trained and equipped in making disciples through DownLine Ministries. Therefore, Ms. Harris has a local, national, and global impact on others to encourage Biblical standards of discipleship. Ms. Harris spent over 10 years in the public school system, as a teacher, assistant principal and professional development compliance coach. She has received additional urban education training through the Memphis Leadership Fellows Program at the University of Memphis.
“I believe that as staff collaborates on helping students to develop a Biblical worldview and as academic success is achieved, our future world will produce caring and productive citizens who are reflective of Christian principles.”
Meet Our Staff - The Heart of Our School
Each teacher and staff member of The Neighborhood School is here because they feel incredibly led to be a part of the ministry of the school. They appreciate the calling to impart Christ's love to each child in our care. They are much more than intellectual resources and academic leaders, they are personal and spiritual role models and mentors for each child. Traditionally, the parents' survey reveals each year that these one-on-one teacher-student relationships not only change the lives of those directly involved, but also impact and demonstrate Godliness to the students's and their families. They are committed to the mission and vision of the school, and voice that commitment in the declaration of the school each morning with the students, further contributing to the culture of accountability and collectivity.
Deanea Mercer -
Ms. Mercer joined TNS in 2011 in the role of Administrative Assistant. Every child who comes to the Head of School's office gets a big smile and a gentle voice. Ms. Mercer works as unto the Lord and has a love for all children and their families. Originally from Jackson, TN, Ms. Mercer is a lifelong learner who graduated from Lambuth University. She is a Certified Professional Secretary who has worked previously for higher education and non-profit insitutions. Ms. Mercher loves to read and travel, and recently graduated from the DownLine Institute Class of 2010-2011 where she learned about the ministry at TNS. Ms. Mercer is a member of Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church.
Emily Peden - Kindergarten
Our Kindergarten teacher, Miss Peden, came to TNS in 2011 after graduating from Union University with a B.S. in Education. She felt that God was calling her to work with inner city children. Originally from Decatur, Alabma, Miss Peden made the move to Memphis for the opportunity to work at The Neighborhood School. She was enticed by the School's unique model for Christian education. She enjoys the time she spends in the classroom and feels very blessed to be a part of the TNS family. Her desire is to go beyond helping all students to achieve academically, and help them develop a life-long love for learning. Her goal is glorify God by helping her students know, love, obey and exalt Jesus Christ.
Porshia Liphford - 2nd Grade
Ms. Liphford came to The Neighborhood School in 2009 after teaching at another school. She says the "this has been an awesome experience working with a God-filled faculty and loving students." A graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Ms. Liphford comes from a family filled with educators. Her mother has been an educator for over 30 years and encouraged Ms. Liphford to follow in her footsteps. Ms. Liphford hopes to inspire her students so that learning will not cease at the classroom door, and that the lessons they learn will make their lives fruitful and help them choose the right path wherever they go. Ms. Liphford tries different methods to fit the needs of each students. In addition to preparing lessons that challenge her students, she makes sure she keeps abreast of the latest educational findings so she help ensure the success of each child she encounters.
In her free time, Ms. Liphford enjoys reading, shopping, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Larketta Bedford - 4th Grade
Ms. Bedford uses all types of methods to engage her students to learn, including song, dance, rap, and drama. To her, every child is unique with talents and gifts that she strives to bring out. She says that every day in the classroom is a true joy and blessing from God. She has taught Early Childhood Experience for 17 years in Day Care, Head Start, Montessori and Day School. Additionally, she was a Volunteer Probation/Truant Officer and has 9 years of experience in the Memphis City School system as a teacher. She has her Certiificate in Biblical Studies from Crichton College and a B.S. in Elementary Education.
Alyssa Champion - Middle School Social Studies
Ms. Champion is the 7th Grade Homeroom teacher and Middle School Social Studies teacher. She earned her B.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Go Heels!" She recently graduated from the Martin Institute Residency which provided a year of quality professional development and mentoring for a group of talented individuals beginning their careers in education. As part of that experience, Ms. Champion taught at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis. Ms. Champsion loves to have fun while learning, and was attracted to TNS because it is a small, God-centered school that is focused on the students. In her spare time, Ms. Champion enjoys reading, crafts, photography, and watching movies.
Golightly Girls' Dormitory House Parent
Ms. Emanual has been with The Neighborhood School for nearly 15 years, including her role as house mother for the girls' dorm. She taught third grade at TNS for 11 years, and second grade for a year as well. Prior to coming to TNS, Ms. Emanuel received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Crichton College (now Victory University) and was a public school teacher for two years. You can often find Ms. Emanuel chauffering students to special events or to and from French Camp Academy, finishing up the cooking of the dinner meal for her girls or working with dorm volunteers.
