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    Three new Memphis charter schools approved

    Michael Sheffield

    Three Memphis area operators have been approved to open three new charter schools in fall 2014.

    The schools will be Martin Luther King Prep High, which will open in Frayser in 2014, and be operated by Bobby White, previously an assistant principal at Vance Middle School and principal of Westside Middle School; Memphis Rise Academy, which hasn’t determined a location, but will be operated by Jack Vuylsteke, who has worked in the St. Louis Public School System, and has worked with Teach for America, and an elementary school in that will be opened by Stephen Ajani, who has worked with KIPP Academy schools in New York City. the three schools will serve around 900 students in the Memphis area.

    White, Vuylsteke and Ajani are part of the Tennessee Charter School Incubator’s Education Entrepreneurs Fellowship program. The fellowship program was created by a partnership between the Incubator and the Walton Family Foundation, which invested $1 million to launch the program in March.

    “With these charter approvals, the Incubator continues to expand its impact for Tennessee families by developing and supporting highly-effective school founders,” Greg Thompson, CEO of the Incubator, said in a statement. “We celebrate these approvals alongside the families of Memphis, who will undoubtedly benefit from the schools that our fellows will open for years to come. The Incubator is proud to develop and support talented school founders who are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of Tennessee students.”

    Fellows from the Incubator program currently operate charter schools in Memphis and Nashville, and will open another three this fall.