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Kimberly Woodard Apollo MS - 2013 teacher of the year finalistKimberly 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 Nashville Tree Foundation is looking for “big, old” trees and needs your help!

The Nashville Tree Foundation needs you to enter Davidson County's big trees in their annual Big Old Tree contest. The organization has extended the deadline to enter to April 3.  Grab your friends, service club, neighbors, classmates or family and help NTF make sure Nashville's largest and oldest trees are recognized and protected. Trees of any species in Davidson County can be nominated by any person. The trees can be on the property of the nominator, a neighbor, friend, or stranger, or on public property. The owner's permission is suggested but not required.

How to enter

Click here to download an entry form or register online. You can also see all past winners by species and year to make sure the tree you are entering hasn't already won. The High Tree Party, where winners will be announced, will be held at 4 p.m., April 27, at Sevier Park. The High Tree Party is free and open to the public.  


Congrats to Jyotishka and Shalom, and a special thanks to the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt for sharing the following news release with us!

Students at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt land first publication

Two members of the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt will be seeing their names in print as lead authors on their first scientific manuscript.

Jyotishka Biswas and Shalom Rottman-Yang, seniors at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt have just reached a milestone that most scientists don’t achieve until they are well into graduate school. . . having chief authorship on their first publication in a scientific journal.

In most universities, this accomplishment is a fundamental requirement in order to be awarded a PhD in a scientific discipline. But, as they are finishing up their senior years in high school, Jyotishka and Shalom have their sights set on a much more humble experience of starting their undergraduate education. Jyotishka has his sights set on Georgia Tech and Shalom is looking to head off to Princeton next fall. Both have stated that they would like to continue working in a lab during their undergraduate years.

Their work which was recently published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society http://dx.doi.org/10.1149/2.095204jes represents a substantial contribution to the electrophoretic deposition research community on par with the contributions that have been made by other professional scientists in the community. Their findings could facilitate the production of intact, but ultra-thin carbon nanotube films at an industrial scale, which could have implications in applications, such as flexible electronics, ballistic protection, and ultra-light fabrics.

In addition to their time spent at Hume-Fogg High School, Jyotiska and Shalom have been coming to Vanderbilt University for one day a week for the last four years. The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) is a joint venture between Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and offers high school students an interdisciplinary, research-centered learning experience that culminates with students entering laboratories of Vanderbilt Researchers for a year-long internship.

Students write up these projects to submit to national competitions such as the Siemens Science Competition where Jyotiska and Shalom were recently named regional finalists.

The SSMV has received funding from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health, and other generous donors.




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.


Monday, April 2, 60 MNPS high school students from the YMCA Latino Achievers will take a “World of Work” tour at the MNPS Board of Education. They will come to learn about careers in the field of education.

The panel will have a diverse group of representatives from various departments and schools within MNPS, including Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. All will share their stories – education, career path, and current role in MNPS.

The YMCA Latino Achievers’ purpose is to illuminate the path to success, where students dream, discover their strengths, and plan for their future. The group hopes to encourage these students to consider a career in education and to leave with a better understanding of what it takes to become an educator.


YouthSafetySummit2012AmbassadorsBeing outdoors in Tennessee in the spring is unbeatable, but current and future middle school students and their families stepped inside Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School on Saturday, March 24, for the second annual Youth Safety Summit.

Rodger Dinwiddie, Nashville’s nationally known expert on preventing bullying, set the tone for the day with an informative, interactive keynote address that earned high marks from families in attendance.

Breakout sessions built on this year’s theme, “Setting the Foundation for Success: Middle School Transition, Myths and Realities.”  Data Coach Marla Smith led a discussion to help parents understand their children’s performance data; Sam Davidson with Cool People Care and Jo An Scalf of Nashville Public Television advised students on smart use of the Internet;  Principal Ron Woodard of Maplewood High School and Drs. Jahangir and Sethi with Vanderbilt University Medical Center discussed preventing youth violence through positive relationships; and Gini Pupo-Walker with Metro Schools moderated a discussion on family and community involvement in schools.

The district’s 12 zoned high schools sent student Ambassadors to the event to share information about their schools and the district’s Academies of Nashville program that prepares students for college and career.

In the final session, a panel of high school juniors and seniors advised middle school students to get involved in school activities and to work hard because “high school begins in middle school and college begins in high school.” The Board of Education event ended with remarks from Board Vice Chair Mark North.


Saturday, March 31, the Cameron High Alumni Association is hosting its inaugural Taste of Cameron Fundraising event. The event will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., in the Cameron gym.


Freshman at Overton High School pledged their commitment to graduate this spring. In a special C2G (Commitment to Graduate) ceremony, the students signed a huge banner promising they will stay in school and help their peers stay in school. Throughout the year, the Class of 2015 have devoted time to writing down goals that will help them stay on track and identifying at least three people who can help support them on their journey.


Dr. Nicole Cobb will bring her educational counseling expertise to Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools as the new director of school counseling services. Cobb, the former director of the Center for School Climate at the Tennessee Department of Education, will take the place of Dr. Ann Cumbie.

"I am very excited to join the Metro Schools team,” said Cobb. "I believe Metro Schools is leading the state in innovative strategies that include promoting the value of school counselors as leaders in school reform, student achievement and college readiness.”

Cobb graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a bachelor’s of science degree in Elementary Education and a master’s of art and specialist degree in Educational Psychology. Cobb has earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Tennessee.

Prior to joining Metro Schools, Cobb taught language arts and worked as a school counselor for seven years in Putnam County School district and later worked at the Tennessee Department of Education. While director of the Center for School Climate, Cobb led the state initiative to include school climate as part of the overall reform agenda in 26 Tennessee school districts. Under her leadership, the Center reached 100,000 Tennessee youth and sought to improve school learning environments, student achievement, and postsecondary access and persistence rates.

