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Director, Chairman


Carla Kirkland is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Kirkland Group. With more than 30 years of service in the education field, she provides professional development, technical assistance and standardized test preparation to school districts nationwide. A champion for comprehensive student support, Mrs. Kirkland holds memberships and is actively involved in both educational and service groups like the Education Industry Association, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Inc. As a lifelong educator, she has served as a teacher, curriculum specialist, and mentor. Mrs. Kirkland is the co-author of Praxis Core for Dummies, 1001 Praxis Core Questions for Dummies and Praxis Elementary Education for Dummies. She facilitates mathematics workshops around the country and resides in Mississippi with her husband.


​Director, Secretary​ & Treasurer

Trecina Green.jpg

Trecina Green currently serves as the vice-president of special projects for The Kirkland Group. She brings a wealth of expertise from her 14-year tenure at the Mississippi Department of Education. While at the MDE, Dr. Green held many positions including mathematics specialist, division director, bureau director in the Office of Curriculum and Instruction, associate superintendent in the Office of Instructional Enhancement and Executive Director in the Office of Professional Development. She has also provided oversight of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and the Mississippi School for the Arts. At The Kirkland Group, Dr. Green provides support to districts in professional development, curriculum, instruction and assessments administered through the Kirkland Online Assessment Tool.



Chan Cleveland.jpg

Chan Cleveland is the executive vice president of The Kirkland Group. With more than 18 years of experience in education, he has taught elementary, middle and high school English. He has served in several capacities within the Mississippi Department of Education. Cleveland holds memberships in the National Council of Teachers of English, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Education Technology Industry Network. Cleveland has created and revised curriculum documents for school districts and educational organizations across the Southern region. He is the co-author of Praxis Core for Dummies, Praxis Elementary Education for Dummies and 1001 Praxis Core Practice Questions for Dummies. Cleveland assists students and teachers in attaining positive results on the Praxis, ACT and subject area exams. He resides in Mississippi with his wife and children.




Karla McCullough currently serves as the executive director of the Juanita Sims Doty Foundation where she is the executor of its goals and objectives. In that role, she provides direction and leadership applicable to the realization of the organization's philosophy. Dr. McCullough earned her bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University in Psychology, a master’s in public administration from Auburn University, and her doctorate’s in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. She is the project director of the Ambassadors of The Evers Academy for African American Males, a mentoring program for young males of color. She serves as the co-project director for both Empowering Scholars through Education and Engagement and Mentorship Program for girls. She also serves as the principal consultant for the Tri-K Group, a small business consulting firm. The Jackson, MS native is most proud of being a mother to her wonderful son, Matthew.



​Director​ & Vice Chairman


Leroy Stokes is a Carthage, MS native and graduate of Alcorn State University. After graduating from Alcorn with a degree in agriculture education, Stokes started his career in the natural resources conservation services sector with the United States Department of Agriculture. He amassed 40-years with the agency and held countless roles including area supervisor, state water resources planning staff leader, strategic planner and acting State Conservationist and Liaison to the Western Governs Association for USDA programs. Stokes is a member and deacon at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church where he serves on the church personnel ministry board, is co-director of the Christian Education Ministry, chair of the Benevolence Ministry and Prison Ministry and Assistant Sunday School teacher. He is also a member of the Alcorn State University Alumni Agriculture Hall of Fame Committee, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He and his wife of 42 years have two children and three grandchildren.


The Cleveland Empowerment Foundation's mission is to take a holistic approach to developing well-rounded individuals by providing  educational training,  professional development, job-training, counseling, physical fitness/diet and nutritional training, and leadership and life skills training to low income at-risk individuals and groups of the State of Mississippi that  better prepare them for life and a global society.

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