Above: AAUW Murfreesboro Event Committee member Lee Anne Carmack presents Dr. Washington with the 2018 Tempest Award at the Equali-TEA.
Phyllis Washington is the winner of the 2018 Tempest Award, presented by AAUW Murfreesboro and the Middle Tennessee Fund for Women & Girls.
The Tempest Award is given annually to honor an individual in Middle Tennessee who has acted to address the systemic barriers to equity for women and girls and thereby has contributed to the mission of AAUW.
A long-time educator, Washington was honored at the second annual Equali-TEA, held Tuesday, April 10 on MTSU campus, for her dedication throughout her career to students, first at MTSU where her work enabled her to help thousands of African-American students and then for Rutherford County Schools.
Washington's love for education began with her parents, Leonard and Evelyn Hickerson, in her hometown of Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Washington began her 40-year teaching career at Murfreesboro's Central Middle School where she taught eighth-grade English for six years. From there she moved on to work as the director of Minority Affairs at MTSU for six years, and finally as the coordinator of Secondary Instruction for Rutherford County Schools where for 28 years supervising all the high schools in Rutherford County. Washington retired in June 2015.
Washington also served on the boards of several service organizations, including the Salvation Army, Primary Care Clinic, and the Calvary Banking Community Board. She is a member of and busy volunteer at Murfreesboro’s First Baptist Church. She has also volunteered her time in service of her alma mater and adopted hometown. She has volunteered with MTSU’s National Alumni Association, the MTSU Community Engagement Committee and the MTSU Foundation Board of Trustees. She also holds the office of secretary on the Murfreesboro Senior Citizen Board of Directors; sat on the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation board and was the 2017-2018 president-elect of Rutherford County Retired Teachers Association. She is a charter member of the MTSU chapter and the Murfreesboro Graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Washington has been honored for her lifetime of service with several awards including the Jerry Anderson Humanitarian Award, the MTSU Unsung Hero Award and was a 2015 Athena Award Nominee.
Washington is a graduate of MTSU with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English. She received a doctorate of education and administration from Tennessee State University.
Washington is married to former Murfreesboro Vice Mayor Ron Washington. The Washingtons have two children, Marques and Karmel.