Give a round of applause to this year's winner and runner up in the Kathryn C. Mitchell Spelling Bee.
The Bee was held last week and Jeremy G. of DuPont Hadley Middle School came out on top. Christine L. from Meigs Middle Magnet followed closely behind as runner-up.
As if graduating from high school wasn't enough of an honor, some Metro students could be on their way to graduating as Presidential Scholars!
Five high school seniors in our district have been chosen by the U.S. Department of Education as Presidential Scholar Candidates, meaning they will go through a rigorous national application process. They are among 3,000 candidates in the nation, a number that will shrink to 560 semifinalists and ultimately to 141 Presidential Scholars.
Our candidates are:
They were chosen for outstanding academic achievement, particularly for scoring highly on the ACT or SAT.
We are so proud of them, and you can bet we'll be tracking their progress. Check back for updates!
Mark North, Sports Fan & President of
The Fans, Inc.
MNPS: The First Choice for Outstanding Sportsmanship
Want to meet students who are a lot smarter than you and I? Then meet these semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.
Four students from Hume-Fogg Magnet High and three from Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High won the distinction for their work done through the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt.
Read more about the award.
Apply for the School for Science & Math at Vanderbilt
Cover courtesy of The Nashville Scene and photographer Michael W. Bunch
What a way to end 2012.
Two teachers in Metro Schools have been named Nashvillians of the Year by the Nashville Scene. Adam Taylor of Overton High School and Christina McDonald of Nashville Prep Charter School represent the teachers who "give Nashville's schoolchildren, no matter what their background, a fighting chance to reach their brightest future."
In a lengthy and detailed article, reporter Steven Hale lays out the bare - and sometimes forgotten - fact in our city's current debate over education: whether charter school or district school, great teachers are at the center of great education.
It's a great piece, and I strongly recommend you take a few moments to read the full article so you can see how teachers like Christina and Adam can bring the focus of the education discussion back where it belongs.
Cover courtesy of The Nashville Scene and photographer Michael W. Bunch
Cheryl Mayes, chair of Metro Nashville Board of Education, will take her passion for education and service statewide. Mayes was recently named an At-Large member of the Tennessee School Board Association. She will serve throughout 2013. Congrats!
Linda Edwards, kindergarten teacher at Julia Green Elementary, is this week’s News 2 Educator of the Week! Edwards has been teaching within MNPS for nearly 40 years. Aside from regular classroom duties, she mentors kindergarten teachers and works daily to make sure they feel like they are part of the teaching team. Edwards also takes it upon herself to make sure the kindergartners feel welcome and secure as they begin their educational journeys!
Help us congratulate Mrs. Edwards, and watch her tonight on News 2 at 10! The segment will re-air Friday, Dec. 14 during the 6am newscast.
The holidays came a little early for the students and staff at Old Center Elementary this year when Zagg, a mobile device accessories company, zealously handed over 56 brand new iPads, covers for all, three digital cameras, and new earbuds for every child and teacher!
Principal Dr. Betsy Potts has big plans for the iPads. She says the teachers will use them for professional development and to enhance classroom learning. The students will get to test educational software and programs, as well as get a little practice working with technology.
ZAGG, which stands for Zealous About Great Gadgets, is based in Utah. Earlier this year, the company decided they wanted to do a bit to give back, particularly to schools. They launched an online promotion in which consumers could enter to win a free home computer and $25,000 in technology for their favorite school. Marveya Gooch, proud parent of two Old Center students, logged on and entered…38 times! And it’s a good thing she did. Gooch was selected out of nearly a million entries!
The Hume Award
A nice place to relax after intense Maplewood basketball games.
MNPS: The First Choice for Prestigious Scholar-Athletes
MNPS: The First Choice for the Incomparable Flair of School Spirit
Kevin Huffman, Tennessee commissioner of education, weighs in on the news saying, “We are excited to have a Tennessee district among the finalists for the Race to the Top-District grant. Metro Nashville is a strong contender to win this national award, and we wish them luck in the last stages of the competition.”
This just in! Metro Schools is one of 61 finalists in the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top District Competition. With $400 million in potential funding, this is a BIG deal! Grant recipients are expected to be announced by the end of 2012. Check out the USDE news release:
Engineering students in Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of Science and Engineering participated in the Engineers Day competitions on Thursday, Oct. 25. The group of 10 teams took a special field trip to Knoxville and held their own in the state competition that consisted of more than 100 teams. Of the 10 Stratford teams, two placed in the top 10!
8th Place – Joshua H., Micah H.
10th Place – Austin F., Benton M., Blake S., Ohaige W.
21st Place – Christian M., Andre J., Casey S.
25th Place – Tristen F., Jonathan S., Karalyn C., Hallie C.
45th Place – Melanie H., Michael I., Quang N., Joseph U.
Also during the Engineers Day competions, Stratford aspiring engineers Logan A. and Dustin P. received honorable mentions for their performance in the Balsa Wood Bridge Competition. The contestants were asked to construct two bridges that could hold the greatest amount of sand. Logan’s bridge was able to hold a mass of 11.2 kilograms before failing while Dustin’s bridge held 25 kilograms before failure.
Rose Park Math and Science Magnet Middle School won the highly coveted SCORE Prize, a statewide award that recognizes dramatic improvement in student achievement. Rose Park won in the middle school division.
Click to read the official news release issued by SCORE.
Nicholas W. represented Hillwood H.S. Culinary Arts at the annual SFT Awareness Chili Cookoff that took place on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Crieve Hall Church of Christ. Nick took 1st place in the spicy category. Congratulations Nick!
Four MNPS seniors who are enrolled in the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt are gaining national recognition. The students are semifinalists in the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology.
Zachary A., of Hume-Fogg. Zachary completed the project “Reflection and Transmission Measurements at Variable Incidence Angles of a Zero” under the supervision of mentor Jason Valentine, Ph. D. (Mechanical Engineering).
Abhinav G., of Hume-Fogg. Abhinav completed the project “Culturing of Neurons on Graphene Transistors for High Resolution Scanning of Processes” under the supervision of mentor Qi Zhang, Ph. D. (Pharmacology).
Jacob S., of Hume-Fogg. Jacob completed the project “Examining sequences that stimulate telomere addition following DNA double-strand breaks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae” under the supervision of mentor Katherine Friedman, Ph. D. (Biological Sciences).
Busra G., of Martin Luther King, Jr. Busra completed the project “Uncovering the Role of TGFβ and BMP in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Stem Cells” under the supervision of mentor Hal Moses, M. D. (Cancer Biology).
Siemens named 322 semifinalists representing 32 states and an international school in South Korea. Tennessee has 10 semifinalists.
Whether it’s blowing a bullhorn or helping secure internships, Elaine Fahrner sends daily reminders to her students that she will do whatever it takes to help them graduate. Since the Academy at Old Cockrill first opened in 2009, Fahrner has recruited hundreds of students to her school and given them the knowledge and skills they need to graduate and succeed. Oct. 16, in recognition of her efforts, Fahrner received the Crystal Star Award at the National Dropout Prevention Center national conference.
"Every student who walks through our doors has potential and deserves a chance,” said Fahrner. “That's what our Academies do. We give them another chance to learn, and we give them a chance to succeed."
The Crystal Star Award identifies and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the mission of the National Dropout Prevention Network (NDPN). Individuals and programs are recognized for outstanding work each year.
In addition to receiving the national honor, Fahrner was also a key presenter at the conference. She, along with colleagues Carmon Brown and Billy Fellman, shared best practices and strategies with other educators from around the nation. Their presentation focused on the successes of The Academy at Hickory Hollow, Old Cockrill and Opry Mills - Fellman is principal at Hickory Hollow, Brown at Opry Mills. The three schools have collectively graduated more than 1,000 students since they opened in 2009.
Rosebank Elementary School teacher Melanie Childs received a big surprise this week, all in effort to "make her day better". Reps from AdoptAClassroom.org and OfficeMax surprised the second grade teacher with $1,000 as a part of the “A Day Made Better” initiative.
This is a one-day event that awards more than 1,000 teachers across the country with more than $1,000 in school supplies, and brings attention to the issue of teacher-funded classrooms.
Rose Park Magnet Middle School is up for quite an honor; the school is one of three middle schools in Tennessee in the running for the second annual SCORE Prize. Winners will be announced Monday, Oct. 8, at the Ryman Auditorium. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.
The award recognizes one school at each tier, as well as one school district that have shown dramatic improvements in student achievement. If selected, Rose Park will receive $10,000.
Alice Sanford, Latin teacher at Hume-Fogg Magnet, is next week’s News 2 Teacher of the Week! She will be featured during News 2 at 10, Thursday, Oct. 11, and again during the 6am news Friday, Oct. 12.
