About Us

Executive Director

Knox Shelton(kshelton [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Executive Director at Literacy Mid-South. After graduating from Hendrix College in Arkansas, Knox enthusiastically made his move to Memphis. Prior to joining Literacy Mid-South, he worked at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis as their Volunteer & Measurement Coordinator.  He has experience in engaging with his community and cultivating ways to get Memphians devoted to improving this city. He also enjoys spending his time digging through record crates, reading Latin, and rooting hard for the Grizzlies.

Training Services Manager

Vernetta Anderson(vanderson [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is Training Services Manager.  A member of our staff for seven years, Vernetta has been an integral part of the management and delivery of our adult learning program. She is a presenter on nonprofit and volunteer management, and is a member of the executive board for Friends of the Memphis Public Library. Her previous positions include volunteer manager for The Wonders Series and The Orpheum Theatre and adjunct instructor for Crichton College. Vernetta is a proud card-carrying alumnus of University of Memphis where she received her Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration. Vernetta is also a certified trainer for ProLiteracy.

Director of Development

Kaitlyn Barnhill(kbarnhill [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Director of Development for Literacy Mid-South. Kaitlyn grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she and her husband taught English and ate copious amounts of kimchi for two years. Dedicated to the work of serving the Memphis community, Kaitlyn has worked on development teams at Christian Brothers University and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, where she served as the Director of Individual Giving. Kaitlyn’s alternate identity is as a writer, and her debut novel, The Diminished, will be published in 2018 by HarlequinTEEN. 

Summer Learning Coordinator

jblount [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org">Johnny Blount is the Summer Learning Coordinator for Literacy Mid-South. A 2013 graduate of Christian Brothers University with a degree in Religion and Philosophy, Johnny's passion is Memphis. Developing programming focused on serving and affirming Memphis like CBU's September of Service, Brothers' Keepers, and serving as executive assistant for the CBU Honors Program, Johnny followed that passion to serve as Program Manager for Mayor A.C. Wharton's Colleges of Memphis after graduation. He is excited for this new opportunity--joining with Literacy Mid-South's efforts to highlight and develop Memphis and Memphians through the transformative experience of education.

Special Projects Coordinator

Lee Chase IV(lchase [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is Special Projects Coordinator for Literacy Mid-South.  He has been a volunteer tutor since 2012, and is also a freelance writer and filmmaker.  Before joining Literacy Mid-South, Lee was an Account Manager for Mimeo.com, an online printing company.  He also has experience writing and developing corporate training courses for adult learners.  Lee graduated from Christian Brothers University with a BA in English.  Lee is a certified ESL trainer by ProLiteracy and a graduate of Leadership Memphis' Fast Track program.  In his spare time, he is an avid reader, movie watcher, runner, and wrangler of his wild and crazy cat, Murphy. 

Adult Program Manager

Stacy Early(searly [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is Literacy Mid-South's Adult Program Manager.  Stacy previously worked in the marketing department at Whole Foods where she leveraged community partnerships with local nonprofits for the company's 5% Day fundraisers.   Stacy has also volunteered through Volunteer Mid-South as a volunteer coordinator for Sunny Meadows Safe Haven for Pets.  Stacy has also served on the marketing committee for the Memphis Farmer's Market and as Vice Chair of the board of Mid-South Spay and Neuter services.  Stacy has completed certificate courses in Community Organizing from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center and in Plant Based Nutrition from ECornell. She has her associates degree in graphic design and recently became a certified trainer by ProLiteracy and a certified English Forward Trainer by the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.

Director of Education

Elisabeth F. Lee is Director of Education for Literacy Mid-South.  A native Memphian, Elisabeth has worked as a classroom teacher and interventionist in independent, charter, and public schools in Memphis, New Orleans, and Florida serving at-risk urban populations and students with disabilities. Elisabeth has designed and implemented reading intervention programs and provided professional development for classroom teachers in language arts instruction. She has volunteered with a number of community organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Communities in Schools.   Elisabeth received her BA in Sociology from Loyola University and her MAT from Christian Brothers University.

Director of Collaborative Action

Sam Mattson(smattson [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Collaborative Action Manager for Literacy Mid-South. Sam is passionate about education and Memphis. He received his BA in History and Philosophy as well as a minor in African American Studies from Rhodes College in 2015. He previously worked as a program assistant for Leadership Memphis, specifically focusing on the collaborative action work of the Memphis Talent Dividend. Additionally he interned for Seeding Success working on the Post Secondary Access Collaborative Action Network.