Cobb has also partnered with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Office of P-16 Initiatives on numerous projects including CollegeforTN.org and the yearly School Counselor Institute. In addition, Cobb has experience working on policy, assessment, evaluation, and educational reform initiatives at the national level for Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ.

Cobb has served on several national and state committees including National Teacher Leader Standards, ACT policy council, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and the Council of Children’s Mental Health.


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.


The Volunteers, the premier band of the United States Army Field Band, visited Hunters Lane this week to perform and share the Army story with the students. The group tours the world every two and a half years and hand-picked Hunters Lane for this tour's Nashville stop!

 HLHSArmFieldBand2012 - The Volunteers stop by Hunters Lane
HLHSArmFieldBand2012 - The Volunteers stop by Hunters Lane 
HLHSArmFieldBand2012 3


MNPS Virtual School will have a new leader this fall. Dr. James Vince Witty has been named principal of Metro Nashville Public School’s first virtual high school.


“Dr. Witty will lead the MNPS Virtual School in becoming one of the most innovative schools in Tennessee,” said Jay Steele, associate superintendent for high schools. “We are very fortunate to have his creativity and expertise on our team.”


Dr. Witty, who began his career in education at Bradley School for the Arts in Murfreesboro, Tenn., brings a wealth of experience and expertise in nontraditional educational methods. Currently, Witty manages more than 60 educational reform initiatives for Metro Schools as the Race to the Top Grant Manager. Previously, he served as the Director of the Center for Dropout Prevention, creating and launching a resource center for the Tennessee Department of Education. Dr. Witty also has expertise in out-of-school learning, previously serving as a Director for Extended Learning for the Murfreesboro City School District.


“I am extremely excited to be a part of the innovative work of the Virtual School,” says Witty.  “I have dedicated my career to working on behalf of nontraditional learners.  As MNPS continues to expand the number of pathways for students to earn a high school diploma, I am humbled to be a part of this innovative and important work.  I look forward to leading the dynamic team at the Virtual School and making the school a national model.”


Witty is noted throughout Tennessee for his extensive policy reform work in dropout prevention, as well as alternative, nontraditional, and virtual education. Nationally, Witty is recognized for authoring the first national standards for alternative education entitled, “Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education: Indicators of Quality Programming.”  Witty also served two terms as the Vice President of the National Alternative Education Association (NAEA) and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Alternative Education Association (TAEA).


Dr. Witty attended Middle Tennessee State University and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Education.  He is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Doctor of Education degree in Learning and Leadership.  Currently, Witty is working on his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree at Nashville School of Law.


Don't worry if you haven't filed your taxes yet. The United Way is offering Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) until April 14!

So far this year VITA teams at Family Resource Centers have processed nearly 1,400 federal returns and $3,000,000 of refunds!

Don't miss your chance to get free tax help. Check out the flier below for sites and times.


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Study History…Learn about MNPS Sports Stars of the Past

Mike Organ, Tennessean sportswriter and DuPont High School alumnus, is the mastermind behind www.highschoolglorydays.com, a website dedicated to historic photos and newspaper clippings of high school sports in Middle Tennessee. If you are nostalgic or want to study the history of sports at your school, this website is a pretty good place to start. You can locate your school (remember…some of the middle schools were once high schools and have rich and storied sports traditions), and study about some of the great sports heroes, coaches, school leaders, civic giants (including at least two Mayors of Nashville), and maybe even a North Sports Reporter. By the way, the glory days for MNPS athletics include today and tomorrow!

MNPS Alumni Trivia

The North Sports Report visited with state champion football coach and ACT prep tutor Maurice Fitzgerald recently. Of course, Coach Fitzgerald’s Pearl-Cohn team won a state championship, but do you know at which MNPS high school Coach Fitzgerald starred as a student before a stellar football career at Tennessee State? This week’s trivia question is: Where did Coach Maurice Fitzgerald attend high school? The answer is at the bottom of this post.

Spring Sports – Meteorological Mayhem aka Rain Delays

Springtime in Nashville necessarily involves afternoon showers that inevitably douse tennis matches, soccer matches, baseball and softball games, and track meets. Rain will mess up your schedule? Last week, the North Sports Report witnessed the world’s longest soccer game (or at least it seemed like the longest since lightening flashed with 26:51 left in the first half, delaying the game for what seemed like decades). Somehow, the storm ended in time to resume the game before curfew, and enough fans remained on site to provide ample excitement. The evening reminded me that:

  1. time flies when an exciting game is being played;

  2. time crawls when you are sitting in a car in the rain wishing for an exciting game; and

  3. it is worth sitting through a rain delay to watch great high school sports.

Softball Season

The North Sports Report talked strategy with famed Cane Ridge Ravens Softball Coach Lance Lott during a summit at Pearl-Cohn High School. It should be a great season for all the MNPS Softball diamond girls.

While at the same summit, Pearl-Cohn’s Principal Dr. Milton Threadcraft showed me the Firebird’s softball schedule and promotional poster featuring Deidra Truitt, Brittany Grayson, Adrienne Lavender, Savannah Miller, and June Jackson. Awesome!

Pearl-Cohn Softball Team

Alumni Trivia Answer

Where did Coach Maurice Fitzgerald attend high school? Answer: Hume Fogg!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Storied Sports Traditions


Researchers condemn shoddy methods, analysis of test data investigation

UPDATE (3/27/12): The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has removed any references to Two Rivers Middle School from the original story.