Grātulātiō, Domina Sanford!
(We hope we got that right!)
Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School English teacher Christopher Dowlen is at the top of his class! Dowlen was recently awarded the Don Jenkins Award for Excellence in the Teaching of English/Language Arts. Up to three teachers from Tennessee are awarded this prestigious honor each year.
Bring out the Sharpies, Maxwell Elementary has a star on its staff! Cafeteria Manager Cynthia Tinnel proved her incredible skills in the kitchen on the hit reality show "Chopped." Tinnel out-cooked three other school cafeteria managers, taking home $10,000. She also gave the nation a small taste of what it's like to cook for hundreds of students each day.
Way to go, Cynthia!
Congratulations to the outstanding Croft Orchestra and director Anna Maria Miller on being selected to perform at the 2013 Tennessee Music Educators Association State Conference in Chattanooga. Many superior ensembles applied, and Croft was chosen to perform at the April 2013 conference.
Three MNPS high school students have been named the winners of this year’s Conexion Americas Hispanic Heritage Essage contest. Congratulations to first place winner Nerieda Z. of Glencliff, as well as honorable mentions winners Jacob M. also of Glencliff and Edith A. of Overton.
The theme of the essay was My Hispanic Roots, My America Dream. To read excerpts from their winning essays, click here.
The Hillwood High School faculty and Academy business partners celebrated as one big happy familiy this week, recognizing the schools’ successful Academies and the national honors they've won.
Hillwood High was recognized as a "Triple Crown" school for having three Academies awarded ‘model’ program status, the highest level, by the National Career Academy Council. Academy coach Emily Hughes received a stating ovation for her hard work and dedication to help mold and shape each academy.
The Academy of Art, Design and Communications, the Academy of Business and Hospitality and the Academy of Health Sciences were all recognized as model programs. Each model academy will received a $1000 check, listing on the national website, and a banner to display in the school.
Twenty Metro Nashville Public Schools have received USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge Awards (HUSSC). The Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.
“This is a great recognition of all the work we have been doing in the schools and with the community to offer students appealing, healthy meals,” said Fred Carr, Metro Schools’ Chief Operating Officer, who oversees the district’s Nutrition Services Department.
The schools and awards are:
Several Metro students have been working on math class work during the summer, even winning awards!
Thirteen Metro Schools participated in the Metro Nashville Summer Math-a-lon and earned Apangea Math Points for their school.
Apangea Math provides one-student-to-one-teacher differentiated math instruction through a unique integration of proprietary tutoring technology and live, online certified teachers. As a web-based solution, Apangea Math can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection – ensuring students can learn math anytime, anywhere.
Here are the Metro Summer Math-a-lon schools and scores:
Seven Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Academies of Nashville programs have received national accreditation, including five that earned the highest designation as “model” academies by the National Career Academy Coalition. Hillwood High School, with a “Triple Crown “ of three model Academies, is Nashville’s first high school to receive the model designation for all academies in the school.
“When we launched the Academies of Nashville, we had high expectations for the program and for the effect on students’ academic performance,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We have seen an improvement in graduation rate, student engagement and school climate and now national experts in preparing students for college and career have named several academies as models for the nation.”
The National Career Academy Coalition will honor the five “model” academies at the National Career Academy Conference to be held in Nashville November 8-10, 2012. Each model academy will receive a $1000 check, listing on the national website, and a banner to display in the school.
The model academies to be honored are:
Dr. Antoinette Williams, principal of Gra-Mar Middle School, has been named Tennessee Association of Middle Schools Middle Tennessee Administrator of the Year. Dr. Williams was awarded this honor during the Tennessee Association Middle School Conference this summer. She was given the honor for her accomplishments in providing Sustainable and Relevant Teacher Professional Development, Success in Transforming Low Achieving Schools, and Improving Student Achievement.
Congratulations, Dr. Williams!
Chadwell Elementary School hosted its first Academic Vocabulary Bee for the second, third and fourth grade students. Students prepared by studying the State Academic Vocabulary word list for Reading and Math. Chadwell teachers and literacy coaches planned rigorous activities to help students learn definitions and the origins of words. The Bee included a written test followed by two rounds of oral testing.
Congratulations to the winners and participators. All winners received an Apple iPod!
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is now a three-time winner of the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) presented by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for excellence in budget presentation. This award is conferred only to school districts that have met or exceeded the Meritorious Budget Award criteria. In 2010, Metro Nashville Public Schools made history when it became the first Tennessee school district to earn the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association.
To earn this award, Metro Schools submitted its 2011-2012 budget for a rigorous review based on demanding criteria. Developed by ASBO for school districts, the MBA criteria guide school business officials toward a quality school budget presentation by enhancing the school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing, and presenting a school system budget.
The award recognizes excellence in school system budget presentation and is given to districts with budgets that
• use sound fiscal management practices,
• promote effective use of educational resources,
• provide clear budget presentations,
• use up-to-date budget practices and
• meet several other criteria.
Congratulations to Chief Financial Officer Chris Henson, Director of Business Services Glenda Gregory, Communications Specialist Noelle Mashburn, and the Metro Office of Management and Budget for their award-winning work on the district’s budget.
Featured in photograph (l to r) is Chris Henson, Chief Financial Officer; Gracie Porter, Metro School Board Chair; Glenda Gregory, Director of Business Services and Dr. Jesse Register, Superintendent of Metro Schools.
Metro Schools brought home three honors at the Parthenon Education Awards this month.
The Cole Elementary 4th Grade Chorus received Superior ratings and the Highest overall score in the Elementary Division at the 3rd Annual Beech Bend Band and Choral Festival held in Bowling Green, KY.
The 25 member chorus, chaperones, and director Bill Laarz enjoyed many hours playing in the park together, traveling and finally bringing home 2 trophies to celebrate with the entire school. Principal Chad High and Vice Principal Dr. Natalyn Gibbs were both excited with how well the Chorus represented the school, the community and MNPS.
Education reformers have made teacher quality a top concern in Tennessee and elsewhere – and rightly so. But without the support of a great principal, working quietly behind the scenes to create the conditions for success, even the best teachers will inevitably be limited in what they can accomplish in the classroom. The Education Consumers Foundation is, therefore, proud to recognize the achievements of 18 principals from across the state through its annual Value-Added Achievement Awards.
“These 18 principals show what a dedicated principal and teaching force can achieve in Tennessee schools,” noted ECF President Dr. J. E. Stone. “If every school performed at the level of our 18 winners, Tennessee would lead the nation in educational improvement.”
According to Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, “I am pleased to join with the Education Consumers Foundation in recognizing some of our most effective principals and schools,” Huffman said. “Value-added achievement is a central focus as we work to boost student achievement across the state, and these education leaders are shining examples of what’s possible in Tennessee.”
Maplewood High School Unit TN-933 was one of 80 units to receive the 2011-2012 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit Award with Merit. This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that have performed above normal expectations and have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America.
Cadets completed more than 500 hours of community service including “The Get Motivated” Seminar, Veteran’s Wreath Laying Ceremony, Veterans’ Day Parade, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Congressman Cooper’s Academy Day, GNASBE, United Way’s McGruder Playground Groundbreaking Ceremony, the Mayor’s Field Day, and most recently, the Department of Defense Small Business Conference.
The objectives of the Junior ROTC program are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline through character education.
Cole and Kirkpatrick Elementary Schools participated in the first-ever debate championship May 10, at the Estes Kefauver Building in downtown. The debates were held in federal courtrooms, with five teams from each school debating. Each school’s debate team consisted of 4th grade students with one 3rd grader.
The topic of the debate was “Parents should not be held legally responsible for their children’s poor choices.” Kirkpatrick argued the affirmative and Cole the negative. Kirkpatrick Elementary took home first and second place and Cole placed third. This was only the second debate between these two schools. This was the first year for each team of elementary students, coaches and principals.
Congratulations to both teams!
Three students from the Academy at Hickory Hollow have racked up big scholarship dollars from the Simon Youth Foundation, to the tune of $28,000 each!
Lance Dowling, Clinton Ekwuazi, and Simone Ross-Thompson were awarded the scholarships during the Opry Mills Mall grand re-opening celebration on Saturday, May 5.
SYF established the Community Scholarship to meet the financial needs of students in communities that host Simon® shopping centers. The goal of the Foundation is to apply a holistic approach to the educational experiences of our youth. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, and an outside appraisal. The Academy at Hickory Hollow relocated from Opry Mills after the May 2010 floods that submerged the Opryland area, but still receives great support from SYF. The Academy at Opry Mills, will re-open this fall.
