Our Team

This is the MELA core team, but it takes a village.

Dr. Angela Bass

Executive Director

Angela executes the vision of the board, establishes the organization’s strategic plan, and leads the staff to meet goals aligned to MELA’s mission.

Biz Harris

Deputy Director

Biz oversees organizational operations and guides the organization’s communication strategies.

Cheryl Swoopes

TELA Community Engagement Director

Cheryl fosters collaboration between leaders and community members in Tallahatchie county to catalyze people to act on behalf of young children and families.

Leigh Sargent

Early Learning Collaborative Director

Leigh leads the Early Learning Collaborative Council, ensuring collaboration among all participating partners. In addition, Leigh works to ensure that all Early Learning Collaborative grant requirements are adhered to.

Amy Donaldson

TELA Professional Development Director

Amy supports all Prek teachers in Tallahatchie County involved in the Early Learning Collaborative through individualized coaching, training sessions, and providing resources aligned to the preK curriculum.

April May

Coalitions and Programs Director

April supports MELA’s role as a backbone organization in coalition building. This includes
overseeing the incentive programs and recruiting coalition members, working strategically to grow the number of members who engage with us,
and ensuring the effective facilitation of coalition meetings and working groups.