UPDATE (3/26/12): The Washington Post agrees with our objections

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) has hired a marketing firm to tout its investigative story on testing data from several large school systems despite being informed of numerous flaws in its methodology and analysis. The story is scheduled to appear in this Sunday’s edition and, while Metro Schools has not seen the story, the paper shared its data and methodology earlier this week in its first contact with the district. The information provided is questionable and shows a complete lack of knowledge or understanding of the system and students. Other school systems contacted have voiced similar protests of the data.

“We looked at the data provided, along with the methodology for their analysis, and immediately identified numerous flaws, as did an independent statistician from Vanderbilt,” said Dr. Paul Changas, executive director for Research, Assessment and Evaluation for Metro Schools. Dr. Changas was the first statistician hired by the State of Tennessee to assess student achievement results.

The AJC has based its analysis of school testing data from the nation’s largest school districts by “flagging” any movement in student achievement that is extremely high or low. Metro Schools’ has provided detailed information to the AJC outlining the serious flaws in the information provided to the district and in the methods they used to calculate their data. Some of those include:

  • The AJC analysis assumes that students in one grade level at a school one year are the same students that were there the previous year in the previous grade.

    • Metro Schools has mobility rates between 35%-40%.

    • Zoning changes have impacted student enrollment.

    • A significant number of ALCs (Alternative Learning Centers) and special schools (including homebound) are flagged in the data; these schools often have very fluid populations - ALC populations have 100% annual turnover.

  • This AJC information flags schools with unusually high numbers of discrepancies from predicted scores – both high and low.

    • 77% of the cases flagged in MNPS were due to low performance (significantly below predictions).

    • The negative scores we saw were not part of a pattern of high gain one year followed by significant loss the next (as would be expected if there were improper testing procedures).

    • There was not a single case of unusually high gains flagged for 2011.

  • The AJC data we received had obvious errors, including children who were absent from testing being assigned a “zero” rather than being excluded from the analysis - resulting in average scores that were below the minimum score possible.

  • Tennessee adopted much more difficult academic standards in 2010, resulting in a significant decrease in student test scores.

  • Metro Schools has the highest population of English Learners in the state, with approximately 1 in 4 of our students coming from non-English Language Backgrounds. National data show EL students typically make among the largest gains from year to year as they learn the English language; several of the schools flagged for positive gains have high EL populations.

  • The Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) uses much more sophisticated analytical techniques (Henderson’s mixed model methodology) and follows actual cohorts of students to analyze gains of teachers, schools, and districts and TVAAS results have typically been comparable to statewide trends for several years.

Read a detailed list of issues with AJC's methods

Other information provided to the AJC included information from Dr. Dale Ballou, associate professor of Public Policy and Education with Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education, who has reviewed Metro Schools’ testing results for a number of years. Dr. Ballou has reviewed the data provided and found some statistically impossible anomalies. In addition, Dr. Ballou has been involved with an independent analysis of test gains of MNPS middle school math teachers over three years (2006-07 through 2008-09). This review, conducted by Dr. Brian Jacob of the University of Chicago on behalf of Vanderbilt University, did not show any unusual or suspicious patterns.

  • The analysis was conducted as part of the Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) study, to determine whether tying significant financial incentives for teachers (up to $15,000 per teacher per year) to student achievement made an impact.

  • The analysis conducted by Dr. Jacob was specifically to determine if evidence existed of invalid test scores. None was found.

“We are shocked and disappointed the Atlanta Journal Constitution has included our district in their investigative report to be released Sunday, despite these and a number of additional flaws in their analysis brought to their attention prior to its publication,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Their lack of understanding of our schools and district is reflected in the data we have seen.”

Michael Casserly, executive director for the Council of the Great City Schools, a national organization representing large school districts, has also criticized the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s approach, saying, “These are serious charges that should be supported by the strongest evidence. That strong evidence has not been provided.”

Read the full statement from the Council of Great City Schools


Continuing our salute to March Madness, we're bringing you Eight reasons why MNPS is an Elite place to work! Click on each reason for much more information.

The Teacher Leadership Institute, shaping young educators into future leaders.

The chance to earn a Master’s degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt... at no cost to you!

6. Role Models

Exemplary Leaders

Cutting Edge of Reform


An all-inclusive learning environment

1. Work alongside some of the nation’s top teachers


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.


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Vanessa Lutton, library media specialist at Bellevue Middle School, came into a career inVanessa Lutton TOY Finalist 2012 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.

Brick Church Team Terminator 2012


The Encore classes at Dan Mills, Amqui, and Rosebank Elementary schools spent five weeks of this semester studying a unit called “Math on the Menu.” Led by Encore teacher Julie Delgado, the unit took them through a mock-journey of the opening for a family business, a Mexican restaurant. The students studied everything from menu groupings to floor plan possibilities for the actual restaurant building. At the end of the five weeks, the culminating activity was a Mexican fiesta complete with a "build-your-own-tostada" bar and restaurant decorations and Mexican heritage music. It was very rewarding to watch the students' interest heighten as we encountered each activity each week. The students said it was "really fun", the "tostadas were really good", and it was "better than a field trip!" Several had a great time creating the "decor for the restaurant." According to Delgado, “Encore is a wonderful program where we, teachers, get to teach ‘out-of-the-box’ material.”

To learn more about Encore, click here

Encore Restaurant 2012          Encore Restaurant 2012 2


In honor of March Madness, we’re bringing you sixteen sweet moments from the 2011-12 school year!

16. The new Confucius Classroom at Hillsboro High opens for international learning.

15. Our students continute to learn alongside some of Nashville's top executives, thanks to partnerships through the Academies of Nashville.

14. Dual enrollment, which allows our students to earn college credit - and even degrees! - while finishing high school.

13. The students at Maplewood High School and the love they feel for their school.

12. The Academies at Old Cockrill & Hickory Hollow, who will graduate their 1,000th student this spring!

11. The announcement to reopen the Academy at Opry Mills, a school ready serve even more students who are serious about graduating.