Lance Dowling is a May 2012 graduate, who will be attending Middle Tennessee State University to study sports medicine. Clinton Ekwuazi, also a May 2012 graduate, has been accepted to Middle Tennessee State University and waiting on a response from Austin Peay State University. Simone Ross-Thompson, a December 2011 graduate, has been accepted to Tennessee State University.
When it comes to growth from year to year, Meigs is number one!
The magnet middle school was recently named the top performer in all of Tennessee when looking at growth in testing scores over a three-year period. The Education Consumers Foundation has been analyzing TVAAS data in its 'Tennessee Project' to find out just how effective our schools are.
As parent David Kern said, "This speaks volumes about the hard-working teachers at Meigs and even more about the strong leadership."
Congratulations to the students, faculty, and families at Meigs!
It's one of the top national awards a high school student can receive, and Metro students earned three of them!
The National Merit Scholarship is given to students who have "the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies." Narrowed from a starting group of 1.5 million students (!) down to 15,000 finalists, just 2,500 Merit Scholars are chosen nationwide.
Three of our graduating seniors will receive honors and $2,500 to be used at the university of their choice.
What an honor!
High school students got a crash course in running a business from Junior Achievement and a team of business professionals acting as mentors.
Teams from Antioch, Cane Ridge, Glencliff, Hillwood, McGavock, and Maplewood took part in the JA Titan Business Challenge presented by Catepillar Financial. The team from Cane Ridge came out on top, besting teams from Metro schools and some from out of county. McGavock was close behind in second.
Congratulations to all who took part!
From a full Junior Achievement press release:
Bottle rockets may be child’s play to some, but to NASA and students at Bailey Middle Magnet, Cora Howe Middle and Wright Middle schools, they are serious business. The space agency has awarded its 2012 Educational Engagement Award to a combined team of Vanderbilt University engineering and education students for their work with about 500 students in the three Metro schools.
Nine mechanical engineering students in the Aerospace Club worked with six students in Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development to develop lesson plans for the middle schoolers. The Peabody students teach in Metro Schools as part of their teacher licensure requirements.
Together, the Vanderbilt students taught teams of Metro students scientific and engineering concepts and then worked to design, construct and launch the rockets. Metro students calculated their rockets’ altitudes based on the rockets’ time aloft and the group from each school with the highest-flying rocket earned a visit to Vanderbilt, including a tour of engineering laboratories, workshops, project demonstrations and lunch.
Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School is part of a K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continuum that includes Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary, Isaac Litton Middle, and Stratford STEM Magnet High School.
This post is based on an online article “Engineering, Peabody effort lands NASA STEM outreach award” www.news.vanderbilt.edu. Posted with appreciation to Brenda Ellis and Vanderbilt University.
Congratulations to students at McGavock High School, Nashville School of the Arts and Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School for winning four Student Emmys! The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), best known for the internationally recognized Emmy Award, held the 10th Annual Mid-south Student Television Award for Excellence student competition on Friday, April 20.
McGavock Academies was the winning clip in the area of Long Form - Non-Fiction for outstanding achievement in a long-form treatment of a single subject. Concept, content and execution were important elements in judging the entries. Judges also looked for well-organized material, clearly written narration and appropriate sound bites.
McGavock Student Winners:
Board Member &
Sports Fan Mark North
MNPS: The First Choice for Excellence On and Off the Court
From an MTSU press release:
Alex Gibson, a junior in MTSU’s Electronic Media Communications, hopes to someday produce the halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Last Saturday he undertook a project that some media professionals might think is just as daunting—he was in charge of an a hour-long awards program completely produced, directed, and performed by high school and college students.
NOMINEES & WINNERS
PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT
Congratulations to two Croft Middle School eighth grade language arts students for winning the Tennessee Law Enforcement Officers Associations Essay contest!
Zoe M. and Naba A. both received one hundred dollars for their essays on Tennessee Law Enforcement, with both students writing in the subject on “Why I will say No to Alcohol and Drugs.” Zoe and Naba were two among six Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County student winners. Croft Middle Principal Juana Grandberry surprised to the students with their checks during the morning announcements live on WCMS television broadcast.
Three students from John Early Museum Magnet Middle represented their school at the State Tennessee History Day last Saturday.
La’Charsha W., Mitchell M. and Noah R. competed with six other districts in the state competition. La’Charsha won first place in individual performance category and will compete at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C. in June. This is a huge honor as she not only had to write and perform her script about a topic in history, but she also had to create a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, complete a process paper, and complete an extensive interview with the judges. Mitchell M. won third place for his website and will be an alternate at the National History Day competition.
Congratulations to all the winners and participants!
Frank L., 11th grader at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to attend the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journal Conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. this summer!
The scholarship is given to rising seniors interested in pursuing a career in journalism and who demonstrate qualities of a “free spirit.” Frank and other students will take an all-expense paid trip the conference where they will learn the vital role of the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy and how to inspire students to pursue journalism careers.
Frank earned the honor for strong writing in both his essays and collected works from the school newspaper, The Knightly News.
View the Teacher of the Year for each school
Anthony Sewell, biology teacher at Hunters Lane High School, began his teaching career 12 years ago. Inspired by the wonderful teachers he had growing up, Sewell knew he wanted to help guide and serve as a positive influence for young people.
According to Sewell, his favorite part of teaching is “witnessing the growth of our students intellectually.” He says, “It’s a good feeling knowing that we as educators are helping our students develop skills which will allow them to be successful in life.”
Sewell earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with an emphasis in biology. He also holds a master’s from UTK.
Of him nomination as Teacher of the Year Finalist, Sewell says he is honored to be in the running because there are so many wonderful teachers in our district who deserve this recognition. He says he appreciates the acknowledgement for the work he does as well as the hard recognition of the hard work all teachers do every day.
When he isn’t teaching, Sewell spends the majority of his free time with family and friends. He is also a life-long learner and always searching for opportunities to grow in his endeavors as an educator and coach.
Mckissack Middle School’s Oasis Program has been awarded the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Award in the category of "Civic Volunteer Group Award". The school has approximately 65 students who participate in the program that aims to teach life skills, increase healthy behaviors, and create a sense of purpose in each teen through its issue-based, skill-building curriculum. The program, which also includes a significant volunteer component, is now in its 15th year.
This year, Mckissack students have contributed more than 1,000 hours of service to a variety of Nashville nonprofits, civic organizations, and schools. The students addressed many issues in the community through service such as feeding the homeless, boxing food and care packages for the needy, making cards for law enforcement officers, and much more. Congratulations Mckissack Oasis Program Students!
Dr. Simyka Carlton, lifetime wellness teacher at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, has known teaching was in the cards for her since her pre-teen years.
“When I was ten years old, I can remember my mother saying that when she finished raising her children she was going back to school to become a math teacher,” Carlton says. “When I asked her why she wanted to teach, she stated the best gift you can give a child is an education. From that point, I knew I wanted to become an educator.”
Carlton began taking education courses in college. While she wasn’t sure what she wanted to teach in the beginning, she quickly realized that teaching was second nature to her. It wasn’t until later in her undergraduate studies that she decided health and physical education were her passions.
Having spent 12 years in the classroom, Carlton says the best part of her job is reaching all students and seeing them excel. “I love seeing the confused looks on my students’ faces as I give an assignment. Yet, once they figure out what needs to be done and they accomplish the task given to them, that look of success and ‘aha, I got it’ gives me more that any accolade.”
Carlton earned a bachelor’s degree, with an emphasis in physical education, from Bethel College. She later earned a masters from Cumberland University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Walden University. She says she is “extremely honored and proud to be in the running for teacher of the year.”
When she isn’t teaching, Carlton spends her time with her family and friends, traveling, reading and writing poetry, and painting.
Friday, learn why Anthony Sewell of Hunters Lane High School credits his own teachers for his chosen career path.
Antioch High School senior Jasmine M. was one of a handful of MNPS students with artwork selected to appear in the 2012 Mayor's Art Show at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. In a blog Jasmine recently published, she explains, "Who would have known if I set a clear glass cup with two silver spoons and a black plain background that I would have a cup with vibrant pinks, blues, and browns? There is always inner beauty in the simplest of objects that life offers us."
The Mayor's Art Show recognizes the artistic talents of MNPS students. There are two showings, the first runs through April 12 and features artwork by students from Antioch, Cane Ridge, Glencliff, Hillsboro, Hunters Lane, Pearl-Cohn, and Stratford. The second showing opens April 19 and runs through May 3 featuring students from Hillwood, Maplewood, McGavock, Overton, and Whites Creek.
Congratulations, Jasmine and all of the other MNPS students whose artwork is on display.
Students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High, Hillsboro High and Stratford STEM Magnet High represented the district well at the Tennessee WorldQuest Championships held earlier this month at Belmont University. The students competed with others from around the region, answering questions about international affairs. Read more and see photos here.
