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Oliver Middle School has "smashed" its competition and earned one of 20 spots nationwide in the NBC and iTheatrics Smash: Making a Musical program. The network and theatre education company teamed up to create sustainable music theatre programs in public schools. Participating schools will receive training from Broadway master professionals and materials for the schools.


Book Donation 2012 - a donation of 2,800 book and $14,000 case was given to Tusclum Elementary and Warner EOS as a result of the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive

This winter, Tusculum Elementary and Warner Enhanced Option Elementary split a donation of 2,800 books and $14,000 in money thanks to Barnes & Noble and City National Bank. The donations were the result of the Holiday Book Drive at Barnes & Noble. Read the full release below.


Two dozens students in The Academy of Business and Hospitality at Hillwood High School recently participated in a field trip and job shadow experience at the Tennessee State Capitol. Students were paired with a state representative for the morning to see how various parts of the legislative system operate. Several elected officials and employees from AT&T also spoke to the students about how government and businesses interact, including Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, and Greg Morton, President of AT&T-Tennessee.  

HIllwood High Capital Hill 2012 - students in the academy of business and hospitality job shadow at Capital HillHIllwood High Capital Hill 2012 - students in the academy of business and hospitality job shadow at Capital Hill


NSA senior Maya A. has spent the past two weeks sharing the stage with no other than Eddie George! Maya is wrapping up her role of conspirator, citizen, soldier and Octavius' servant in the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's production of Julius Ceasar. And this isn't her first run with the production company. This past summer, Maya served as stage manager's intern for the production of Romeo & Juliet.

Maya and her cast mates will make their final curtain call this weekend. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays - Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. on Sundays; and a special encore performance has been added for Sunday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Click here for more details.


Learn more about MNPS Virtual School, the Metro Schools online program offering high school-level and Advanced Placement courses to district students, home school students and other students who can work well independently.

Davidson County residents are invited to attend an information session on MNPS Virtual School at Cohn Adult Learning Center, 4805 Park Avenue, Nashville 37209, from 2 to 4p.m., on any of these dates:

Thursday, February 9

Thursday, March 8

Thursday, April 12

Thursday, May 10

Reserve your seat by emailing sherry.hill@mnps.org

Can’t make it, but still want to learn more? Call Barbra Thoeming, Virtual School Coordinator, for an appointment: 615-463-0188 ext 3910. Click here to learn more about virtual school..


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.

Head Block Building 2012 - students in a block building competitionHead Block Building 2012 - students in a block building 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.

Click through for a full list of winners.


Lessons are coming to life at Fall-Hamilton Enhanced Option School. After weeks of studying the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the fourth grade students will experience the civil rights movement through the eyes of five legends. Monday, Jan. 30, the classes will host five of the Freedom Riders, who were featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this year. From 8:45 - 9:40 a.m., the Freedom Riders will share their stories and experiences with the young students. At the end of the presentation, the fourth graders will board the “Freedom” bus  and take a ride to TSU and Fisk University where many of the Civil Rights protests originated and where the riders also attended college.


It's that time again! And Metro Schools' families may be eligible to receive free help filing their taxes. Check out the flyer below.


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Update from the Alley…Bowling Alley that is

Aaron Ruiz, a sophomore at Cane Ridge, enters the state Bowling Championships this week with the highest average in the state – an average of 227.00. What? That’s right, a state leading average of 227!

Darius Holland of Maplewood bowled one of the all-time greatest games in TSSAA high school bowling history in the district tournament. His almost perfect 288 assures his place in the TSSAA record books.

Several MNPS bowlers will be knocking them down at this week’s state championships in Smyrna. The state qualifiers include: Aisha Lee (East Lit); Summer Earnest (Hume Fogg); Chasity Towns (Hunters Lane); Raven Gore (Maplewood); Brandi Caruso (Overton); I’eshia Davis (Stratford); Aaron Ruiz (Cane Ridge); Canaan Morse (Hillsboro); Trevor Owen (Maplewood); Colin Beason (MLK); Andre Rucker (MLK); Matt Holland (McGavock); Brent Morphis (McGavock); Anh Nguyen (Overton); and Andrew Sawyer (Overton).

Good luck to all MNPS bowlers.

