The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) has elected three new members to the board of directors: Eddie Carlisle, Dr. Michael Cormack, and Dr. Regina Young Hyatt. These incoming leaders are preceded by retiring board member Stan Pratt who served as a board member for 14 years, alongside founders Jack Woodward and Herman Hines. WHEF recently recognized Pratt as Director Emeritus in recognition of his leadership and service.
“Our mission of increasing levels of postsecondary attainment among all Mississippians has never been more relevant or more important,” said WHEF President and CEO Jim McHale. “I am truly grateful to Michael, Eddie, and Regina for joining in our efforts. Together, they bring a tremendous amount of expertise, experience, passion, and knowledge that will provide guidance to WHEF as we continue our work.”
In addition to electing new board members, current board member John Hill, WealthPartners Founder and Managing Partner, has been elected to serve as Board Chair, replacing retired Attorney (Jones Walker, LLP) David Martin who had served as Board Chair since 2015. Board Member Nathan Slater, CSPIRE Vice President of Government and Educational Sales, will serve as Board Vice Chair.
Dr. Michael Cormack is Deputy Superintendent for the Jackson Public School (JPS) District. In this role, Dr. Cormack oversees the implementation of the district’s strategic plan. He directs and oversees the academic programs of the district to provide high-quality instruction, curriculum, and assessment for all students. Prior to joining JPS, Dr. Cormack served as Chief Executive Officer of the Barksdale Reading Institute, a statewide organization dedicated to improving early literacy through teacher development.
Dr. Cormack served as Principal of Quitman County Elementary School, where he raised student achievement from “at risk of failing” to “successful.” His transformative work was profiled in the New York Times bestselling memoir Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant.
He completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University. He was selected as a Fellow of the America Achieves Program, and served on the boards of the Mississippi Children’s Museum and Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy.
Eddie Carlisle serves as Senior Advisor, Principal, and Chief Compliance Officer at Medley Brown Financial Advisors. He holds a BSBA in Accounting with special distinction from Mississippi College, a Master of Laws in taxation from the University of Florida, and a JD From Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining Medley Brown, he was in private law practice with the firms of Watkins & Eager, PLLC; and Daniel Coker Horton & Bell, PA.
Carlisle is an Eagle Scout and now serves as an adult leader for Scout Troop 164 in Madison. He is a past board member of Hope Hollow Ministries, the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society, and the Mississippi Corporate Counsel Association.
Dr. Regina Young Hyatt was named the first female Vice President for Student Affairs at Mississippi State University (MSU). In her role, she provides leadership and vision for the Division of Student Affairs, and strategic planning and programming to support student success outcomes and enrollment outcomes. She oversees areas including the Office of the Dean of Students, health services, assessment and testing services, dining, housing, recreational sports, the MSU bookstore, and the Student Honor Code Office.
Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Young Hyatt served as Dean of Students at the University of Alabama, Huntsville; Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Life at the University of South Florida; and as Associate and Assistant Director of Student Activities at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
Her professional involvement has included serving as chairperson of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Campus Activities. She has also held leadership positions with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Her doctoral work was completed at the University of South Florida in Higher Education Administration.