Deborah Shull of Antioch Middle School is this week’s News 2 Teacher of the Week! See why she is such an asset to Antioch during News 2’s 10pm newscast Thursday, April 12. You can also catch a replay Friday morning, April 13, during the 6am newscast.
The Academy at Old Cockrill is gaining national attention for it’s outstanding academic achievements! The school has been named the recipient of the 2012 “Key to Success in Educational Excellence Award” from the National Alternative Education Association. Principal Elaine Fahrner will officially receive the award during an all-expense paid trip to San Diego this May for the Excellence in Urban Education National Symposium. At the national gathering, Fahrner will share the secrets to success at The Academy at Old Cockrill with other educators from around the nation.
This award, and the May Symposium hosted by the National Center for Urban School Transformation, recognize high-performing urban schools and help districts across the nation share best practices.
Congratulations to the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools students that participated and placed in Belmont University’s annual Poetry Contest:
Muna M., a junior in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies at Stratford STEM Magnet High Schools, has been selected to participate in the 2012 Bank of America Student Leaders program this summer! She will spend eight weeks alongside some of the nation’s brightest young men and women, learning leadership skills and serving as a paid intern with national charity. Muna will also participate in a week-long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., during which she will gain valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. All expenses of this trip are paid for by the Student Leaders Program. Muna is one of 225 student leaders nationwide selected for this outstanding opportunity. Congratulations!
The Blue Knights baseball team at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High won the city's top title this week! The team is currently featured in the Tennessean for winning the Best of Metro title.
Check them out here!
Kimberly Woodard, eighth grade science teacher at Apollo Middle, is among the top in her class, and for good reason! The district Teacher of the Year finalist says she feels “overwhelmed and truly honored to be considered” for the award.
Woodard was inspired to teach by her fifth grade teacher, Robert Mitchell, who showed the class how to be an adult advocate for students. Woodard says he taught them life lessons beyond the academic setting.
Now in her 14th year of teaching, Woodard says the parts she enjoys most are developing relationships with the students and the creativity she is able to employ daily.
“When a teacher has established relationships with his/her students it cultivates an atmosphere of trust,” Woodard says. “I have found that when students know that you genuinely care about them as individuals, they are not only more compliant, but more motivated to learn. On the other hand, my ability to be autonomous and creative as a teacher is just as rewarding. I really enjoy creating authentic and interesting science lessons for my students.”
Woodard attended Tennessee State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in biology as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She received a second master’s in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.
When she isn’t teaching, Woodard is generally found giving back to her community. She frequently volunteers at the Sexual Assault Center, Nashville Rescue Mission and Hickory Hollow Towers, an assisted living facility in Antioch. She also works monthly with the ladies of the Nashville Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., to feed homeless women.
Next Friday, find out why Stratford teacher Simyka Carlton feels she was born to teach!
Hume-Fogg junior Erin W. has earned national recognition in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2012, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Erin has been identified by panels of professional artists and writers as one of the most talented young artists in the nation. This year, 200,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only the top 1,500 were recognized at the national level. These students have been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on June 1 and to participate in showcase events at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Erin’s painting is titled Onions.
The Percy Priest Elementary School Chess Team placed 2nd in the State Tournament on Saturday, March 24, at Tennessee Tech University.
The PPE Tigers won the first round against A. L. Lotts Elementary from Knoxville 4-0. Then, they played the defending State Champs, Grahamwood Elementary of Memphis, in round ftwo and lost 0-4, but bounced back in rounds three and four to defeat Harding Academy and Ensworth, both matches were 3-1 in PPE’s favor. PPE had three match wins, with the only loss coming against Grahamwood, who finished first with four match wins. Third place went to St. George Independent School and fourth place was the Lester School, both from Memphis. PPE made it to the State Finals by finishing third in the Region III Team Tournament at BGA. The only team to beat PPE in the Regional was Ensworth, but evened the score with them by beating them in round 4 at State.
Members of the PPE team are Jonah B., Garrett S., Drew B. (State Finalist for the Individual Championship), Zachary R., and alternates, Owen S. and Luke R.
Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Office of Innovation has been named one of four organizations nationwide to receive a Performance Management, Replication and Closure (PMRC) Grant from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). The estimated value of the grant is more than $100,000, primarily in in-kind services.
“Being selected as one of just four cities nationwide shows the level of care and commitment surrounding school choices that is happening in Nashville,” said Alan Coverstone, executive director of the Office of Innovation. “We have proven, and continue to prove, our ability to offer traditional public schools, charter schools, and innovative schools. The key is to maintain oversight of all schools to ensure they are delivering what they’ve promised families.”
The grant will enable Metro Schools to increase the number of high performing schools, further develop tools that will assist the district in authorizing and renewing charter applicants, and expand educational opportunities for all students.
Metro Schools’ commitment to quality authorizing of charter schools and dedication to high performing schools increased its attractiveness to NACSA, ranking Nashville as one of the very best authorizers in the country. Two other organizations have been selected to receive the grant, with a fourth to be announced:
· Metro Nashville Public Schools,
· Ball State University, and
· Atlanta Public Schools.
Each grant recipient exhibits strong policies and procedures and large portfolios of high quality charter schools. All organizations have a complete collection of outstanding tools for making sure that only charter schools that will improve outcomes for students are authorized. Metro Schools, and the other organizations, will serve as working demonstrations of the very best of authorizing practices nationwide and will illustrate what NACSA has learned because of its commitment to quality.
Through the PMRC grant, Metro Schools will benefit from the expertise of Public Impact, a leader in the study of school turnaround, and Matthew Shaw, a nationally recognized expert in charter school financials. In partnership with Public Impact and Shaw, Metro Schools will develop clear academic, organizational and financial targets that charter schools must meet to renew the charter. Additionally, Metro Schools will receive training to establish internal review teams that will perform assessments in future years. The initial training for the internal review teams will take place March 28 as a webinar, with a full-day training following on April 26. The academic indicators and trained internal review teams will ensure that Metro Schools’ investments in charters results in greater educational opportunities for all students.
The district will enhance replication - replicating an existing charter school - and closure procedures to ensure both are in line with the NACSA Principles and Standards, which are considered the gold standard throughout the country. The grant has already begun to set Metro Schools apart as a national leader in charter school authorization.
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is the trusted resource and innovative leader working with public officials and education leaders to increase the number of high-quality charter schools in cities and states across the nation. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers and education leaders interested in increasing the number of high-quality schools and improving student outcomes.
Congratulations to all students who participated in the MNPS Middle School Science and Engineering Fair this year! The year's big winners are posted below.
Vanessa Lutton, library media specialist at Bellevue Middle School, came into a career in education almost by accident! While in college, she spent time working in a newly formed Career Education Department that was designed to integrate career education programs into all K-12 school settings.
According to Lutton, “As good fortune would have it, the team consisted of elementary through high school teachers who were fresh out of the classroom. I happened to land in the perfect storm as a college student with no direction among teachers who loved and missed their classrooms. The line between ‘job’ and ‘mentorship’ became blurred as these educators shared their passion of the teaching profession with me. “
Lutton learned a great deal from the individuals she worked with, but the most important lesson she learned was how much they loved their work in education. She realized that teaching was a lifestyle, not just a job.
Now, 27 years after she made teaching her lifestyle, Lutton says the part she cherishes most is learning alongside her students and co-workers. She says that the “transfer of knowledge” hierarchy changes direction throughout the day, with students learning from staff and staff learning from students. She also relishes the opportunities to establish connections with students and adults that come with each new day.
Lutton earned an associate degree from State Fair Community College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri, a master’s degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and has earned +30 from Cumberland University and Middle Tennessee State University.
When she isn’t at Bellevue Middle, Luttno spends her time investigating life through books, travel, engaging with others, and embarking on new adventures. Of her status as a finalist in the Teacher of the Year program, Lutton says that she is humbled that her peers, whom she holds in high regard, selected her out of a group of highly qualified professionals.
Next Friday, learn why Kimberly Woodard, eighth grade science teacher at Apollo Middle, feels student advocacy and volunteerism are key.v
Eighty students at Brick Church Middle School have been inducted into the second installment of Team Terminator, a group of students who are recognized for being proficient or advanced on school assessments! That brings the school's total number of Team Terminator members up to 219 for the school year!
The students work hard to make the necessary gains to become a member of this elite team of students. For their efforts, they are rewarded with a t-Shirt and get to participate in a special induction ceremony. They will also receive extra privileges throughout the school such as dances, movies, first in the lunch lines, and first dismissal. The goal is to keep the students striving to make those gains.