College Choices … Seniors Begin the Next Chapter

When The City Paper reported this week that Maplewood’s Ladarius Vanlier chose to attend Tennessee Tech this fall and return to play on the field of his final high school game, it reminded me that we have many young adults in our schools completing college applications, receiving acceptance letters, earning scholarships of all types, and preparing to leave the nest to take what they have cultivated through their life in our schools toward greater and higher accomplishments.

We are proud of the Class of 2012!

Spelling Test

Have you ever noticed how many cheers involve spelling? It’s true – some of the greatest cheers at high school and middle school sporting events require a working knowledge of how to spell certain key words.

Quiz: Which of these “spelling” cheers is the North Sports Report’s favorite?

  1. The ever popular free throw cheer: “R-E…R-E-B… R-E-B-O-U-N-D…Rebound”

  2. The edgier and more controversial: “M-I-S-S…M-I-S-S…Miss it”

  3. The rough and tumble: “Let’s get a little bit rowdy: R-O-W-D-Y”

  4. The long word spelling: “Be aggressive: B-E…A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E”

  5. Tri-word spelling: “Go…G-O; Fight…F-I-G-H-T; Win…W-I-N: Go, Fight, Win”

  6. Or, simply: “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y”

The correct answer is: All of the above.

Sportsmanship Award

The prestigious Hancock-Nipper Football Sportsmanship Awards were presented by the Nashville Civitan Club last week and included Maplewood Panthers Football Coach Arcentae Broome; Antioch Bears star Eric Miles; and Maplewood Panthers hero Wagner Serrano. Congratulations to all MNPS student-athletes who exemplify the high standards of sportsmanship.

To read all about it and find a great picture of the recipients, check out www.sportsnashville.net.

Alumni News

University of Georgia basketball star and MLK alumnus Gerald Robinson not only leads the basketball team at Georgia, he is also pursuing his master’s in Adult Education after earning his undergraduate degree in Speech Communication last Summer. MNPS alumni are awesome!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for V-I-C-T-O-R-Y



The Metro Beautification and Environment Commission (MBEC) recently honored student members of the Whites Creek High School Academy of Public Service Program for their efforts to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.

MBEC and Whites Creek High School planted an American Baldcypress tree in honor of Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who initiated a nationwide program to plant trees in her native Kenya. Last month, Whites Creek students and other members of Sierra SCENE (Student Coalition Empowering Nashville Environmentalists) participated in a sustainability fair that also featured the Nashville screening of a documentary film honoring Maathai’s legacy. MBEC gave away Baldcypress tree seedlings at the screening and announced plans to plant a tree in Nashville to honor Maathai.

The students have also been awarded numerous honors from the Sierra Club of Middle Tennessee for their science and environmental research.


Deborah Walker Photo

MNPS Coordinator of Nutrition Education and Training Deborah Walkeris letting the world know how Metro Schools works to improve the health of our students! Walker is currently featured on the USDA's Healthier US Schools Challenge website, sharing strategies and ideas that schools across the country can implement. She discusses the district's use of dietetic interns, the importance of community support, and the learning laboratories now set up in 10 pilot schools.  Check her out here.


The Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education will join school districts throughout the state to salute their local education leaders during Tennessee’s annual School Board Appreciation Week January 22-28, 2012.

The commemorative week is designed to recognize the contributions made by Tennessee’s school board members, including the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education, who are charged with governing public education under state law.

Tennessee school board members are chosen by their communities through election or appointment to manage local schools. They oversee multimillion dollar budges which fund education programs for more than 934,000 students in approximately 1,736 schools. Their personnel decisions affect more than 69,500 teachers, administrators and support workers.

These volunteer leaders also are responsible for formulating school district policy, approving curricula, maintaining school facilities, and adhering to state and federal education law. Legal concerns and the complexities of school finance, including budgeting and taxation, require them to spend many hours in board training programs and personal study to enhance their understanding of these issues.

Our deepest appreciation is extended to the dedicated men and women who make it possible for local citizens to participate in education in our community. We salute our school board whose commitment and civic responsibility make local control of public schools in our community possible:

Gracie Porter, Chair, Mark North, Vice Chair, Dr. JoAnn Brannon, Anna Shepherd, Sharon Gentry, Ed.D., Cheryl D. Mayes, Ed Kindall, Kay Simmons, and Michael W. Hayes.

