Hertayshia Thomas is a 2023-2024 Teach Plus Mississippi Policy Fellow. She is a 3rd grade ELA teacher, leadership team member, and teacher mentor at Kirkpatrick Health and Medical Science Magnet School in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Hertayshia previously taught grades 3-4 ELA and served as a mentor teacher for a first-year teacher. She is a member of her school’s leadership team. Hertayshia was named Clarksdale Municipal School District’s Teacher Spotlight for Increasing Student Growth as well as Kirkpatrick Health and Medical Science Magnet School’s Teacher of the Year. Hertayshia serves as a teacher mentor for RISE, Inc. to help teachers on their paths to being certified and to mentor teachers to be effective classroom leaders. She earned an AA in elementary education from Coahoma Community College, a BS in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in elementary education from Delta State University, an MA in teaching from Delta State University, and is currently pursuing an EdS in Administration and Supervision from Delta State University.