Overton High School’s Future Business Leaders of America organization recently participated in the Regional Leadership Conference at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. The conference was filled with competitions, informational sessions, and networking with other students. Mrs. Honarvar and Mr. Strauss, teachers in the Information Technology Academy at Overton accompanied eight students that participated in various contests with five students placing in their competitions. Quiana H., Brittany K., and Brittany B. took 1st place in the Business Ethics team event, while Jasmyne Q. took 3rd place in Business Law, and Lamora L. took 5th place in Technology Concepts. All these students qualified to represent the Region 3 at the State Leadership Conference in Chattanooga next month. Congratulations to all!
Dr. Jesse Register, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, is the newest recipient of the esteemed PRSA Apollo Award. The Apollo Award recognizes outstanding communications’ skills for mid-state executives who “demonstrate and exemplify the public relations and communications functions within his or her organization.” Previous recipients include Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, former Mayor Bill Purcell, Belmont University President Bob Fisher, and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt John Seigenthaler.
Pictured is Dr. Register alongside PRSA Nashville President Todd Smith. Smith is president of Dean, Smith & Partners a local public relations consulting firm.
Proud Elementary School Teacher – Greatness Groomed Early
The North Sports Report visited Chadwell Elementary School recently and chatted with Music teacher extraordinaire Marsha Brewer who spoke fondly of a former Chadwell student named Devin Wilson and pointed out that Devin recently received the Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award from the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, after leading the TSU Tigers in receiving this year and carrying a 3.15 grade point average. TSU’s Coach Rod Reed described the Chadwell Elementary alumnus as “a true student-athlete. He is a great role model for young kids and spends time reaching out to our youth.” Mrs. Brewer remembers Devin as “a great music student.”
Every high school and college scholar is built on a foundation of tremendous elementary school and middle school teachers. Congratulations to Devin and to Chadwell Elementary!
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Can you imagine receiving a scholar-athlete award from a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Thanks to retired MNPS athletic director Scott Brunette, sports photo-journalist Mike Strasinger, and the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, these scholar-athletes have a memento to treasure, and the North Sports Report proudly shares the pictures with you.
PHOTOS of Student Athlete Awards
MNPS: The First Choice for Tremendous Teachers
“My mom always said I would be a teacher and it made me so mad! When I was 16, a fortune-telling machine spat out a ticket that said I would be a teacher, and my face turned bright red as my mom laughed with knowing. I never wanted to be a teacher . . . . I wanted to change the world. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized those two were one and the same.”
Fortunately for the third graders at Julia Green Elementary, 11-year veteran educator Julie Hasfjord did make that ever-important realization and redirected her professional career from environmental studies to public education. Prior to teaching, Hasfjord worked alongside major players in the environmental field, including Dr. Jane Goodall. During this time, she developed a successful curriculum and delivery model for environmental education that is still being used around the southeastern U.S. While she loved working on this type of project, Hasfjord realized that the most enjoyable and meaningful parts of her work were when she was teaching the lessons to third graders.
After more than a decade in education, Hasfjord says her favorite part about teaching is teaching at an International Baccalaureate School because of the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum. She loves inspiring students to become lifelong learners and to make a difference in the world. Mostly, she loves when everything comes together for a student and you can see the pride in his or her eyes.
“I really can’t describe how surprised I am to be in the running for Teacher of the Year,” Hasfjord says. “I have been teaching for 11 years, and I still feel like I am improving each year. I also know that most teachers are giving 110% of their time and energy on a daily basis, and I am just one of them. I hope to use the “Teacher of the Year” platform to express the many ways that all teachers make a difference every second of every day. It is truly the most challenging and rewarding work in the world.
Hasfjord attended Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.Car., and received a bachelors degree in environmental students with a concentration in environmental education. She later earned a master’s degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children. She volunteers for the Nashville School Garden Coalition as curriculum chairperson and is an active member of the Tennessee Environmental Education Association. She loves finding ways for teachers to meet academic standards while using school gardens and outdoor spaces.
Next Friday, the “perfect storm” that catapulted Vanessa Lutton, library media specialist at Bellevue Middle, into an educational career spanning nearly three decades!
View the Complete List of 2012-13 Teachers of the Year
West End IB World Middle Schools is one of 100 winners nationwide, out of 2,500 submissions, to receive a $500 gift card from Home Depot as part of the 2012 Youth Garden Grant. West End was chosen because its gardening program “…reflected the importance of garden programming to cross-curricular studies, environmental education, and health and nutrition while demonstrating the important role gardens play in the lives of students, teachers, and the community.”
Last year, West End IB World School was one of five programs selected from more than 220 applicants across the U.S. to receive a $2,500 award and more than 300 vegetables and herbs from Burpee Home Gardens and the “2011 ‘I Can Grow’ Youth Garden Award. To date, West End Middle School has received $3,000 in garden grants.
Metro Nashville Board of Education Member Dr. Sharon Dixon Gentry will be honored for her leadership at tonight’s Women of Legend and Merit Awards dinner hosted by Tennessee State University. Dixon Gentry currently serves as the representative for District 1.
The annual celebration salutes dynamic women leaders, as well as expose TSU’s female students to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist in their academic, personal and professional growth.
The ceremony will be held tonight, March 15, at 7 p.m., at the Millenium Maxwell House Hotel. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will serve as the keynote speaker.
Mark your calendars! MNPS middle school students will show off their exemplary science projects at the MNPS Middle School Science & Engineering Fair Showcase and Awards Ceremony. The event will be held at Rose Park Math and Science Magnet School, Tuesday, March 20. The showcase begins at 7:30 p.m., with an awards ceremony following at 8 p.m.
Students whose projects received Exemplary ribbons or top placement will be on hand to talk about their work and answer questions. The students receiving Exemplary ribbons will also be recognized during the Awards Ceremony and trophies will be awarded to top projects in each category.
Click through for a full list of students with Exemplary projects.
Antioch High School students enrolled in the Academy of Teaching and Service participated in district-level Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competitions March 6, at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Collectively, the Antioch team did an amazing job and represented their school well. Many were awarded 1st and 2nd place in various competitions and will advance to the state competitions at Opryland Hotel in April. They are:
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), the co-curricular career and technical education student organization, provides students with opportunities for leadership development, personal growth, and school/community involvement. Patricia Deas and Tiffiney Anderson advise the Antioch chapter.
Jenny Gambill, third grade teacher at Glengarry Elementary, is more than just a proud MNPS teacher and finalist for this year's Teacher of the Year. She is also an alumni of Overton High School. In fact, her third and fourth grade teachers, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Rogers, at Tusculum Elementary were key reasons she entered the profession. The pair served as inspirations and showed Gambill that learning can be fun and rewarding.
When asked what she loves most about teaching, Gambill replied, “My favorite part of teaching is when I see that spark in mystudents’ eyes when they finally get what they’ve been struggling with. I know that I’ve succeeded as a teacher when I can reach them.”
Gambill says that being a finalist for Teacher of the Year is humbling and a great honor because there are so many outstanding educators in the district.
Gambill attended McMurray Middle and graduated from Overton High before enrolling at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She holds a bachelor’s degree in deaf education and elementary education. She is in her 28th year of teaching with Metro Nashville Public Schools.
When she isn’t teaching, Gambill’s family takes priority. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter. She also enjoys walking, reading, bicycling, movie-going, home decorating and other outdoor activities.
Gambill is a finalist for Metro Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. This year’s Teacher of the Year Reception will be held Tuesday, April 16.
This Friday, Julie Hasjford, third grade teacher at Julia Green, shares why she was determined NOT to be a teacher and what changed her mind.
View the Complete List of 2012-13 Teachers of the Year
Several Metro high schools have active HOSA chapters, and students have been busy this spring showing off their skills.
Twenty-four students from Glencliff High competed in the Middle Tennessee Regional competition. Of these, 11 advanced to the state competition: Lisa B., Lina B., Kimberly B., Isatu B., Saloni P., Soly N., Daniel M., Paulina V., Nancy L., Mario V., and Jose B.
