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Metro Human Relations Commission Summit

What are you doing for intersession? How would you like to learn real leadership skills alongside Nashville's top leaders?

The Metro Human Relations Commission is hosting a Student Human Relations Summit Tuesday, October 9, for high school students. The summit is designed to teach skills for communication, interaction, and personal leadership by exploring issues and opportunities in human rights and human relations.

The day opens with a meet and greet with Mayor Karl Dean and several members of the Metro Council, and moves on to a great speaker, workshops, and even a youth poetry performance.

If you're interested in taking part, speak with your principal or fill out the application.


It almost looks like a college student center or an employee lounge at Google.

Thanks to a generous donation from John Ingram, Hillwood High School cut the ribbon on its brand new library yesterday! Look at all the city officials who came out to see it. It's easy to see why they're so excited. Just look at it!

All photos by Gary Layda, Metro Government Photographer -


Public-private partnership will make the Metro Schools program the nation’s best

Laurie SchellAfter a nationwide search, Metro Nashville Public Schools has selected the inaugural director of the Music Makes Us education project, Laurie Tobian Schell, who has 25 years of experience as an arts education advocate and leader.

“When school starts August 1, we will also start a new era in music education for Metro Schools,” said Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools. “Laurie Schell brings expertise in both the education and arts policy arenas as well as a passion for music. It’s evident she cares deeply about the success of all our students.”

Schell joins Metro Schools from California, where she served as the executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide policy and advocacy organization, from 2001 – 2011. She garnered a national reputation for innovative, effective leadership for her role in securing $105 million for ongoing state funding for arts education for all 6 million California students in 2006. Most recently, she has worked as founding principal of Laurie Schell Associates, providing consulting services and issue expertise to nonprofits with a focus on the arts and K-12 education.

She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Stanford University and a master of arts in liberal studies in dance from Wesleyan University.

“Music Makes Us will transform music education in our city, and Nashville is fortunate to have an innovative leader like Laurie Schell shape this important program,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “She has been a champion in making arts and music a core part of every child’s education in California, and I welcome to Music City her proven ability to work with educators and music industry professionals.”

Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project is a public/private partnership among Metro Schools, Mayor Karl Dean, the Music City Music Council, and music industry leaders in Nashville. The initiative will move Metro Schools beyond a traditional performance-based music curriculum to an expanded curriculum that includes diverse music genres. New classes in composition, rock band and hip-hop performance will be added, while traditional music curriculum in band, orchestra and choir will be enhanced.

“It is exciting to see the Music Makes Us initiative take shape,” said Nancy Shapiro, vice president of member services for The Recording Academy and an early advocate for Music Makes Us. “Laurie’s hiring is another step toward our goal of making Nashville’s music education program the best in the nation.”

The initiative is under the overall direction of Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools, with a community advisory board to be appointed by Mayor Dean and Dr. Register. The staff also includes Dr. Nola Jones, music coordinator, and long-time Metro Schools educator Carol Crittenden. Schell will begin her duties June 15.

About Music Makes Us

Music Makes Us is a new approach to music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools that focuses on enhancing the traditional music curriculum and adding a contemporary curriculum track that uses new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape. Reaching 79,000 students in Metro Public Schools, Music Makes Us pledges to make Nashville the worldwide leader in music education. The initiative was announced in 2011 as a partnership among Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the Music City Music Council.


Mayor Dean at Harris-Hillman

Mayor Karl Dean joined Harris Hillman families, friends and staff for the dedication of the new Wiggle Room Therapy Facility at Harris Hillman School.

The Wiggle Room is an environmental support that supplies an opportunity for students with performance exceptionalities to address academic goals. It uses movement and body input to help prepare students for learning readiness while also challenging the student in appropriate IEP goals. It is implemented using a integrated team approach and plans are individualized for each student to help promote successful engagement.

Funded by the
Shelby Foundation, an organization that has been extremely dedicated to the students and growth of Harris-Hillman School since 2006. Since its inception, the Shelby foundation has raised more than $318,000 for much needed projects at the school!


Mayor's Field DayMayor Karl Dean has been working to make Nashville a more healthy city all year - walking 100 miles and hosting a 5K. Now he's truly taking it to another place entirely by taking over LP Field for a city-wide Field Day!

