American Federation for Children – Tennessee announces new state director

NASHVILLE – American Federation for Children-Tennessee today welcomes a new state director, John Patton, to oversee AFC’s policy, advocacy, political, and grassroots efforts across the Volunteer State. Shaka Mitchell, AFC-TN’s previous state director, now serves as the Director of State Strategy and Advocacy for American Federation for Children.

“I am honored to be working with AFC-TN, an important voice for all students in our state,” said Patton. “I’m excited to work with our partners and supporters across the state to advocate for families and students, ensuring they have access to the education that best fits their unique needs.”

Patton has extensive experience in the world of education, having begun his career teaching and coaching high school in the St. Louis area before earning a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary and spending six years working in higher education administration. He is also a founding board member of King’s Academy, an independent Christian school in the Nashville area launching later this year.

“John brings a wealth of knowledge to AFC-TN from his previous roles in both K-12 and higher education,” said Mitchell. “This is a crucial time for school choice in Tennessee, and he will be a passionate voice and an integral part of shaping policies that benefit families and students in our state.”

In addition to his work in education, John gained valuable operational experience in business consulting and private equity roles and added an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

John is a native of the Nashville area, having been educated in a mixture of public, private, and homeschool settings. John and his wife Annie and their four children make their home in Nashville.