Hillwood had a long list of students who placed at regionals: Tuyet L. - 2nd Dental Spelling; Jonathan D., - 2nd Place- Biotechnology; Musie Y., Ahbid Z., Kasey Mircea, and Jeriel J. - 2nd Place Biomedical Debate; Karla A. and Monica M. - 3rd Place Community Emergency Response Team; Stephanie A. and Joanna M. - 3rd Place Community Awareness; Shelby J. - 5th Place Concepts of Healthcare; Matthew T. and Courtney H. - 4th Place CPR and First Aid; Trinh L. - 2nd Place Dental Terminology; Bansri P. - 3rd Place Epidemiology; Christiana C. - 3rd Place Home Health Aide; Cong N. - 4th Place Human Growth and Development; David S. - 5th Place Extemporaneous Speaking; Glenda R., Katherina Z., Chau M. and Cody W. - 4th Place-= Creative Problem Solving; Jelena R. - 4th Place Job Seeking Skills; Nguyen L. - 3rd Place Healthcare Issues; James H. - 4th Place Life support skills; Hang N. - 3rd Place Medical Math; Chloe P., Lillie O., and Anna F.- 2nd place Medical Reading; Zahraa A. - 2nd Place Medical Terminology; Amber C. - 4th Place Nurse Assisting; Kristen H. - 4th Place Nutrition; Miriam H. - 1st Place Personal Care; Ariel C. - 5th Place Physical Therapy; and Luisa R., Miquel O., Brenda H., Cristie C., Maria O., and Bianca T. - 5th Place PSA
At Hunters Lane, 11 students competed in the regional competition. Of those, three advanced to the State Competition: Brian T., Alexandria C., and Makiya M.
McGavock High had three students participate in regionals, two of whom advanced to state. Delaney W., who won first in the regional Sports Medicine competition, and Jane S., who placed third in Medical Terminology, will now compete with others around the state.
Overton High took 10 students to regionals, four of whom will now advance to state. And Whites Creek High took 36 students to regionals, a whopping 31 of who advanced to state! The Whites Creek students headed to the next round include: Doresha B., Kennetha B., Johnny B., Jasmine B., Melba B., Kaitlyn C., Rodkia E., Mikeisha E., Morgan E., T.J. F., LaMondria G., Charmika H., Harvea H., Monique H., Micheal H., Marche J., Lakasha L, Devin M., Cresa M., Willie P., Prisha P., Jada P., Marcusia R., Breayant R., Gwendolyn S, Raven S., Ashley W., Arriona W, Sabria W., Hailie W., and Valesia W.
Congrats to all and good luck at the State Competition this April.
Dozens of Metro Schools’ teachers, leaders, community partners and academies are in the running for awards at the second annual Academies of Nashville Awards ceremony.
The ceremony seeks to recognize success in the transformation of Metro High Schools and the implementation of smaller learning communities.
Critical to the success of the Academy model is strong support from area businesses, colleges and non-profits. To date, MNPS high schools have more than 160 entities committed to partnering with The Academies.
The nominees were named by a leadership committee composed of MNPS administrators and leaders from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and PENCIL Foundation. Hundreds of educators and business partners will vote for their favorites over the course of the next month. Voting will being managed by Deloitte.
The invitation-only event will be held May 14. Hosted by the Chamber, this year’s ceremony is sponsored by Altria and Deloitte.
All nominees are listed below. Good luck to everyone!
Apollo Middle School received a Recognition Award at the Tennessee State Special Education Convention, held Feb. 17. The school was awarded for outstanding efforts with Inclusion in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. According to Principal Jon Hubble, "We are very proud of our efforts to be a fully inclusive school."
Daniel C., a senior at Nashville Big Picture High School, has been name a top 20 finalist in the Regent University “Reel Dreams” Film Competition. Monday, March 5, the top 7 films will be announced, and Saturday, March 31, the winner will be named at a live event. Daniel’s video, “Free”, can be viewed on the Regents’ website here.
Daniel has been accepted to attend Regent University in the fall. If he should win the competition, he will receive a full scholarship.
Tylar Smith, a junior at Nashville School of the Arts, has been accepted to the highly acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Summer Intensive Program. She will spend six weeks in New York, training with the Professional Dance Division. While in New York, Tylar will have the opportunity to study under world-renowned choreographers and instructors. She will be staying at Fordham University's McMahon Hall. Coincidentally, Fordham is one of Tylar’s top choices for universities, in which she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in dance. According to those close to Tylar, the acceptance into the program is a dream come true. She has long been inspired by Alvin Ailey and is excited about this opportunity! Tylar is also very appreciative to the dance instructors at NSA.
The Alvin Ailey summer program is designed for students ages 16 - 25 who have had a minimum of three years of consistent training and is structured to advance the technical skills of dancers in a wide variety of techniques.
The Oliver Middle School Wind Ensemble has been chosen to represent Tennessee in a performance at the College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association Southern Division Conference. This Conference is happening this weekend, Feb. 23-25, at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. The selection process was via CD recording and resume submission. Oliver was selected over dozens of other ensembles from around the country. The ensemble will perform Saturday morning, Feb. 25, for hundreds of Band Directors from Louisiana, West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Congratulations, Oliver!
Friday, Jan. 20, a select group of Head Middle Magnet School students from Mr. Paul Sparks' fifth grade math class participated in the Block Kids Building Program. Individual students were given 40 minutes to construct a building with Lego blocks. The structure that was created by each student was judged on design, rationale, and practical use. Students had to explain their design and any other feature they built within the design under the rationale category. Quinn T. was the winner of this building contest. In addition to a cash award, his design will now advance to the regional competition.
McGavock High School’s Academy of Digital Design and Communications will hold its Second Annual DDC Awards Show on Friday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m., in the school’s auditorium. The show is based on academy sponsor CMT’s CMT Music Awards, which are voted on by the public. Students had their talent recorded on video at Rocketown, another academy sponsor, and then it was uploaded to a private Facebook page where students in the academy voted. The results will be released at the awards show where students will host, emcee, and produce the event, which will include a red-carpet gala.
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a national nonprofit organization, was established in 1994 to provide guidance and support for the next generation. The Alliance fosters the creative development of youth across the country through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program, involving over 75,000 students in grades 7 – 12 each year.
The process begins as young artists and writers submit more than 100,000 creative works to a network of Regional Affiliates that locally administer the awards. The most outstanding works from each of the regions are then sent to New York to be judged on a national level. Since 1923, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have encouraged more than 13 million students, recognized more than 2.5 million young artists and writers, and distributed more than $25 million in awards and scholarships.
For the 21st consecutive year, Cheekwood partnered with the Alliance to host the regional competition and exhibition for Middle Tennessee. Regional winners are eligible for scholarships and cash prizes, are part of the exhibition at Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, and have their work sent to New York City for national judging.
The awards reception was held at Cheekwood on January 28th.
Tuesday, Jan. 18, the MNPS Office of Coordinated School Health received the first annual Pioneer Award at the NashVitality HEAL Summit. The award was given to honor the work that Coordinated School Health does to assist MNPS schools in establishing Healthy School Teams and health-related goals for students and staff.
Pictured (R-L) Nicole Proffitt, Susan Lyle, Johnsie Brewington
Mylayla S., an 8th grade student at Goodlettsville Middle School, was chosen out of thousands of participants across the country to win the Apangea Math Holiday Math-a-Thon. She will receive a Barnes & Noble e-Reader (color) and a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card to get her library started. Mylayla’s math teacher is Mr. David Brooks. Congratulations!
Apollo Middle School is doing something right in the math department! For the second year in a row, the 5th grade intervention class has won Apangea's Tennessee Volunteer Math Cup. The students will keep the highly coveted Volunteer Cup Trophy, they will be the beneficiaries of an Apangea Math sponsored pizza party, and every student in the class will receive an Apangea Sport-Pak and t-shirt.
Several students at other schools were also awarded for outstanding individual success. Divya D., a student at Rose Park Magnet Middle, won the individual portion of the contest by correctly completing more questions than any other student in Tennessee! She passed 154 lessons between Dec. 5 and Jan. 8. For her hard work, Divya received an iPod Nano.
Meanwhile, Lu Z., a student at J.T. Moore, was also a winner in the individual contest. He was awarded an iPod Shuffle. And Michael A., at JFK Middle, was awarded a $25 Best Buy gift card for his excellent performance.
Congrats to all of the winners!
Three MNPS students are gaining national attention for their mad science skills! Emily Alsentzer, a student at Hume-Fogg, and Jasmine Kelly and Ben Gu, students at MLK, entered the competition through their enrollment with the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt. All are now seniors in the four-year research-based program. Check out the news release below.
We're proud to announce the winners of this year's Metro Kathryn C. Mitchell Spelling Bee!
Lacie Pendley, a Digital Design student at McGavock High School, won an award for a photo she submitted to SkillsUSA. It was a competition showing what students are doing in local CTE programs. She received a cash prize and her photo is featured in the Winter Issue of “SkillsUSA Champions”.
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 56 Metro Schools 5th and 6th graders will vie for the title of district spelling champ. The students have qualified for the Metro-Kathryn C. Mitchell Spelling Bee. The competition begins at 9 am, and will be held at Meharry Medical College in Kresge Resources Center.
Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the first and second place winners. The winning schools will also receive trophies. The two top spellers will advance to the Davidson County Spelling Bee, Feb. 7.