Mrs. Lashaunda Johnson - Director of Student Services and Professional Development Coach
Mrs. Lashaunda Terry-
As an experienced, trained administrator in professional and curriculum development, she supports the Head of School in coaching the teaching and support staff to improve student achievement.
Her educational experiences includes:
As a teacher in elementary and middle school, Mrs.
She is the wife of Rev. Corey D.
Birgit Langenstein -
Academic Enhancement Class
Mrs. Langenstein is an educational specialist in reading/language arts and a certified science teacher focusing on literacy training. A native to
Delois Crutchfield- Pre-K
Mrs. Crutchfield loves being one of the first people God uses to introduce our youngest students to phonics, numbers, life skills and especially to Jesus Christ. Born on Tillman Street, she rejoices in her work in Binghampton as the Preschool teacher. Mrs. Crutchfield accepted Christ at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she completed an A.A. in early childhood development. She has spent the last 12 years as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, and prior to that she spent 10 years at Georgia Baptist Children's Home as a houseparent and foster parent along with her husband Travis. She and Travis are the parents of four children: an enlisted man, Jeremy; Tiffany, a college senior; Christina, a college junior, and recent TNS graduate Michah, who is now a high school freshman.
Doris Thornton - First Grade
Miss Doris is the only faculty member that has been with the school from almost the beginning - 1995. Her love for her children in her class is evident. She moved here to teach at the school from Hamilton, Ohio. Because of her, children transition into better students. Miss Thornton encourages parents to be more involved with their children’s homework and school activities. In addition to her work at the school, she also assists parents of our Sudanese children with English as a second language. As the parents learn English they are better able to assist their children with their school work. She is an avid reader and loves music and both of these interests are on display in her classroom. Like all of our staff, she thinks of her work at the school as her ministry. She has her B.S. in Elementary Education from Bryan College, Dayton, TN. Additionally, she is certified by the Association of Christian Schools International.
Tammala Phillips -- 3rd Grade
Ms. Phillips is originally from North Carrollton, MS, where she grew up in a family of educators. She now lives in Southaven, MS. An experienced teacher, she graduated from Alcorn State University with both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education. She is now taking post-graduate classes in education through Freed-Hardeman University. Ms. Phillips enjoys being with family, and volunteering at Brown Baptist Church. She says "The Neighborhood School is amazing. I had been watching the School for over two years, and was seeking to grow spiritually, so this is a perfect place for me."
Derrick Dunn - 5th Grade
Mr. Dunn serves as the 5th grade teacher. He holds a B.S. in Education from Clark Atlanta University and has been involved in education for 14 years. He came to TNS in 2011 and has been a teacher for 12 years. He enjoys guiding and molding young minds for a better and more promising future, and loves every minute in the classroom.
Mr. Travis Crutchfield -
Director of Spiritual Life and Middle School Math & Science
As an ordained minister, Mr. Crutchfield leads the spiritual development of the staff and students. He will also serve as the Director of the Boarding Program. He and his wife, Delois have partnered in ministry. They spent 10 years as house-parents for 52 children and their families at Georgia Baptist Children's Home and Family Ministries. His educational experiences includes University of Tennessee,Knoxville, TN, B.S. Social Work; Masters Studies at University of Georgia; Social Work, Athens, Georgia; Georgia Baptist College and Seminary; Senoia, Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina; Regents University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ed. Leadership. Mr. Crutchfield is a teacher at heart and has enjoyed teaching students in Grades 3 thru 12. He served as Chief Administrator at Fayette Christian School, Fayetteville, Georgia and at Clinton Christian School, Suitland, Maryland. According to Mr. Crutchfield, “I am most grateful for the souls that have been added to the Kingdom and for the young lives that are impacted by Jesus,” during his tenure in education. His chief priority since coming to know Christ is to make Him known to others.
Delois Daugherty - Middle School Language Arts
Ms. Daugherty is the Middle School Language Arts teacher and has been in Christian education for over 15 years. She will earn her MAT in Instruction and Curriculum from The University of Memphis in December 2012, and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Bethel College. Certified as an Educator by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), she believes that all children are a blessing and special in the sight of God. She is aware that all students do not learn in the same way and she uses differentiated strategies to promote higher order of thinking. Her students are encouraged to keep a clear mind and Ms. Daugherty reminds them that they all have the potential to be successful adults as long as they seek the Lord first and wait on Him to direct their paths.
Boys' Dormitory House Parent
Mr. Turner is a native Memphian and graduate of Southside High School. He served in the U.S. Army for six years, and has over 15 years of experience in Civil Engineering. A member of Middle Baptist Church in Whitehaven, Mr. Turner has coached and taught several youth groups, and always has his "Three Bs": Bible, Basketball, and Bowling Ball. He says kids are his joy, including his three daughters and the boys in the dorm.
P.O Box 11109 | 175 North Tillman Street | Memphis, TN | 38111
P (901) 323-4092 | F (901) 888-7952
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