Please join us by saying thank you to our school board members during Tennessee’s School Board Appreciation Week!


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

CSH Award 2012 - MNPS Office of Coordinated School Health was awarded the Pioneer Award at the NashVitality HEAL Summit



Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Athletics at its Finest

Nothing compares to middle school wrestling. The North Sports Report was in attendance when the Head Magnet Middle School Tigers grappled with the Thurgood Marshall Middle School Mariners. Have you been to a middle school wrestling match lately? It is a beautiful sporting event. Seriously, it might be the essence of athletic competition. Observation: If you sit near the mother of a middle school wrestler during her son’s match, you will be witness to the most fervent sports fan on Earth. I’m just saying…

AP Rankings Include MNPS

According to www.sportsnashville.net, the Hunters Lane Warriors (8th in AAA) and East Lit Eagles (7th in AA) boys basketball teams both appear in this week’s top ten in Tennessee.

Weather Delayed Rivalry

As the weather turns bitterly cold, the hoops heats up. The much anticipated battle between the girls hoopsters from neighborhood rivals Cane Ridge and Antioch – both undefeated in the district and playing for first place – postponed because of Friday’s weather-related school closings, did not disappoint Tuesday night and resulted in a barn-burning hoop-a-rific prelude to tournament time.

Brush with Fame…aka Dining with Old Timers

The North Sports Report lunched this week with MNPS sports legends Junior Ward (East High); Walter Overton (Pearl High and 2011 inductee to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame); Mike Tribue (Donelson High); and Jerry Pigue (Central High and longtime MNPS football coach).

Save the Date x 2

The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will honor several MNPS student-athletes, former coaches and alumni at its annual awards banquet March 5, 2012 at the Airport Marriott.

Also, the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame will induct another group of all-time greats at the 8th annual induction ceremony and luncheon at LP Field on April 10, 2012.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Essence of Athletic Competition



A panel of students from Antioch High and Hunters Lane High shared with the audience the powerful impact of AVID on their college and career plans. They discussed the AVID push toward accelerated classes, such as Advanced Placement, and their improved ACT scores as a result of skill building in AVID classes. The students credited their AVID coordinators with life-changing investments of time and energy that “make students ready for the world.” Pictured below are (front) Antioch students: Chris S., Markyth S., Alexis O., from Antioch, and (back) Hunters Lane students: Gordon P., Corey K., Candy P., De’Angelo S., and Antioch Principal Brian Mast.

 AVID Panel 2012 - a panel of students at Antioch and Hunters Lane convene to share their experiences in AVID with a roomful of guests


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!


Maplewood High School and its Academy of Business and Consumer service have inked a deal with Fifth Third Bank. The financial company will serve as an official partner of the Academy, while continuing to provide services and assistance to all Maplewood students and the school's community members. Major goals of the partnership is to provide cutting-edge strategies and training opportunities for Academy students, as well as  job-shadowing opportunities with various bank representatives and departments. Also is the works is a college savings program for all freshmen. School administrators hope to help every freshmen open a college savings account by the end of their freshman year.


Just think: this time last year we'd already had a full week's worth of snow days. This year we're all pleased that it hasn't been that bad yet. But it's always good to remind ourselves why we make the decision to close schools.

Here's an old post from January of 2011 that explains the process and gives us all a reason to be thankful that 2011-12 is not a repeat of the 2010-11 Snowpocalypse.

Originally published in January of 2011

Many people are curious about how the district makes the decision to close schools. So here goes.

It starts with the same first step as everyone else: looking at the forecast. MNPS officials closely examine what is expected and work with local meteorologists to get a frank and honest assessment of the chances for significant precipitation.

Once the snow or ice has fallen, a group of dedicated employees within the Transportation Department fan out across the city to examine the road conditions. They drive on snow and ice covered roads, looking at potential trouble spots, which include difficult hills, winding back roads, heavily shaded areas and every other factor that could affect bus and car travel on the way to or from school. It is important to note that this group examines the city's roads as a whole. The decision is not based on a single street or a single neighborhood, but rather the 500+ square miles that constitute Davidson County.