Edwin Santiago, music teacher at McKissack Middle School, has been named the 2012 Edwina Hefner Community Leadership Award winner. The award is given each year by the Nashville Symphony in conjunction with the Regions "Let Freedom Sing" concert that honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. Santiago is the fifth recipient of the annual award. His passion for music education was the root of his nomination and selection. To read more about Santiago and his new title, click here.
Congratulations to seventeen of our school for winning the USDA's Healthier U.S. School Challenge Award! The HUSSC Award is given to schools across the country for exemplary steps, leadership and team work used to make changes to the schools’ nutrition environment. This includes the quality of the foods served; the offering of more nutritious, healthier choices; and, enhancing their physical activity program.
Awards are given broze, silver, and gold. Winning schools receive a HUSSC award plaque, a banner to display, and a small monetary incentive award of $500 to $2000. The names of these schools are also added to the HUSSC awardees list on the Team Nutrition HUSSC website.
Here are the winners:
Cathy Forester, a teacher at East Literature Magnet High, was named the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English 2011 High School English Teacher of the Year. The award was presented at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in Chicago, November 19. Congratulations!
The Hume-Fogg Silver Jazz band has been selected to perform and compete in the Savannah Music Festival’s Swing Central Jazz Competition and Workshop at the end of March. This is an elite competition for which only the top 12 high school jazz bands in the USA are selected! Congrats HFA!
Nashville's business recognize leadersMetro Nashville Public Schools freshmen ssay contest winners receive prizes
Students, staff and community members of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School celebrated their new Blue Ribbon status with numerous dignitaries and free ice cream courtesy of Blue Bell last Friday. The school was awarded the national honor for its overall academic excellence. It was one of just six schools statewide given the honor. Senior Em’maja Hancock is seen below addressing the crowd.
Dustin Binkley of Maplewood High School is this year’s Hume Award recipient! In a special ceremony, Metro Schools recognized the brightest and best football players off the 2011 season. Binkley impressed both on and off the field with stellar game stats and grades. He has been accepted to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Austin Peay State University, but has not made his final decision.
The Hume Award began in 1944 and is given to a football player who has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship athletically and academically. These student-athletes are chosen by their principals and coaches based on scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance and value to the team.
Inglewood Elementary recently hosted a writing contest during which two bikes from Happening From Kids were donated and given students as prizes. All fourth grade students submitted a graphic organizer, first draft, and a final paper on "Why I Should Win the Bike." We want to send a big shout out to all of our fourth grade participants for their hard word. A congratulations to 2nd place winner Deyomi H., for the Best Persuasion paper; and to 1st Place winner Carlton B., for Best Mechanics paper. Also, a big thanks to Eastside Cycles, Happening for Kids, Asphalt Beach, and the Inglewood PTO for supporting the contest.
Penny S., a student at Glencliff High School, was the winner of a laptop from Bridgestone through a drawing at the Career Fair. Penny says she appreciates Bridgestone for partnering with MNPS and she will use her new laptop wisely to conduct research.
Jenny Sinard from Bridgestone presented the laptop during a Freshman Academy assembly.
Out of more than 900 applications, four MNPS 5th graders were the big winners of the RESPECT contest sponsored by Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge, a Nashville-based law firm.
Sam F. of East Literature Magnet Middle and Alexa M. of Apollo Middle tied for third. Both were awarded $300, and their teachers were awarded $400. The students were able to select a charity of choice that would also receive funding. Sam chose St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital while Alexa chose Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Both organizations were awarded $300.
Placing 2nd was Elijah B., a student at Thurgood Marshall Middle School (pictured right with teacher Stephanie Cafferky). Elijah was awarded $600; his teacher received $800, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was awarded $600.
Susannah L., a student at Meigs Magnet Middle, claimed 1st place and was awarded $1,000. Her teacher also received $1,000, as did her charity, St. Jude’s Children Hospital.
Emily Cathcart, a sixth grade Science teacher at East Literature Magnet School, has her artwork on display in newly published book! Prior to joining MNPS, Cathcart worked under Dr. David Pitts as a faculty associate for the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Tennessee-Martin. Her illustrations are now shown around the world in his book, Studying Eastern Bluebirds: A Biologist’s Report and Reflections.
Cathcart, who was trained as an artist, has previously served as a free-lance artist, illustrating everything from cartoons to graphic designs, and even some sign painting. Congratulations!
A pair of seniors at Overton High School will join the nation’s best marching band students in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game. In a special ceremony held Tuesday, Nov. 15, Rachel Clark and Mary Morrow were invited to participate in the nationally televised bowl game alongside 123 other marching band students from across the country. Clark will represent the school in the Color Guard while Morrow will represent on the trumpet.
On hand to celebrate and present the girls with their All-American hats and jackets were Staff Sgt Steve Toler, 1st Sgt Juan Canalda, Maj Elaine Johnson, Ltc Adolphus Weems, Cpt. Earl Roloff and SSG Robert Tunnell. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game will be held in San Antonio, Texas. It will be broadcast live Saturday, Jan. 7, on NBC.
Both girls hope to continue their marching band participation after graduation. Clark is planning to attend the University of Alabama where she will participate in the university’s Color Guard. Morrow hopes to attend either Florida State University or Middle Tennessee State University and continue playing the trumpet.
Want to see more MNPS Videos? Visit Metro Schools YouTube page.
Jessica Oliver of I.T. Creswell Middle Arts Magnet School has been named the News2 Educator of the Week! Jessica was featured on the evening and morning news. To see what makes her stand out in the classroom, check out the News2 Educator of the Week site.
H. G. Hill Middle School has been awarded $500 and was recognized during the UT – South Carolina football game! They were one of the schools chosen in the Good Sports Always Recycle Contest thanks to the hard work of students, teachers and staff in the school’s Life Skills program. The school also received a commemorative plaque and two tickets for a faculty member or parent and student representative to attend the football game.
Ping Whittaker, Chinese teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet, has been named Tennessee's Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. According to Dr. Schunn Turner, principal at MLK, “Whittaker has brought much honor to the school and students who receive her high quality instruction every day.”
Congratulations, Mrs. Whittaker!
Congratulations to Ted Edinger, art educator at Tulip Grove Elementary, who was named the Tennessee Art Education Association’s Elementary Art Educator for 2012. He received the award on Oct. 29 at the TAEA Fall Conference in Memphis.
Ted has been part of the state committee to develop the new art standards, the MNPS committee for developing the new art curriculum and recently served at the state level on the textbook adoption committee.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science. These awards are open to teachers of Math and Science in grades K-6, and anyone may nominate a teacher for these awards. Nominated teachers can begin accessing their award application in Nov. For more information on eligibility and to nominate a teacher, please visit www.paemst.org.
For questions about this program, please contact Linda Jordan at 615-532-6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humanities Tennessee is also accepting nominations for the 2012 Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities. Any 3rd – 12th grade school teacher in Tennessee is eligible, and any Tennessean may nominate a teacher. This award recognizes those teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching the humanities. Up to six teachers will receive a $2,000 fellowship and their schools will also receive a $1,500 grant for humanities programs or materials.
For more information and to obtain nomination materials, please visit http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/grants-and-awards/about-teacher-awards
If you have any questions, please contact Paul McCoy at 615-770-0006, ext. 17 or at email@example.com.
Michael Murray, a 2009 graduate of Pearl-Cohn High School and son of an MNPS teacher, recently competed in Track and Field at the Global Games in Liguria, Italy. Next up, he competes in November at the Pan Am games in Guadalajara and hopes to represent the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games! Good luck!
Hillsboro High School Marching Band recently competed in the Trousdale County Yellow Jacket Invitational. There, the band won Best in Class for Field Commander and Percussion, 2nd in Class for Color Guard, and 3rd in Class, Overall.
This past weekend, the band traveled to the Lebanon Blue Devil Marching Invitational, where they claimed Best in Class, Overall! They also placed for Field Commander and Percussion.
Way to go!
Congratulations to Amy Leslie of McMurray Middle and Tripp Nicholson of Hillwood High for being named this year's Junior Achievement Teachers of the Year! The full release is below:
Two MNPS teachers honored by Junior Achievement
Two Metro Nashville Public School educators have been named Teachers of the Year by Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, a nonprofit that provides volunteer-led, classroom-based learning programs to students in Kindergarten through high school.
Amy Leslie of McMurray Middle School and Trip Nicholson of Hillwood High School have been named the middle school and high school teachers of the year. Both received recognition at their schools recently for their support of JA during the 2010-2011 school year.
“Amy and Trip were selected for their length of service to JA, the number of students impacted through the JA program, and their overall commitment to the organization’s mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy,” said JA Director of Programs Andy Schenck.