10. A new record! We have the highest number of Nationally Board Certified teachers within Metro in a single year!

9. The explosion of online learning at MNPS Virtual School, open to ALL high school students looking for extra classes or a different approach to school.

8. Our amazing alumni, who continue to impress us every day.

7. Options galore! We offered families dozens of school options through fall and spring applications.

6. With Hattie Cotton Elementary, Bailey Midde, and Stratford High Schools all opening as STEM Magnet Schools this year, we have the only K-12 STEM continuum in our region!

5. Oh, and we also have the only K-12 International Baccalaureate continuum in Tennessee.

4. We won a grant from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers! MNPS was chosen as one of just four districts in the nation to serve as a model for how to evaluate and authorize a charter school.

3. The creation of Music Makes Us, a program designed to spread music throughout all students in all schools.

2. Our Teachers of the Year, who earned their titles through hard work and dedication to their students.

1. Our Community is #1 in 2011-12! You have all shown such great support of Metro Schools and public education. Get a taste of the love for MNPS in our "I Heart Metro Schools" video.


Spring has sprung, and so have the arts! March 23-26, Hillsboro High will present Little Shop of Horrors. Tuesday, March 27, Glencliff High will follow up with Our Greatest Need is to be Needed, a special production in which students with disabilities will present leading roles in life and show the challenges they face. More details on both below.


Overton High School’s Future Business Leaders of America organization recently Overton FBLA 2012participated 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!


Several Metro high school students have been selected to attend an all expenses paid trip to the 2nd annual USA Science and Engineering Festival, which will feature more than 3,000 fun, interactive exhibits, stage shows and author presentations.  Alex C. and Emma R., sophomores at Hillsboro High, Andrew C. and Dorwin W., students at Stratford STEM Magnet High, Susanna P., a student at MLK and the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, and Nhung H., a student at Overton High and the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, were selected to present during the Final Expo.

The festival will be held in Washington D.C., April 28-29. Students were selected based on essays exploring the topic of banning water bottles on college campuses. The students were selected to attend the science festival based on essays, grades and behavior.

At the festival, the team of students will work together to provide hands-on activities at one of the Vanderbilt University booths. Students will assist participants in dissecting a sea bird bolus and identifying the plastics found inside. Students will also be able to visit the other booths and the college fair. 

And what would a trip to the Capitol be without a lesson on history! The students will have some free time to visit area attractions. Congratulations!


Hillwood High School was the latest added to the list of stops for the Greater Nashville Association ofGNAR Hillwood 2012 - a group of realtors tour the school Realtors' (GNAR). The group has toured several high schools this year, checking out the Academies of Nashville and hearing from students what's great about their schools.

This morning, a group of about 40 realtors visited the west Nashville high school and toured the school's three academies: Academy of Art, Design & Communication, Academy of Business & Hospitality, and Academy of Health Sciences. The realtors also got a glimpse of Hillwood's Academic Scholars program and heard directly from the students why they love their school.


Metro Schools Nutrition Services Department recently teamed up with the Tennessean and MTSU in a tweetup regarding childhood obesity. The goal was to raise awareness of the growing problem and find ways to help our young people live healthier. Check out these fun facts we shared.

Nutrition by Numbers:

  • 19 of our schools participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program that brings fruit and vegetable snacks directly to the classroom.

  • Students exposed to many different types of fruits and vegetables. This year, we added 14 new salad bars in our schools. 

  • FACT: Our school lunches average 541 calories

  • 19 of our schools have won the Healthier US Challenge Award which recognizes schools who promote healthy eating and physical activity. How do you stay fit?

  • 48 of our school have school gardens. MNPS and the Metro Health Dept are teaming up to increase this number http://www.mnps.org/Page85165.aspx

  • Pizza can be healthy. Pizza served in our schools are made of 51% whole wheat flour and low-sodium cheese. We also serve turkey hotdog.

  • Here’s a fun fact. 10 of our schools started a pilot program to do more cooking from scratch and use less processed foods.

And don't miss these great links:

School Gardens

Menu and Meal Prices

Nutrition Information


Dr. Register Apollo Award 2012Dr. 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.


Stratford STEM Hub Announcement 2012 - Governor Haslam talking with Stratford studentsMetro Nashville Public Schools has been named a leader in the state-wide effort to prepare our young people for STEM-related careers, one of the fastest growing business sectors in the world. Demonstrating the new leadership role, Stratford STEM Magnet High School hosted Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman as they announced three new Tennessee schools focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in Hamilton, Putnam and Sullivan counties.

The district was previously awarded $850,000 by the Tennessee Department of Education to develop and implement a Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub. The Hub will support student learning through engaging and rigorous STEM instruction, engage adults in a professional learning community; and create a network of community partners who will help develop or accelerate innovative strategies for regional STEM initiatives.

Check out the full release below.


SCORE Annual Report 2012 at West End - students, staff and state leaders listen to Former Senator Bill FristStudents and staff at West End IB World Middle School proudly hosted a group of Tennessee leaders and education reform activists today. SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, selected the school as the backdrop of its 2012 Annual Report on the State of Education in Tennessee. In selecting a site to release the annaul report, SCORE noted that West End is one of the highest performing schools in the state:

West End Middle School, where the report release was held, is one of the top performing schools in the state, and has made dramatic gains in narrowing the black-white achievement gap, the Hispanic-white achievement gap, and the economically disadvantaged/non-disadvantaged achievement gap. The school is part of Metro Nashville Public Schools.

SCORE collaboratively supports Tennessee’s work to prepare students for college and the workforce. They are an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan advocacy and research institution, founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.


