Students Always First

Incumbents Sonya Mays, Misha Stallworth, and Iris Taylor make up the School Achievement Slate. 

These three women are part of the inaugural DPSCD school board who were locally elected following decades of Emergency Management in November 2016. From ballot of 63 candidates that year, voters selected 7 including these 3.

Each candidate has made collective and individual contributions to DPSCD that yielded positive outcomes.  As a team, the new, locally elected Board identified change-agent and education reformer, Dr. Nikolai Vitti to lead the district as superintendent. They quickly addressed imminent school closures by establishing and implementing a three-year strategic plan (with the Michigan Department of Education) to turnaround partnership schools; and they worked to approve and shepherd a consistently balanced budget to begin exiting from financial state oversight. In addition, they have established district policies that support critical systems and processes. 

The School Achievement Slate is committed to continuing to prioritize the needs of students and working to ensure all students, in every classroom, every day have access to a high quality public education.

Meet the Slate


Sonya Mays, Esq.

Forward Thinking Finances

Sonya Mays is a proud graduate of Detroit Renaissance High School and has been Treasurer of the Board of Education since 2016. She is an experienced finance and real estate professional and currently leads one of Detroit’s most prominent community housing and real estate development nonprofits. Her nonprofit has invested over $25 million in Detroit neighborhoods and was recently highlighted on CBS 60 Minutes. Sonya has overseen the DPSCD transition away from state financial oversight and has pushed for a number of reforms that ensure the District uses its money in the best way possible to support our students and teachers.


Her contributions have included:

  • Establishing fiscal policies that led to three consecutive balanced budgets and the creation of a “rainy day” fund, both of which have helped the District avoid layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Overseeing the District contract approval process, leading to more efficient spending and accountability.

  • Promoting the alignment of student achievement and wellbeing with the annual budgeting process.

Learn More Here

Misha Stallworth, M.S.W.

Community Focused Policy

Misha Stallworth is the youngest ever elected member to the Detroit School Board.  She has spent her career connecting people to the services they need.  After attending the University of Chicago and completing a service year in Los Angeles Unified School District, she returned to Detroit to serve in her home community.  Misha has brought her youth development and community organizing expertise to her role as Chair of the Board's Policy Committee and facilitated progressive policy and programming that reflect the needs of Detroit's public school community.

Her contributions have included:

  • Reforming the Student Code of Conduct to reduce suspensions and expulsions and include restorative practice

  • Developing policy that establishes DPSCD as a Sanctuary District  protecting immigrant students and families in schools

  • Establishing student representative roles on the Detroit Board of Education


Learn More at

Transformative Leadership

After a 40-year career in the DMC health system--growing from patient care to CEO of Detroit Receiving Hospital--Dr. Iris Taylor and launched her 2016 campaign to serve Detroit's Schools.  Her experience leading large complex organizations has, as Board Chair, shepherded the board's work over the last four years helping to develop partners in business and government; work strategically, and launch the reform of the district. 


Her contributions have included:

  • Lead development of partnership schools plan, preventing state closure of more than 20 schools

  • Guided strategic planning, which lead to DPSCD's academic growth outpacing the state average

  • Established infrastructure and efficient processes for district leadership


Learn More at

iris at the mic.jpg

The Team At Work

Vote the Achievement Slate for School Board!

Vote Sonya Mays, Misha Stallworth & Iris Taylor!