Junior Achievement teachers like Leslie and Nicholson host volunteers in their classrooms who deliver JA’s age-appropriate curriculum on financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship. These lessons enhance those that teachers are already using in the classroom and connect textbook concepts to real-world applications.
Teachers interested in hosting JA volunteers and curriculum in their classrooms can visit www.janash.com or call 615-627-1195 for more information.
Slaps on the back and hearty handshakes are due to three Metro high school students who won the "Young Latino Essay Contest" from Conexión Américas!
Adam Taylor, a science teacher at Overton High, has been awarded a $2000 grant from ING's Unsung Heroes Award Program. The program awards teachers for innovation and creativity, both of which Taylor has shown time and time again.
During the 2010-11 school year, when snow kept students and teacher out of the classroom, Taylor flew onto radars district-wide by offering numerous online opportunities for his fellow teachers to grow. He also hosted classes for his students online. He regularly uses social media as an instructional tool to engage students and is always looking for new tools to keep his classroom active and engaged.
Congratulations, Mr. Taylor!
Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School has been named a 2011 Blue Ribbon School. The school currently ranks among Tennessee’s Top 10% in academic achievement and was awarded in the category of High Performing School.
In a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary Arne Duncan says, “America's long-term economic prosperity and civic engagement depends on our children receiving a world-class education," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "National Blue Ribbon Schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their success is an example for others to follow."
The release also states that a total of 305 schools across the U.S. were named 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Schools can be awarded for academic excellence or for success in closing the achievement gap. All schools, 256 public and 49 private, will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C.
MNPS Middle College High School and Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School have been named the 2nd and 3rd place winners (respectively) in the Best School category of the 2011 Toast of Music City . Congratulations!
Stella White, Tom Joy Elementary’s library/media specialist, has received a $5000 Dollar General Literacy Grant. This grant will be used to develop a literacy “hub” to promote literacy in school. The money will be divided to provide the Tom Joy students with playaways, ebook, netbooks, flip cameras and software.
She is a true "pioneer" when it comes to helping students overcome obstacles and achieve success, and Saturday, August 13, 2011, Dr. Susan Kessler was honored for her efforts. At the 8th annual Educational Equal Opportunity Group (EEOG) Fundraising Gala, the Hunters Lane High School Principal received the Pioneer Award for her service in education and her visionary leadership. Congratulations, Dr. Kessler!
Congratulations to Mt. View Elementary School for their recently announced Bronze Award in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge. Mt. View joins Brick Church Middle, Cockrill Elementary, DuPont Hadley Middle, Fall-Hamilton Enhanced Option, and Hull-Jackson Montessori, all of which were awarded Silver earlier this spring. The program recognizes schools that work to promote healthier lifestyles through nutrition and physical education.
Glencliff High School representatives were recognized at the U.S. Capitol today for their outstanding efforts in creating a community school. The school was awarded the 2011 Community Schools Award for Excellence. Only two other schools, an elementary and middle, received this award. It was presented by the Coalition for Community Schools in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jesse Register, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, has been named the 2011
Register PHoto - a color photograph of Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register
Tennessee School Plant Management Association (TSPMA) Superintendent of the Year. Register will be recognized at the TSPMA annual conference in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., which will be held June 16.
Unit TN-933 at Maplewood High School has been selected as one of 80 units to receive the 2010-2011 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit Award. This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that have performed above normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America.
More than 100 MNPS students were honored at this year's Social Studies Projects Fair for their outstanding work. The fair was the culmination of individual fairs at each school. Winning projects from the school level were submitted to the district competition.
Four MNPS middle schools -- Goodlettsville, Cameron, John Early Magnet, and Meigs Magnet – piloted a new Battle of the Books competition this year. Each school convened teams of four to five students each, who voluntarily read 20 books. Each school then held individual competitions to find a school-level winning team. These teams met Tuesday, May 17, at the Downtown Public Library for the first ever MNPS Battle of the Books! Check out the video.
Glencliff High School is ending the year on a particularly high note. The school won one of just 27 Grammy Enterprise Signature School Awards for excellence in music education. Making the award even more special, Glencliff was one of just three award-recipients to also receive a special Grammy Career Day featuring a panel of music industry experts.
MNPS is proud to announce Teachers of the Year. This annual program seeks to recognize outstanding educators and administrators. Winners in each division were announced Monday, April 11th at Annual MNPS Teacher of the Year Celebration. The 2012 Teachers of the Year winners will go on to represent the district in the state competition for their division.
Kenton Wesby, Madison Middle School, and Tanisha Wesby, Goodlettsville Elementary, have been invited to serve on the SECME National Advisory Council and as SECME Master Teacher Mentors throughout 2011-12. SECME has served as a key source of professional development for teachers, grades K-12, who focus on science, technology, engineering, and math - also known as STEM courses. According to a news release issued by SECME, as Master Teacher Mentors, the Wesbys will expand the role of SECME Master Teacher beyond the Summer Institute as Professional Learning Community Mentors. They will assist other teachers
Four Metro students have qualified to compete in the 2011 Tennessee Geogrphic Bee! Students in grades four through eight competed at the school level in order to qualify. These four winners had to not only best their fellow students in a school geography bee, they also had to take a written geography test from the National Geographic Society and score highly enough to qualify for the state competition.
On the evening of March 1, 2011, four new members were inducted into Nashville Public Schools Hall of Fame for their contributions to our schools and the community. The annual event is hosted by Nashville Alliance for Public Education, a key supporter of MNPS. Since its inception, Nashville Alliance has raised 25 million to advance student achievement in key academic areas such as math, science and music. Congratulations to the following, and thank you for your continued support of Nashville and MNPS.Charles E. Davis, 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Inductee Former NBA star and founder/CEO of the Charles Davis Foundation McGavock High School, 1976 James H. Fyke, 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award InducteeFormer Commissioner of TNDepartment of Environment and Conservation andformer Director of Metro ParksDuPont High School, 1957 Shirley A. Zeitlin, 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award InducteeNationally established realtor and CEO of Zeitlin & Company, Realtors®West End High School, 1952 Orrin H. Ingram, Nelson C. Andrews Distinguished Service Award InducteePresident & CEO of Ingram Industries, Inc.Chairman, Ingram Barge Company and public education advocate
Ms. Weaver, French teacher at Martin Luther King Jr., Academic Magnet School, has been accepted into the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Future Leaders Fellowship Program in Montreal, Canada, which will be held in July and takes place immediately prior to the AATF’s annual convention. Weaver, who was nominated to the program by the Tennessee Chapter of the AATF, will work with future leaders from other chapters throughout the United States on ways in which to provide effective leadership on both a regional and national level. Weaver has been a member of the AATF since 2004 and is currently President Elect of the Tennessee Chapter.
From Academy Teacher of the Year to Academy Partnership of the Year, several MNPS teachers administrators and business partners associated with The Academies of Nashville have been nominated for awards in the inaugural Academies of Nashville Award Ceremony! The ceremony will be held in May and hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Click here to read the Chamber's blog with a full list of nominees.
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ Associate Superintendent of High Schools Jay Steele has been named to the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Board of Directors. Steele will assist NCAC in communicating with the states, districts and schools within the region about efforts to build and sustain career academies. Steele will serve a two-year term on the board of directors in region one, which includes 22 states. He will represent the region at annual board meetings, serve as the main contact for the region and contribute to publications released by NCAC. Steele’s appointment comes after years of high school redesign both here in Nashville and in his former district, St. John’s County, Fla. In June of 2010, Steele’s team successfully unveiled The Academies of Nashville, a set of academies within MNPS’ 12 zoned high schools. Read the full release below. Open publication - Free publishing - More steele
In 2009, Rose Park Math and Science Magnet Middle School was named a National Blue Ribbon School for continued growth and success in student achievement. But what did the school do to earn such a prestigious honor? And what are they doing to ensure excellence this year, and for all years to come? Check out the video for a sneak peak inside Rose Park.
A big shout out to Hume-Fogg Magnet Academic High School for being nominated for the presitgious 2011 Blue Ribbon Award. Hume-Fogg was nominated as a High Performing School. It currently ranks among Tennessee's Top 10% in academic achievement. Hume-Fogg is one of six schools in Tennessee nominated for the national recognition. Only one other was nominated as a High Performing School. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2011.
Veronica M., a freshman at Antioch High School, was the winner of a new laptop, courtesy of Bridgetsone! Veronica was one of nearly 4,000 students who attended the MNPS Career Exploration Fair in early November. She put her name in a drawing and came out the big winner!
Nashville's Public Library system has been awarded the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service! The library is one of only five in the nation to win this award, which comes with a $10,000 prize and a visit from StoryCorps.