Members of this "snow patrol" then meet to discuss their assessments. In some cases they take photographs of what they found in the areas that they examined. You can see this morning's photos by clicking on the picture at the bottom of this story. The team may repeat this process 2-3 times per day, to see if road conditions have improved or worsened as the day goes on.

Once all reports have been made, all areas of town have been accounted for and all voices have been heard, the decision is made. As soon as that happens, the Communications Department makes a district-wide callout, alerts the media, and posts the information online. We know our families have decisions to make regarding childcare, work and other arrangements, so there is no delay or dawdling in between making the decision and announcing it.

We hope that this gives you a better understanding of just how much goes into making the decision to close schools. Losing an instructional day is not something to be taken lightly. If students and teachers are able to get to school safely, we want them there. But safety has always and will always come first. We appreciate the patience that everyone shows in waiting for a decision to be made, and thank you for supporting Metro Schools!

Snow Pics 003

Click here for photos taken by the "snow patrol" on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Click here
for photos taken by the "snow patrol" on Thursday, January 20, 2011

Click here
for photos taken on Thursday, January 13, 2011.

Click here
for photos taken on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.

Click here
for photos taken on the morning of January 11, 2011.


Dozens of young musicians will light up the stage at the 2012 Keep the Music Playing All-Star Concert. Hosted by CMA and organized by the Nashville Public Education Foundation and Metro Schools, the concert will feature some of the district's finest young musicians. Recording artist Chris Young will host the concert and special guest Suzy Bogguss will be on hand to help celebrate. CMA will also announce the 2011 CMA Music Festival donation to music education through the CMA Foundation and the Keep the Music Playing initiative. Since 2006, CMA has donated $4.7 million in funds and musical equipment to Metro Schools through Keep the Music Playing.


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.


If you have dreams of attending a top-rated university and live in the Edgehill area, you may be eligible for an E.S. Rose Park scholarship! Here are the guidelines:

  • Prospective freshmen must complete application by 1/31/12 deadline for merit scholarship consideration.

  • Those who meet that deadline, are admitted and meet scholarship/residency criteria will be automatically considered for the award.  Notification to scholarship recipients begins in mid-February.

  • Academic scholarships are competitive.  Rose Park Scholarship prospects will have completed a college prep curriculum with above-average grades/standardized test scores/class rank and demonstrate extracurricular activities.

  • Students meeting scholarship criteria and permanently residing in districts 17, 19 and parts of 18 will be considered.  Highest consideration will be given to those students who live in closest proximity to E.S. Rose Park. If no qualified applicants meet residency requirements, graduating seniors at any Nashville Public School enrolled in free/reduced meal program will be considered for the E.S. Rose Park Scholarship if they are admitted to Belmont and meet the scholarship criteria).

  • Two (2) full-tuition scholarships are awarded each year.  In some years, additional half-tuition scholarships will be awarded.  Recipients must maintain a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average to renew scholarships.

  • In addition to merit scholarships, Belmont University offers a variety of need-based financial assistance.  Students should submit the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline for need-based aid consideration. Visit www.belmont.edu/sfs for more information.

For more information, call Belmont University at 615-460-6785.


Two Rivers Middle School CheerleadersTeam of the Week: Two Rivers Middle School Cheerleading

At halftime of a great middle school basketball game last week, the cheerleading squad for Two Rivers Middle School took the court for their “Victory” halftime cheer. A couple of the team members are accomplished gymnasts and flipped their back handsprings while others ran on the court waving pom-poms to announce their arrival as the halftime performance. Amanda Cooper, an eighth grader in her second year on the squad, took her place in the formation alongside her teammates and helped the team to an extraordinary performance. I couldn’t help but notice that Amanda has cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair, and is rolled into formation. Undaunted, Amanda and the squad perform flawlessly.

Amanda, Two Rivers Middle CheerleaderThe most unique thing about this team of extraordinary athletes … no one seemed to consider it the least bit unusual. The team members, the opposing team, the coaches, and even the fans recognized the squad for what it is – a great cheerleading team. Period.

Middle school students are fantastic, and middle school athletics exemplify the beauty of public education, teamwork and school pride and spirit. Thank you and congratulations to Principal Bill Moody, Coaches Anna Bateman and Ana Del Rio, parent volunteer Jennifer Morrison, and the Two Rivers Middle School Cheerleaders for a job well done.

Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Update from the Alley

MNPS bowlers are working the lanes toward the State Bowling Championships on January 26-28 in Smyrna. According to the TSSAA website, Hunters Lane’s girls took home the team district title while East Lit. and Hume Fogg girls bowled to a second place finish in their respective districts. Maplewood, Overton, and MLK boys bowling teams each finished as runner-up in their respective districts.

Encounter with a Champion

On a recent visit to Stratford High School, I met senior Spartan Tyesha Jones, track and field superstar in the Discus. The two-time defending state champion is gearing up to toss that disk toward a threepeat. She can throw a discus farther than you can throw a frisbee.

That brief visit has me looking forward to Spring and continued domination of the track by MNPS. Reminder: MNPS has the defending team track and field state champions in both girls track (MLK) and boys track (Stratford).

See pictures of Tyesha and Stratford's State Championship Track & Field Team

Middle School Wrestling – Save the Date

It looks like MNPS middle school grapplers will go to the mat for the City Championship Wrestling Tournament on Saturday February 4 beginning at 9:00am at East Literature. Come out and catch the action.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Flawless Performances



Schools will be closed on January 16, 2012, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But just because you're not in school doesn't mean there won't be plenty of chances to learn something and make a difference.

Whichever event you choose to take part in, have a safe and enjoyable long weekend as we honor an American hero in Martin Luther King, Jr.


We're proud to announce the winners of this year's Metro Kathryn C. Mitchell Spelling Bee!

  • First Place—Curren Neenan from Meigs Magnet

  • Runner-Up—Gary Johnson from McKissack Middle

These two young men will be competing in the Davidson County Bee on February 7, 2012 with 7th and 8th graders from all over Davidson County. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding young men on this achievement.

We also want to extend a special thank you to the Nashville Chapter of Links, Inc. who co-sponsored the Metro-Kathryn C. Mitchell Bee and those in that organization who awarded the first place winner a $500 check and the second place winner a $250 check. The Charles Davis Foundation provided plaques for each of the participants. In addition to providing these wonderful awards, the Links organization also sponsored a reception for the spelling bee contestants, their families and the teacher sponsors.

The Davidson County Bee will be held February 7, 2012 at Trevecca Nazarene University. Our students will be competing with other 7th and 8th graders from many of our counties private schools.

Thank you to all students who participated. All participants did an outstanding job of representing their schools!


This is exactly what we mean when we say MNPS is creating a 'College Going Culture' in our schools!

More than 1,000 students and parents came to school on a Saturday to get a head start on preparing for the ACT. Pearl-Cohn High School started hosting these Saturday sessions last semester and brought in 400-600 students every week!

This semester's classes started with the biggest crowd ever, and principal Milton Threadcraft is confident that many students and more will continue to come each Saturday through the end of the year.

These classes are open to all students in Metro schools. Students who attend will get breakfast and be split up into different seminars covering different sections of the test. Even middle school students are welcome to join in if they want to get an early start on their ACT preparations.

Classes start promptly at 7:00 a.m. each Saturday, so don't be late! Dr. Threadcraft told us that students need to come on time and ready to get serious about the ACT. He says that his students at Pearl-Cohn are already seeing results: so far this year more Pearl-Cohn students have scored a 20 or above than all of last year!

ACT Prep Classes

Pearl-Cohn High School

Every Saturday

7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

See hundreds of students in action learning how to score well on the ACT.

WATCH a NewsChannel5 story on Saturday ACT classes!


Now that you've turned in your Fall Application, what next? Selection Cards were mailed on January 3, 2012. Selection Day is Jan. 7, starting at 9 a.m., at the Martin Center Professional Development Center. Families are welcome to attend the event, watch it live on NewsChannel 5+ or check the district website for a full list of selections. more


McGavock Photo Winner 2012

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.


