Michelle McKissack

'Race to Watch' Memphis Mayoral Race

Portrait of'Race to Watch' Memphis Mayoral Race

Position Sought

Mayor of Memphis, TN

Current Position

School Board Commissioner, Memphis-Shelby County Schools

Date of General Election

October 5, 2023


Michelle McKissack is running for mayor to help Memphis Believe Bigger. She is passionate about her city, public education, and honest leadership. She was elected in 2018 as a Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) School Board Commissioner for District 1, which represents downtown Memphis, Midtown, and portions of Frayser, North and South Memphis, and served as Chairwoman of the Board in 2021-2022.

Michelle McKissack is also an Emmy Award-winning journalist. She worked for 20 years in Memphis as a news anchor and reporter at ABC 24, News Channel 3. Michelle has also worked as a reporter in Washington, D. C., and Chicago, covering events such as the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention nominating Barack Obama.

Born and raised in Memphis, Michelle attended Campus School, and White Station Middle and High School, graduating in 1987. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. Michelle married her college sweetheart, John P. McKissack, and they have four children. Her only daughter and youngest child, Bliss, just completed fifth grade at Downtown Elementary, the neighborhood school where all of her children attended. Like Michelle, her sons John, Everett, and Peter are all graduates of White Station High School.

Michelle is actively engaged in the Memphis community serving on several boards over the years including currently serving on the MATA Board, the Memphis River Parks Board, and a trustee with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Michelle also serves at the state level as the Delta Regional Director of the Tennessee School Board Association and formerly at the national level with the National School Board Association as the Secretary of the Council of Urban Boards of Education.