TFA Graduate Fellows Program

Cohort 3

Hillary Sapanski

Master of Community Development

Jackson, MS


Fun Fact: In Hillary’s “spare” time (which isn’t much), she trains to run in half and full marathons.


Hillary was born and raised in Connecticut. She attended Colby College and Waterville, Maine, majoring in Global Studies and minoring in Education. Hillary came down to Mississippi in June 2013 as Teach for America Corps member and has called Mississippi her home ever since. Hillary worked in Holmes County, teaching 4th, 3rd and 1st grade. While teaching, she received her Masters in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University. Hillary currently works for the Mississippi Department of Education as a literacy coach, working with K-3 teachers across the state on implementing evidence-based practices in reading instruction. She is very passionate about children and supporting her teachers.

Ever since teaching and working in Mississippi, Hillary has been interested in improving parent engagement in schools, fighting for social justice and empowering rural communities to make sustainable change through education. Hillary’s project is a culturally relevant parent curriculum that seeks to address parents’ most pressing needs that in turn will improve student achievement and life in the community. The curriculum will address strategies to help students at home academically and emotionally, as well as fostering healthy habits. It will work with already existing organizations and put on interactive events and engaging workshops. The program will also seek to reach ALL parents, prioritizing the participation of parents of students who struggle in school academically and/or behaviorally. It takes a village to raise children, and community is one of Mississippi’s greatest assets. Hillary hopes to create a positive narrative around parent and school partnerships.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Harrison Wood