About the Director of Schools

About Dr. Joseph

Dr. Shawn Joseph is the current Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools. He is an experienced educator who has fought for excellence and equity for every student he has served in his more than 20-year career.

Dr. Joseph has served as a teacher, principal, district administrator, deputy superintendent and superintendent. Before moving to Nashville, he was the head of teaching and learning in Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Prior to that, he was the superintendent of the Seaford County District in Seaford, Delaware.

His work has garnered national recognition, and his expertise has been sought by other districts during transitional periods. He has won numerous awards for his work and service, including:

  • Ambassador Andrew Young Certificate of Distinguished Services (2016)
  • American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Dissertation Award (2010)
  • Middle Level Principal of the Year, Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals (2009)

He is also a published author and researcher, with articles in top, peer-reviewed journals of education on topics like strategic planning and principal development. In 2012, Dr. Joseph published the book The Principal’s Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum.

Since arriving in Nashville, Dr. Joseph has:

  • Developed an entry plan that focused on five key areas – governance, organizational capacity and alignment, student achievement, community and public relations and operations.
  • Issued a 100 Day Report – based on the entry plan – resulting in a path forward for MNPS and informed the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, Exceeding Great Expectations.
  • Recruited and developed his executive leadership team; reorganized central office to better support schools and district strategic goals, strategies, and actions; recruited, developed, and deployed new principal support and supervisory structure; and recruited – through a new selection process – 30 new principals.

Dr. Joseph considers himself a lifelong learner and holds three degrees from Lincoln University, Johns Hopkins University and The George Washington University. He and his wife, Ocheze Joseph, who is also a public school educator, have two school-aged children.

Dr. Joseph’s Career Snapshot

Work History

  • 1996-2002: English Teacher, Reading Specialist and Team Leader – Roberto Clemente Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville MD
  • 2002-2005: Assistant Principal – Redland Middle School Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD
  • 2005-2009: Principal – Roberto Clemente Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD
  • 2009-2012: Director of School Performance – Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD
  • 2012-2014: Superintendent of Schools  – Seaford School District, Seaford, DE
  • 2014-2016: Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning – Prince George’s County Public Schools, Upper Marlboro, MD
  • 2016 – Present: Director - Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools - Nashville, TN

Educational History

  • Bachelor’s in English Education Lincoln University, Lincoln, PA
  • Master’s of Education in Reading Education The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Doctorate on Education in Administration and Policy StudiesThe George Washington University, Washington, DC

Dr. Joseph's Hiring Process

Watch Dr. Joseph's First Interview

Watch Dr. Joseph's Second Interview

Watch Dr.Joseph's Community Forum