The Spring Application Deadline has been extended! Families wishing to apply for a Spring Application School must submit the application, online or in printed form at the MNPS Customer Service Center, no later than 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 2. To learn which schools are available during Spring Application and how to apply, click here.


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

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.

Click here for photos of the Scholar Athlete Awards

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 Julie Hasfjord TOY Julia Green 2012fortune-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


Metro Schools is hosting its second annual Youth Safety Summit, and this year, it's all about loving middle school! Students will also get a glimpse of what's in store when the transition to high school. Students representing The Academies of Nashville, located in all 12 zoned high schools, will be on hand to share their experiences with the younger peers. Parents will learn how to understand test scores, be more involved, and stay safe online.

CLICK HERE to See What's on the Agenda



McKissack Mentoring Program 2012 - a group of 8th grade girls who participated in a new mentoring programA new mentoring program at McKissack Middle aims to help 8th grade females focus on self-esteem, culture and pride, and fulfilling their legacies.  The first three sessions were was conducted by school social workers, Jessica Bell and Cate Westfall, a representative from Conexion Americas, Cecilia Gomez, and a Nashville professional singer, Myshel Wilkins.  The students were inspired by the message given by each guest speaker. The mentoring program will continue through the end of the year, focusing on: Relationship Building, Finances & Budgeting, Sisterhood/Teambuilding Exercises, and Mock Interviews.

Miss Fisk and her royal court recently visited McKissack Middle School. They began the Miss Fisk McKissack 2012 - Miss Fisk and her royal court visit McKissack 8th gradersday sharing why they chose to attend Fisk via the schools morning newscast. Next, the group stopped by each 8th grade classroom to share valuable lessons on college, career, and respect for oneself and others. Miss Fisk and her court were escorted to each classroom by McKissackStudent Council President Tatiyana Coleman. 


Glencliff High School is one of the most diverse in the state, and they want you to experience the wonderfully rich and varied cultures with them!

For a Spanish flyer, click here.


Can you spell "scholarship"? If so, this might be the perfect opportunity for you!


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 Sharon Gentryher 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:

  • Jerica J. - 1st Place, Teach and Train

  • Madonna B. - 1st Place, Leadership

  • Mariama D. - 1st Place, Job Interview

  • Eboni C. and Evelyn C. - 1st Place, Environmental Ambassador

  • Natasha G. and Jazmine R. - 1st Place, Advocacy

  • Brandi Coates - 2nd Place, Nutrition and Wellness

  • Danielle Palmer - 2nd Place, Promote and Publicize FCCLA

  • Chelsea Dancy- 3rd Place, Illustrated Talk

  • Patrice M., Imani B, and Anyika H. - 3rd Place, Life Event Planning

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.

Antioch FCCLA 2012 - a picture of the students who placed and will advance to state


There's a new Burro in town, and he has quite a list of credits!
Craig Clayton has been named the new leader of Hillsboro High School’s football team. He will join the faculty for the 2012-2013 school year and assume the head coaching position of the Burros. Clayton brings 28 years of head coaching experience, with 26 winning seasons.

Clayton joins the Hillsboro Football Program with a coaching career that started as an assistant coach in Christian County High School in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Coach Clayton rose quickly through the coaching ranks serving as an offensive coordinator at both Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky and at Madisonville High School in Madisonville, Kent. Clayton’s first head coaching job was with Todd County High School in Elkton, Kent., followed by a long and successful stay at Hopkinsville High School in Hopkinsville, Kent. Clayton’s most recent coaching assignment was as Franklin High School Head Football Coach in Franklin, Tenn., where he served from 2005-2011.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to get the program back to the place it was just a few years ago,” says Coach Clayton. “I feel that everyone in the school wants to work together to make the Hillsboro football program a success.”

Dr. Terry Shrader, principal of Hillsboro is excited to have Coach Clayton joining the Burros and hopes the new leader will help propel the Burros back to the top. Hillsboro won State Championship titles twice in the past decade, in 2005 and 2008.

“It is great to find a coach with Coach Clayton’s level of experience and success,” says Shrader. “We had more than 70 applicants and feel sure that Craig Clayton will move our football team back to the top.”

Clayton’s teams have an overall record of 230-114. Clayton’s teams have made the playoffs for 21 straight years. In 28 seasons as a head coach, Clayton’s teams have had 26 winning seasons. Coach Clayton’s teams finished as state runner-ups in 1996, 1997, and 2008. His teams made it to their respective state semifinals in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004. Clayton placed teams in the state quarter-finals in 1995, 2003, 2007, and 2009.

As a player Craig Clayton was selected to the 2nd team Associated Press Kentucky All State Team. He was also Honorable Mention All Ohio Valley Conference in 1972 and the Western Kentucky University Best Blocker in 1972.


Jenny Gambill - Glengarry Teacher of the Year 2013Jenny 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


Students at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School will be able to perform in PCHS Steinway Grand Piano 2012 - Brandon Herrenbruck delivers nine-foot grand piano to the schoolconcert style. Tuesday, March 7, a beautiful Steinway nine-foot grand piano was donated and hand-delivered to Pearl-Cohn by Steinway and Sons by Brandon Herrenbruck, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Herrenbruck returned to the school March 8 to hear the piano being played at the announcement of a new student-run record label. He was so impressed, he and his father-in-law, Bill Metcalfe, President of Steinway and Sons, visited the school again on March 9, to tour the entertainment high school. The pair are now part of Pearl-Cohn’s Circle of Friends!


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

It’s Official…Referees Deserve Kudos

The North Sports Report recently ran into TSSAA referee and Baxter ALC Principal Billy Fellman and was reminded that referees, umpires, and officials of all monikers deserve our gratitude for handling the difficult, pressure-packed, and often thankless job to officiate games. How important are the officials? Remember the old saying: “Without the referees, it would just be recess.” Wear the stripes proudly!

