David Jernigan is the Executive Director for KIPP Metro Atlanta, overseeing the network of five KIPP schools in metro Atlanta.  Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director, he was the Founding Principal of KIPP WAYS (West Atlanta Young Scholars) Academy from 2003 to 2008. Under his leadership, KIPP WAYS Academy was consistently one of Atlanta’s highest performing middle schools, and in 2008 it was named the #1 “No Excuses School” in Georgia by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. David came to Atlanta in 2000 through the Teach For America program, where he taught at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in the West End of Atlanta. 

David is a Morehead Scholar and graduate of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and is the recipient of the Business School’s 2003 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. In 2011, David was also honored with the University’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. He received his teaching certification through Georgia State University and his Masters in Educational Administration from National Louis University in Chicago.  In 2006, David was nominated and selected for LEAD Atlanta, a program for emerging young leaders in the metro Atlanta area.  In 2007, he was honored with one of 10 Outstanding Atlanta awards.  David is also the recipient of the 2011 Dr. Joseph Draper Service Award from the Atlanta Metro Chapter of the Morehouse College National Alumni Association. In the same year, David was selected by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of Atlanta’s rising community leaders with its annual “40 Under 40” award.

David was appointed in 2008 to the State Charter Advisory Committee for Georgia, and he is also a member of the Georgia Charter Schools Association Advocacy Committee and serves on the Teach For America Atlanta Alumni Board of Directors.  He is passionate about improving the educational opportunities for students in Atlanta and looks forward to broadening the scope of KIPP’s impact in Atlanta by helping to open additional KIPP schools in the near future.