It's on Saturday, May 5, and you can expect the usual round-up of field day events, along with plenty of games, fun, and friends. It's geared toward Nashville's kids (or the kids in all of us), teaching young people great ways to stay active in a more creative and fun way.

From the Mayor's Field Day Website:

Tennessee has the nation’s fourth-highest childhood obesity rate. The numbers are equally distressing in Nashville where 38.1 percent of our youth are either obese or overweight. On May 5, 2012, the journey to a healthier Nashville will continue with the first-ever “Mayor’s Field Day with the Tennessee Titans” at LP Field.

This event will engage families of diverse fitness levels in a relaxed, tournament-type field day designed around learning new, fun, kid-friendly ways to be active. Attendees will enjoy creative games, a fitness fair, a Celebration Awards Ceremony highlighting the day’s events and live entertainment.

In an effort to get our youngest Nashvillians and their families excited about moving and being active, the Mayor’s Field Day experience is open to the public free of charge.

You read that right. It's 100% free for everyone!

There will be plenty of special guests, giving you and your children the chance to compete against Tennessee Titans and some of Metro Schools' own champion athletes.

There's much more information in the flyer below, as well as on the Mayor's Field Day website. A lot of us will be there and we expect to see a lot of you there, too!

Mayor's Field Day



Music Makes UsMusic permeates Nashville at all levels, and soon it will permeate Nashville public education at all levels, too.

From the stage at the Ryman Auditorium, Mayor Karl Dean, Director of Schools Jesse Register and many community and business leaders in Nashville announced 'Music Makes Us,' a new approach to music education that will reach students in all grades.

Young students will be exposed to all kinds of music from an early age, including jazz, bluegrass, folk, world music. Middle and high school students will be able to take courses in songwriting, DJ & remixing, hip-hop performance and more.

Numerous studies show that music education can boost student performance in many academic areas, as well as increasing motivation for classroom performance and attendance. It encourages students to form close peer groups and foster close adult relationships with teachers. The city will conduct its own study to see the effectiveness of Music Makes Us once its in place.

This program is the product of years of work by a number of partners, including Mayor Dean, Metro Schools, the Music City Music Council and the Nashville Public Education Foundation. Support will continue to come from all sides, including financial support from Nashville's business and musical communities.

There is so much more to share about this project. Check out the page we've created for Music Makes Us to learn all about it.


Music Makes Us

Join us on Friday, September 16, as we make a big announcement. We'll introduce you to Music Makes Us, a new collaborative effort from Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Schools, the Music City Music Council and the Nashville Public Education Foundation. Music Makes Us is an innovative approach to music education developed over the last two years.

We'll be joined by a special guest for the announcement at 9:00 a.m.
You can follow along on the live-blog starting at 8:45 a.m. and get all of the details on this exciting new project.


Impact NashvilleTo honor and remember 9/11, Mayor Karl Dean's Impact Nashville is organizing volunteer projects and special events for Nashville's Fire Fighters Appreciation Day, celebrated on Saturday, September 10.

One of these is the "Cards of Bravery" project, which encourages youth to write cards for police officers and fire fighters in Nashville. In these cards, young people can outline what bravery means to them and thank the brave men and women who serve our community.

Teachers & Parents: We ask you to encourage your children and your students to write their own "Cards of Bravery." This is a terrific opportunity for them to be involved in the Nashville's and the nation's efforts to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Our police officers and fire fighters will surely appreciate their kind words and support.

If you would like to participate, please bring your "Cards of Bravery" to any of the following locations by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9.

Mayor's Office
100 Metro Courthouse, 37201

Parks Department
511 Oman Street, 37203

Metro Schools Central Office
2601 Bransford Avenue, 37204

For more information on how you can be involved in Firefighters Appreciation Day and the 9/11 National Day of Service, click the links below.

Firefighters Appreciation Day

9/11 National Day of Service

Impact Nashville


You joined him in walking 100 miles over the spring and summer. Now Mayor Karl Dean has a new Challenge for Nashvillians: join him in running or walking a 5K in November!

And because every distance run requires training, the Challenge will host a nine-week series of training sessions at Metro parks all over town - starting this Saturday (September 10) at McCabe Park Commnity Center.

Full details on the Challenge are in the flier and links below.

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