Award Season – A View from the Red Carpet

The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame held its annual banquet at the Airport Marriott. With the honorees all donning black tie tuxedos, it is the most regal, celebrity-laden event of all sports related award galas. From media celebrities like George Plaster to college coaching legends Johnny Majors and Watson Brown to MNPS coaching royalty Wes Elrod and Jerry Pigue, to MNPS Sports Hall of Fame members Walter Overton (Pearl) and Bonnie Sloan (Litton), to over sixty mid-state football player honorees and their families, this is a can’t miss event. Even the NFL Hall of Famer Raymond Berry, fresh off his appearance at the Super Bowl delivering the Lombardi trophy to the stage, was in attendance. I am not kidding…the North Sports Report shook the hand that caught passes from Unitas.

The real stars, of course, were the student-athletes honored that night with the Charles W. Hawkins III Scholar Athlete Award. Those awards went to DeMarco Moore (Antioch); Jamaris Pye (Cane Ridge); Calvin Canada (East Lit); Justin Farr (Glencliff); Ben Ross (Hillsboro); Andrew Chomic (Hillwood); Victor Fletcher (Hunters Lane); Dustin Binkley (Maplewood); Caleb Azubike (McGavock); Ike Amadi (Overton); Demario Donnell (Pearl-Cohn); George Gutierrez (Stratford); and Ashuntae Bass (Whites Creek).

DeMarco Moore of Antioch also won the Jim Barrom Spirit Award for exemplifying the “highest qualities of sportsmanship.”

Oh, I almost forgot…the Hunters Lane Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. As always, the MNPS ROTC students were outstanding.

Madison High School legend Houston Ragan was honored with the Bonnie Sloan Courage Award presented annually to a person who “overcame obstacles and fought back to succeed.” The award is named for Litton great Bonnie Sloan, the first deaf player in the NFL. If you don’t know the story of Houston Ragan, go visit him at Maplewood High School where he serves as one of the best school counselors in the state.

The North Sports Report had the unparalleled privilege to present the Bonnie Sloan Courage Award, and shared the stage with Bonnie Sloan, Houston Ragan and NFL great Raymond Berry. “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong”…It was me.

Stop and Make the Call

Houston Ragan coached me at Madison High many (I dare say many, many) years ago. I cannot express how gratifying it is to have the opportunity to thank him for the influence he had on me. If you have a coach, teacher, family member or anyone else who inspired you by their example, call them and say thank you. Great people like Houston Ragan don’t always appreciate the positive impact they have on people’s lives, so call and tell them … and I mean today!

Alumni Alert

Among the stars of the hardwood at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena were McGavock star Ndidi Madu of the Florida Gators and Hillsboro star Isabelle Harrison of the SEC Tournament Champion Tennessee Lady Vols.

MNPS: The First Choice for Exemplifying the Highest Qualities of Sportsmanship


Metro Schools proudly inducted 28 promising young teachers into its 2nd Teacher Leadership Institute Class. The men and women are entering their third year of teaching and will spend the next 12 months developing leadership skills that they can use inside the classroom or in administrative roles throughout MNPS. The full release is below.

TLI 2012 - the second cohort of teachers inducted into the Teacher Leadership Institute


If you missed Dr. Register's State of Schools Address, click here to read the address in its entirety, hear a student's inspiring story, and see what's in store for Metro Schools.


I Heart Metro SchoolsThere’s a growing momentum around public education throughout Tennessee and right here in Davidson County. Metro Schools has been feeling the support increase steadily for the past couple of years. Now, with parents growing increasingly involved in our schools, nearly 170 business partners signed on to support The Academies of Nashville, and Mayor Dean and the Metro Council who have financially supported schools despite the recession, the energy is inspiring.

See why Mayor Dean, First Lady Haslam, the Nashville Sounds, and so many more continue to support our schools and hear what they love most about MNPS. And tell us why you love and support Metro Schools by sending us an email!


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.


Metro Schools' Pre-Kindergarten registration will be open Monday, March 12 - Friday, March 16. To learn if your child is eligible, how to register, and what documents to bring, click here.


Inglewood Elementary School has quite a bit going on this March. Parent workshops in computers, cool websites for kids, helping students at home, and drafting resumes will be held Saturdays, March 10, 17 and 24, from 8 a.m. - noon. Inglewood parents can register for classes here or by calling 262.6697.

The school is also participating in the Great American Clean-up, Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Volunteers can register here.


Glencliff High School's Academy of Medical Science & Research is working to raise awareness about diabetes. Throughout the year students have heard from a variety of guest speakers and participated in class assignments centered around diabetes. The Academy has planned a 5K for March 24 hoping to raise awareness beyond Glencliff High School. It is an official 5K with a certified race course. Learn more below.


Saturday, March 24, Nashville School of Arts will be hosting its annual Celebration of the Arts event.

This event introduces the community to everything that takes place at Nashville School of the Arts and is the biggest fundraiser for Friends of Nashville School of Arts (FNSA), the school’s parent/teacher organization.

Celebration of the Arts will feature art exhibits, demonstrations in dance, theater, broadcast, musical performance, and an adult/student blues jam. Guests can also shop at a special consignment store and auction. FNSA will also release the "first-ever" NSA. The CD will showcase the depth and variety of talent of the students at NSA. Including sounds from Renaissance to Rock n' Roll, the disc will feature the amazing Jazz Band, Madrigals, Swing Band, Orchestra, Early Music Consort, Pop Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Theater (Xanadu), Guitar Quartet, solo guitar, and solo piano. All components celebrate NSA student work. 

The Celebration will take place at the Nashville School of Arts campus, 1250 Foster Ave., Nashville, TN 37210. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m., for ticket sales. Tickets are $5. For more information, contact the school office at (615) 291-6600.


