The Leap Frog Program is operated daily by one staff member with strategic oversight from an advisory board. The board is composed of volunteer community members who serve three-year terms. Board members meet monthly, August through May.

Staff


Whitney Sweeney

Whitney Sweeney joined the Leap Frog Program in August 2021. Whitney is responsible for the management and general functions of the program as a whole. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Whitney lives in Oxford with her husband, Tyler, and their dog, Milly.

Email: leapfrogdirector@gmail.com

Board of Directors


The advisory board meets monthly during the academic school year.

Natasha Bankhead, Board President

Natasha is a native of the UK who has now lived in Oxford for 20 years. She originally came here to work on stream restoration research with the USDA-ARS, and now runs a local, family-owned real estate business with her husband, Jordan. She loves spending time with her two children, teaching PiYo, and playing music. She is passionate about literacy and Leap Frog’s mission to help those 1st-3rd graders who are slipping behind. About the program she says, “I love how Leap Frog’s one-on-one tutoring approach and enrichment program not only teaches literacy skills, it also develops a trust with their mentor and an increased confidence that these kids can take into every other part of their lives.”

Board member since 2018

Liz Morris, Board Treasurer

Liz brings a diverse range of knowledge to the Leap Frog Program. After moving back south to Little Rock, AR with her husband, she became the Events and Marketing Coordinator for Camp Aldersgate, a local non-profit giving children with special needs. After her firstborn son, Walt passed away at 9months young due to complications from open-heart surgery, Liz and her husband, Trey, started Warriors For Walt, a charitable fund. In 2018, Liz, her husband, and daughter Mae Louise moved to Oxford, MS. She is energized to help enhance the Leap Frog Program with her skills and experiences from her past careers and personal passions. 

Board member since 2020

Lesley Miller, Board Secretary

Lesley Miller and her husband, Graham, met at Ole Miss and were lucky enough to move back to Oxford in 2017. She was a tutor for Leap Frog in college and the program has held a special place in her heart ever since. Currently, an attorney with the United States District Court Clerk’s Office, Lesley is honored to serve on the board.

Board member since 2018

Rebecca Jolly

Rebecca is General Counsel for Green Square Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment adviser in Memphis, Tennessee.  She is a summa cum laude graduate of Mississippi College and a cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law.  Rebecca is married to Rob Jolly, and they live in Oxford with their two sons, Winston and Mac. They are members of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. 

Board member since 2020

Karen Yelverton, Board Member

Karen made her way from Collierville, TN to Oxford in 1994. Athletics were a major part of her life playing Volleyball for Ole Miss and then moving into college athletics development with the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation after grad school. The relationships formed while working for the University for over a decade and her community involvement have helped to make her a great member of the Leap Frog board. Karen is married to Ed, and they have one incredible son, Jack. 

Board member since 2020

Kayla McIntyre, Board Member

Kayla is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education as well as her masters in curriculum instruction from the University of Mississippi. She currently teaches kindergarten at Bramlett Elementary School and is passionate about education. She enjoys cooking, running, and spending time visiting her family back home at the beach,

Board member since 2020

Hunter Taylor, Board Member

Dr. Hunter A. Taylor is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education and an Affiliated Faculty Member in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi (UM). He is also the Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence for the Oxford School District. In these roles, he teaches and advises administrators, teachers, coaches, and policymakers from across the state. Before joining the UM faculty, he spent 10 years as a men’s basketball coach and two years as a U.S. Senate staffer. Taylor resides in Oxford, MS, with his wife, Brittany, and their three sons—Yates, Simms, & Knox. 

Board member since 2021

Barbara Lowe, Board Member

Barbara is a Mississippi native who left and came back to earn her Ph.D. In English at The University of Mississippi. She recently retired from the Oxford School District where she taught English, Competitive Debate,  Debate I-IV, and Oral Communications at Oxford High School (2004-2020). Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of The Leap Frog Program (1998-2004). She is thrilled to be able to volunteer her services to a program in which she has passionately believed since it started at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in 1990.

Board member since 2021