Teach For America
LaKeisha Wells-Palmer comes to the role of Executive Director of Teach For America regions in Florida with over 20 years of experience in education, serving as a champion for principals, teachers, and students. She has spent the last ten years at Teach For America, serving as the Executive Director of Jacksonville and Central Florida following five years leading Jacksonville’s programmatic efforts.
Originally from Sumter, South Carolina, Lakeisha is a proud graduate of Shaw University, where she double majored in Mathematics and Secondary Math Education. She taught high school math for seven years in North Carolina and Maryland before being recruited to DC Public Schools under Michelle Rhee’s leadership.
LaKeisha served as a school turnaround instructional specialist for mathematics and science, assistant principal and principal at John P. Sousa Middle School in Washington D.C.. While at Sousa Middle School, LaKeisha led a staff comprised of nearly 50% TFA corps members and alumni. This experience ultimately inspired her to join Teach For America’s staff. Sousa Middle School’s turnaround was chronicled in the documentary Waiting for Superman.
In addition to her Bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and secondary education, Lakeisha holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and School Administration from East Carolina University.
Lakeisha currently lives in Miami-Dade with her 16-year-old son, Isaiah, 11-year-old son, Taylor, 5-year-old son, Liam, and husband, Donte. A respected leader in her community and across Florida, LaKeisha is appointed to three Florida Department of Education committees by the state’s Deputy Chancellor of Education.
Her personal values are centered on family, friendship, partnership, achievement, loyalty, and community, and she strives to keep these values present in all aspects of her life both professionally and personally. LaKeisha cares deeply about all students and hopes the students across Florida see teachers, school leaders, and community leaders as their sense of possibility and know that they stand as a united front working to open up pathways of opportunity for them, as many before have done.