Need a passport? Davidson County Clerk John Arriola's Office will be open Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., in recognition of Passport Day in the USA.

Passport Day 2012 - Davidson County Clerk's Office participates in Passport Day in the USA


Grace P., an 8th grader at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet, won the Middle Tennessee Regionals Spelling Bee on Friday, March 2.  By taking 1st place, Grace became the Regionals champion and will be competing in the National Spelling Bee later this year. Grace beat out the top 52 spellers from all the other Middle Tennessee counties and will be representing Tennessee at Nationals. Grace clinched her victory by spelling the word “j-i-m-b-e-r-j-a-w-e-d” correctly. Some of her other challenging words were “Hemerocallis”, “solder”, and “Qatari”. 


Donelson Middle School student Devyn H., won an essay contest sponsored by the Metro Airport Authority, a school PENCIL Partner. For his outstanding work, Devyn and his family are headed to Florida and a visit to the Space Museum. Payton S. and Seth P. tied for second and received gift cards.



Mayor Karl DeanStudents at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School will make history next fall! The school will open a first-of-its-kind student-run record label in partnership with Warner Music Nashville.

The record label will operate identically to a real music label by signing, recording and promoting student artists from across the district. MNPS students will have to audition to get on the record label. A variety of music genres will be included. The label will be managed through a strategic alliance with Warner Music Nashville. A Pearl-Cohn student will be named to head the record label each year.

The announcement was first major announcement out of the new Music Makes Us initiative, a city-wide effort to revamp music education in Nashville public schools. New classes in composition, rock band, and hip-hop performance will be added to schools throughout the district, while traditional curriculum in band, orchestra, and choir will be enhanced.

Pearl-Cohn was transformed into an entertainment magnet high school prior to the current school year. Students get real-life experience and training in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the music and entertainment industry.


Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School is hosting a Transition Fair to help students with disabilities explore their options post high school. Numerous community businesses and partners will be on hand to talk with students and share the many opportunities and services that are available.


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!


A physics’ student at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School is closing in on a spot on the 2012 U.S. Physics Olympics Team. Austin P. was among roughly 300 students who were selected from the 3,000 who competed in the first round of the selection. He will next participate in a second exam that will identify the nation’s top 20 young physicists, i.e., the 2012 U.S. Physics Team. 

In May the top 20 will travel to the University of Maryland-College Park for the U.S. Physics Team Training Camp. There, they will endure nine days of intense studies, mystery labs, daily exams, and problem solving activities. At the end of the camp, the top five students and an alternate will be selected to serve as the traveling team and represent the U.S. at the International Physics Olympiad in Tartu, Estonia. Good luck, Austin!


The Academy at Opry Mills will have a new look and a new principal when it officially Fellman Opry Mills - a photo of the newly named principal at the academy at opry millsre-opens this fall. William Fellman has been tapped to lead the school that was forced to temporarily close after the May 2010 Flood.

Fellman, currently principal at Jere Baxter Alternative Learning Center, has been with the district for 22 years. During his time with Metro Schools, Fellman also served as assistant principal at Head Magnet Middle and resource teacher at Pearl-Cohn High, now an entertainment magnet high school.

“I am excited and honored to serve as the new principal of the Academy at Opry Mills,” says Fellman. “This is an opportunity for me to help students reach their high school graduation and go on to higher education. I look forward to the successes and challenges ahead and working with a great staff to help the students achieve their goals.”

Fellman is a native of Nashville where he graduated from DuPont High School. He later received his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and master’s from Trevecca Nazarene University. For more than 26 years, Fellman has worked as a TSSAA official for football and basketball state games and championships. Beside his educational obligations, Fellman serves on the Waterford Homeowners Association Board of Directors, and the Middle Tennessee Football and Middle Tennessee Basketball Officials Associations. He has been married to his wife Nancy for 26 years and they have three daughters, Kayla, Kelly and Kathy.

When it re-opens, the Academy at Opry Mills will join the Academy at Old Cockrill and the Academy at Hickory Hollow as non-traditional schools that offer high school diplomas to people aged 17-21 with at least 14 high school credits. The schools provide a rigorous, accelerated curriculum to students who are serious about earning diplomas. The original Academy at Opry Mills was relocated to Hickory Hollow after the May 2010 flood inundated Opry Mills. The Academy at Hickory Hollow and the Academy at Opry Mills are Simon Youth Academies developed in concert with the Simon Youth Foundation.

Apply to the Academy at Opry Mills today!


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Antioch Lady Bears – Region 6-AAA Champs

The Lady Bears from Antioch High School took home the championship trophy in Region 6-AAA with an impressive run through the bracket. I like to say they “Bear-ly” won the tournament. The North Sports Report dictionary of sports terms defines Bear-ly in this context as: “in a bear-like manner; totally dominating; awesome. See Antioch Lady Bears’ performance in the 2012 Region 6-AAA championship game.” Congratulations to Coach White and the Antioch Lady Bears!

Antioch Principal Brian Mast has called a Code Blue for the Lady Bears’ Sub-state game Saturday night March 3 at 7:00pm at the Antioch High School gymnasium. Be there dressed in blue.

Hunters Lane Warriors – Advance to the Sub-State Round

The Hunters Lane Warriors are primed and ready for a sub-state match-up with Clarksville High School on Monday night March 5 in Clarksville. The highly ranked Warriors –led by Coach Anthony Sewell and point guard Billy Hughes – put together one of the best seasons in school history and are one win away from a trip to the state tournament. Everybody’s a Warrior fan Monday night!

