Staff

Daphanie Swift

Daphanie Swift

Early Childhood Director

Daphanie Swift currently serves as the Early Childhood Director for the Shelby County Early Childhood Education Plan (SCECEP) for PeopleFirst Partnership.  She is working with over 30 stakeholders to ensure that children and families in Shelby County receive the aligned, high-quality support they need from birth.  Mrs. Swift is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a BS in Elementary Education and received a Masters in Education Leadership from the University of Mississippi.  Her education experience spans over 20 years as a Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher, TCAP Coach, Instructional Facilitator, Assistant Principal, Principal and Instructional Advisor for Pre-K.  Daphanie believes that students will be Kindergarten Ready when they receive high quality vocabulary exposure and interactions from birth.

dswift@peoplefirstpartnership.org

Garrett Guynes

Communication Manager

Garrett received his B.A. in Public Relations from Mississippi State University in 2012. Following graduation, Garrett worked as a Regional Marketing Manager for Associated Architectural Products in Brandon, Ms. After two years, Garrett made his way to Memphis to assume a role as Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis and Shelby County. It was with EDGE that Garrett developed a passion for the City of Memphis and its people. Garrett is excited to join the Seeding Success team as the Communication Manager. The son and now husband of a teacher, he looks forward to helping improve the education quality for all students throughout Shelby County.

gguynes@peoplefirstpartnership.org

Benecia Tuthill

Benecia Tuthill

TLE and SCECEP Project Manager

Benecia Tuthill’s 25-year career in education has taken many paths, but her passion for promoting college and career readiness for all students has consistently been a major focus. Benecia has taught history and government to high school juniors, worked with educators and military families in Department of Defense schools around the world, administered a $176 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education for the development of K-12 assessments aligned to college and career ready standards, and led the development of Pre-K – 12 assessments in the private sector. She is deeply committed to furthering quality education in Shelby County by collaborating with Shelby County Schools, the Achievement School District and community leaders to implement Destination 2025. To that end, she provides day-to-day management for the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Advisory Board and the Shelby County Early Childhood Education Plan (SCECEP).

btuthill@peoplefirstpartnership.org

LaDora Watkins

LaDora Watkins

Administrative Assistant

LaDora received a BA in Psychology from the University of Memphis. Her passion to serve led her to work with children and families as a counselor at Youth Villages. In 2003, LaDora joined PepsiCo and worked at Frito Lay, Inc. LaDora’s employment history at Frito Lay provided experience in Operations and Sales Divisions. She developed a greater love and appreciation for the city of Memphis after becoming an alumna of the Nexus Class of 2011. LaDora believes that her transition to PeopleFirst Partnership is right in line with her life-long purpose of service. As a native Memphian, LaDora is ecstatic to be working behind the scenes to encourage educational success for the citizens of her hometown.

lwatkins@peoplefirstpartnership.org