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Hoops in High Gear

During the break, the North Sports report attended the East Literature basketball tournament and Hillsboro’s visit to Hunters Lane. Amid the constant chants of “D-up, D-up, D-up” from the round-ball faithful, I witnessed some nail-biting action, dominant performances, slick no-look passes and thunderous dunks. Now, when I say “thunderous dunks,” I mean high-flying, rim-rattling, backboard-swaying, Sports Center highlight worthy, slam-bam jams. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Center of Attention (aka Games are Won in the Trenches)

When you check the football box scores in the morning paper, it never includes the most important player on the field – the Center. It might be cliché to say no play would begin without the center, but a successful team relies on the grit, determination, and skill of the center of the offensive line, and MNPS has some of the best in the state.

If you only checked the box score, you would have missed that the winning team of the Toyota East West All-Star Game was anchored by center Carl Jones, Jr., a senior at MLK and a member of the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds. Congratulations to all MNPS linemen who toil in the trenches while others get the glory.

All-Midstate Teams Announced

The Tennessean’s All-Midstate teams for the fall sports included several MNPS students:

First Team:

  • Caleb Azubike, McGavock (Football)

  • Ladarius Vanlier, Maplewood (Football)

Second Team:

  • Demario Donnell, Pearl-Cohn (Football)

  • Denzel Jones, Maplewood (Football)

  • Sam Klockenkemper, MLK (Cross-Country)

  • Randall Smith, Maplewood (Football)

Third Team:

  • Dustin Binkley, Maplewood (Football)

  • Michael Cain, Whites Creek (Football)

  • Gabriela Herrera, Hillsboro (Cross-Country)

  • Elise Norton, MLK (Soccer)


On a side note – and in my entirely biased opinion – it appears to me from attending many MNPS sporting events this fall that the local morning paper overlooked several other deserving MNPS students and coaches in its post-season honors. Congratulations to everyone who competed in athletics this fall.

Loss of a Legend

Tom Squires, a 2008 inductee to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame, Madison High School alumnus, and local sports-writing legend passed away this week at the age of 63. His contribution to high school athletics in Nashville is immeasurable. We send our condolences to his wife Brenda, son Chandler and all his family and friends.

Alumni Alert #1

Hunters Lane alum Grant Boone standing alongside Gary Danielson and Vern Lundquist in the CBS Sports booth.Did you see Hunters Lane alumnus Grant Boone on the CBS broadcast of the Sun Bowl? Grant was a member of the first class of Hunters Lane High School and has gained a reputation as one of the best up-and-coming play-by-play announcers in the country. CBS called him to fill-in for announcer Verne Lundquist whose illness made him questionable for the game. Although Lundquist recovered to handle his duties, Grant received some air time during the broadcast. Alumni Alert trivia: Grant Boone is the nephew of crooner Pat Boone and attended Madison High School until Hunters Lane opened for the 1986-87 school year.

Alumni Alert #2

Whoa! How about that tackle by Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins near the end of Sunday’s game with the Titans? That’s right… Glencliff Colt Tim Dobbins is headed to the NFL playoffs this week. Tim attended Iowa State and played for the Cyclones after graduating from Glencliff.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Thunderous Dunks


Students in the Academies of Nashville, smaller learning communities within Metro's 12 zoned high schools, will be showing off their skills this semester! Students, staff and business partners will host Showcase Nights, one at each high school, for interested students, parents and community members. Guests will learn what academies are offered at each high school, how to enroll, and the benefits of learning in an academy. These events come as the district prepares for Spring Application period, March 1 - 31, during which time families can apply to attend schools with open seats.


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.

Edwin Santiago
Edwin Santiago - Picture courtesy of



It's not every day high school students get to study at Vanderbilt University, alongside some of the nation's top researchers and scientists. Now through Feb. 10, Metro Schools' current 8th graders can vie for a spot in The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt's Class of 2016.

Students enrolled in the school will attend their regular high school four days of the week. The fifth day, they will study at Vanderbilt. Students who complete the four-year program will graduate high school with an additional seven honors science elective credits.

SSMV offers high school students an interdisciplinary, research-centered learning experience. For more information or to apply, visit the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt here.


UPDATE: Litton Middle School will remain at the Dalewood campus for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year. Unexpected delays in the renovations happening at the Litton building mean the school cannot move this month, as was previously expected.

Litton families moved to the Dalewood building more than a year ago while renovations started at their school. The construction process has been delayed, largely due to an unexpectedly high amount  of rain this fall and winter.

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