Board of Directors

The board of directors believes in the empowering leverage that a good education can bring to the lives of the children living in urban Memphis. Their hearts have been broken by the conditions that have too long existed in our city. The Capstone Preparatory Schools are the result of many months of planning and hard work. Each board member has a long-standing interest in building the capacity of our youth through education. They are excited about the changes that education can make in the inner city.

  • Jay Harvill
  • Tom Marino
  • Jason Cook
  • Camela Echols
  • Monika Johnson
  • Elliot Perry
  • Scott Walker
  • Paul Edwards
  • Octavius Nickson

Jay Harvill

Chairman ·

At a core level, education provides the foundation upon which healthy societies are built. As our urban areas have continued to suffer, we can trace many of the symptoms back to a suffering educational system. Capstone does not believe we will solve all the problems with our approach, but I am convinced that our model can provide some critical solutions to these educational issues. I am involved with Capstone because I see education as one of the core needs of our community and one that can provide impact for generations to come. This network of schools is a part of the solution for healing this community and our city as we offer educational opportunity and hope to the students we serve.

Tom Marino

Vice Chairman ·

The greatest need in our city is in the area of education. Capstone gives any child in Memphis equal access to a quality education, and we will balance academic rigor and achievement with leadership development and service to others. What a school! What a mission! There is nothing that is more needed in our city.

Paul Edwards

Secretary ·

I believe too many promising students do not get the educational opportunity they deserve and I am excited to know that Capstone is providing this to so many families. Capstone is bringing a quality education to the residents of Binghampton and Frayser and I believe this benefits not only the family but the entire community. I am honored to be a part of this important work.

Jason Cook

Jason was born and raised in Birmingham, AL before moving to Suwanee, GA where he would finish high school. Upon graduation, Jason signed a football scholarship at The University of Mississippi where he would be a four year starter and four year letter winner at fullback. Though raised in a home that taught him to love and fear God, it was not until his sophomore year at Ole Miss when he began to walk faithfully with Jesus. In 2009, Jason enjoyed a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens through the pre-season before embracing the call to ministry.

Since college, Jason has been actively involved in traveling the country preaching God’s word in demographically diverse environments. He also helped to plant churches, including his pivotal role in helping to build Iron City Church (Birmingham, AL). It was here that Jason faithfully led, taught, and shepherded a young congregation to embrace the idea of multi-ethnic ministry in one of America’s most segregated cities.

Jason married Courtney in 2013 and have two delightful children: Charlie and Cager. The Cooks live and breath discipleship, hospitality, and service and look to infuse those life pillars in Memphis.

Camela Echols

Camela is an accomplished professional with more than 14 years of experience in nonprofit work and more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit management. She has developed diverse programs focusing on community empowerment, social services, academic enrichment, and mentoring. As the director of Refugee Empowerment Program, she is responsible for giving oversight of daily operations and for managing the REP staff, a program base of more than 400 participants, and a volunteer base of more than 200 individuals.

Refugee Empowerment Program is located in the heart of Binghampton, serving families in this community each day. Aside from her extensive experience, Cam has undergone considerable professional development and training through the three-year Urban Youth Initiative course, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers conferences, and the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative. A strategic, compassionate leader with proven ability to create new organizations, spearhead change, and conceptualize and execute innovative, sustainable initiatives, Cam is focused on community development and empowerment.

Monika Johnson

Monika Johnson has over 19 years of experience practicing law. Johnson started her career as a litigation attorney at a boutique insurance defense law firm but was soon recruited to serve as Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Memphis.

Johnson represented the City of Memphis in a variety of civil, personal injury and employment matters. Her successes resulted in Johnson accepting a position to lead Memphis City Schools’ EEO/Equity & Contract Compliance Office. Johnson’s stellar performance advanced her to a newly created department as Director of Contract Services. There, Johnson developed and implemented strategic plans and policies based on a solid understanding of applicable laws. By 2011, Johnson was named Chief Ethics Officer for the City of Memphis.

As a merit to Johnson’s effective management of all administrative functions to the Board of Ethics, the solid advice, and counsel she provided to the Board of Ethics, Johnson was offered and accepted an appointment by Mayor Mark Luttrell Jr. to serve the Shelby County Government.

Johnson has a political spirit that supports the positive relations that exist between the College, elected officials, and the region. She considers herself fortunate to be a part of the Southwest family!

Octavius Nickson

Elliot Perry

Elliot is a graduate of Treadwell High School and Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). He played basketball in high school and won two gold medals in gymnastics at the Junior Olympics. Perry, a four-year basketball standout, was one of the finest guards to ever play for his hometown Tigers and led his team to four straight postseason NCAA tournaments and 76 wins over his career. Perry's jersey number 34 is retired and hangs in the FedEx Forum. Before being selected with the 10th pick of the second round (37th overall) by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1991 NBA Draft, Perry received a bachelor's degree in marketing.

Elliot played for a decade in the NBA as a point guard, ending his career in the 2001-02 season with his hometown Memphis Grizzlies. Perry is also known as "Socks" because he wore his socks to his knees when he played during his NBA career. He formed the SOCKS Fund (Supporting Our Community and Kids) to provide financial support to those organizations that are making a difference in the Memphis area as it relates to kids.

After retirement, Elliot served as a player representative with the NBA Players Association. On October 8, 2005, he began a new chapter in his life when he joined the Memphis Grizzlies ownership team. Perry also joined the Grizzlies radio broadcasting team as a commentator in the 2006-2007 season. Perry lives in Germantown with his wife, Kimberly, and their daughter Morgan. He enjoys movies, music, bowling, and golf. Perry is a very active board member of the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, which provides mentorship opportunities for Memphis youth. He also serves on several other boards including Teach For America, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools, etc. Perry is also an avid collector of contemporary African-American artwork. He began his extensive art collection in 1996. He is passionate about the artwork he buys and the artists he supports. He desires to provide a visible platform through the eyes of some of today's young artists and challenges himself and others in how they think about history, culture and art.

Scott Walker