Regional Tournament Hosts – Stratford and Hillwood Representin’

Photo Credit: Mike Straginger

Hosting a Regional Tournament requires the coordinated efforts of coaches, administrators, teachers, staff and students. Hillwood welcomed the 16 participating teams in Region 6-AAA, and Stratford hosted Region 5-AA. Fans of high school basketball from across the mid-state enjoyed the hospitality and great environment provided by their MNPS hosts. Congratulations to the Principals – Dr. Chauncy of Hillwood and Mr. Steele of Stratford – and everyone who worked on the tournaments for a job well done. The photo shows the Hilltopper ambassadors who helped me find my seat.

Middle School Basketball Champions

MNPS crowned the Middle School boys and girls basketball champions last week at Pearl-Cohn High Schools’ gym. Congratulations for a great season to Smithson-Craighead boys basketball team (Eastern Division Champions and City Champions), McKissack Middle School boys basketball team (Western Division Champions), Kennedy Middle School girls basketball team (Western Division Champions and City Champions) and Haynes Middle Design Center girls basketball team (Eastern Division Champions).

Brush with Fame

The North Sports Report rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest athletes and coaches in MNPS history this week at basketball tournaments. Stratford basketball great Ray Maddox was back in his old stomping grounds at the Region 5-AA tournament at Stratford. In the Hillwood gym on the same night were: Pearl High great and MNPS Sports Hall of Fame member Walter Overton (he was officiating the game); Glencliff High hoopster and leader of Metro Schools’ athletic department Roosevelt Sanders; Donelson High star Mike Tribue; Madison High baseball legend (also the most popular player in Nashville Sounds’ history) Gene Menees; MNPS Sports Hall of Famer Joanne Arnold Tribue (Antioch High school legend and presently the Coach of the Cane Ridge Lady Ravens); and last but not least Coach Carlton Collier, longtime Madison High and Hunters Lane basketball and softball coach. Wow… that is a lot of fame in one gym.

Vanderbilt Sports Medicine – Athletic Trainers…keeping it healthy

I witnessed an extraordinary burst of quickness from Hunters Lane Athletic Trainer Emily Carter when a Warrior hoopster took a tremendous fall last week. Emily was on the court, providing care almost instantly and showed exemplary skill and compassion in her treatment of the injured player and his family. MNPS student-athletes have the best athletic trainers in the country on the sideline for every game. A big healthy thank you to Vanderbilt Sports Medicine for providing the athletic trainers and for the care each provides our students.


MNPS: The First Choice for Extraordinary Bursts of Quickness


Metro Schools’ Inclement Weather Team is closely monitoring the weather today to maximize the safety of our students and employees. We are working closely with the Office of Emergency Management, National Weather Service, and local meteorologists.

At this time, all after school and evening activities are cancelled; we are not planning to dismiss schools early.

The reasoning for this decision includes:

  • Our buildings are well constructed and procedures are in place for sheltering and cover during severe weather.

  • This afternoon’s weather event does not have a definitive time frame. Closing early could put students in danger because the timing of the weather is from 1 p.m. – evening.

  • Many students ride MTA buses and MTA schedules will not accommodate a sudden change, leaving these students with no way home.

  • Students may be going home to no supervision and no instructions or direction for safety in a weather event.

We will continue monitor this situation.  Please remain alert as we move through the afternoon. 

Each school is equipped with a NOAA weather radio to alert the school office of watches and warnings directly from the National Weather Service. 


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." 

Inclusion is the offering of services for Exceptional Education students in a general education classroom. Learn more about inclusion and how the district is increasing inclusive services here.


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.


More than three dozen volunteers will head to Dan Mills Elementary this afternoon to teach the students about businesses, jobs, paychecks, taxes, and resources that contribute to the local economy. Through JA in a Day, the team of 41 adult volunteers who represent 16 different companies and organizations in Middle Tennessee will be in front of the classroom leading discussions and activities on these topics.

The JA in a Day program is operated by Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee with lessons taught by volunteers, JA board members, and future educators. Every Dan Mills classroom will receive a JA program that will focus on five lessons that teach students the basic concepts of business and economics and how education is relevant to the workplace.

Organizations represented include: Allstate, Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Bridgestone Americas, Caterpillar Financial Services, Dan Mills Elementary School PTO, Deloitte, First Tennessee Bank, Ford Motor Credit, HCA, Ingram Industries, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Trevecca Nazarene University, TVA, and US Bank. 


The MNPS Middle School Science and Engineering Fair will be held on Saturday, March 3, at Rose Park Middle Math and Science Magnet School.

The 16 participating middle schools have selected the top projects from their school fairs to compete at the district fair. MNPS anticipates roughly 500 projects from students in 5th through 8th grades.

The schedule is as follows:

11:30 - 1 p.m.:   Projects open for public viewing, Rose Park Gymnasium

1 p.m.:               5th/6th Grade Awards Ceremony, Rose Park Auditorium

1:30 p.m.:          7th/8th Grade Awards Ceremony, Rose Park Auditorium


Tuesday, Feb. 21, the 3rd and 4th grade students and teachers at Glenview Elementary Glenview Award Ceremony 2012 - a student at Glenview who was awarded for achievementgathered for a special recognition assembly. Many students received awards for making the school’s Honor Roll and Principal’s List. Others were awarded for meeting their goals they set in reading and math.

During the assembly, students also learned ways they can earn rewards in the spring for meeting their goals set on DEA tests and TCAP test. School leaders hope that these fun little incentives will help students stay focused on making great gains all year!  


Students at John Early Museum Magnet Middle School and Meigs Magnet School took more than a dozen medals home from the regional History Day Competition held at Middle Tennessee State University. The students competed in five categories including research paper, exhibit, documentary, website, and performance. Those who placed are now eligible to compete at Tennessee History Day in April. The state competition will be held at War Memorial Auditorium and Legislative Plaza. 

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