Dr. Adrienne Battle

Dr. Adrienne Battle

Director of Schools

Dr. Adrienne Battle was named director (superintendent) of Metro Nashville Public Schools by a unanimous vote of the city's Board of Education on March 13, 2020, after serving 11 months as interim director. With more than 150 schools, 80,000 students, 11,000 employees and a budget of more than $1 billion, MNPS is one of the nation's largest school districts and one of Nashville's largest employers.

Dr. Battle, a Nashville native, has spent almost her entire career with MNPS. She is a graduate of the district's John Overton High School, Missouri State University and Tennessee State University, where she earned her master's, education specialist and doctorate degrees in Educational Administration and Supervision.

She has focused on a vision of personalizing education for every student, improving school culture and climate, and retaining and recruiting the best talent. Dr. Battle sums up her drive for continuous improvement at all levels with the motto "Know where you are, but don't stay there" and has emphasized the need to make sure every student is known, supported, cared for and on a path to success by working to achieve a series of measurable goals known as focused outcomes. This vision has helped drive MNPS to being named a Level 5 district – the highest rating possible – in the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System in both 2022 and 2023. 

The district also received national recognition in the Education Recovery Scorecard by researchers at Harvard and Stanford universities for its work on post-pandemic academic recovery, with Top 10 rankings among large urban districts for growth in both reading and math from 2022 to 2023. 

Dr. Battle led MNPS through its recovery from devastating tornadoes in the spring of 2020 and its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required the district to meet educational and humanitarian needs across Nashville and Davidson County while managing new budgetary restrictions. She co-chaired the citywide task force that created the Nashville Plan: Framework for a Safe, Efficient, and Equitable Return to School, which detailed three scenarios for starting the 2020-21 school year based on community spread of the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Battle also proposed a series of changes that the Board of Education unanimously approved as a result of her Metro Schools ReimaginED initiative, which continues to review academic achievement data, current and projected enrollment, building use, programs and staffing to find new ways to improve academic outcomes for all students. These changes included moving fifth grade from middle schools to elementary schools. Dr. Battle also initiated Better Together, a joint venture with Nashville State Community College to create more and stronger pathways to college and career success for MNPS graduates, and University MNPS, which has created scholarship opportunities and student supports for MNPS graduates at several Nashville colleges and universities.

Dr. Battle previously served MNPS as a math, reading and language arts teacher; an assistant principal, academic principal and executive principal; a turnaround coach for principals of the district's priority schools; and as a community superintendent overseeing all schools in the southeast quadrant as well as high schools across the district. She is an expert on school turnaround strategies and practices. Antioch High School made strong academic gains, including becoming the first zoned high school ever to earn Tennessee Reward School status in 2014 as one of the state's fastest-improving schools, under Dr. Battle's leadership. She led the transformation of a school that had been designated as low-performing in 2010 into one of the fastest-growing schools in the state.

Dr. Battle was a member of Leadership Nashville's 2021-22 class and is now participating in Leadership Tennessee in 2023-24. She was named the Professional Educators of Tennessee's 2022 Superintendent of the Year, and in 2021 she was named the Tennessee Principals Association's Supervisor of the Year and received the Nashville NAACP's Legacy Award. She was featured in the Nashville Post’s Most Powerful Women in 2023. She won the Academies of Nashville Executive Principal of the Year Award and the William J. and Lucille H. Field Award in Support of Excellence in Tennessee Secondary Leadership from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2015 and was named the MNPS Coach of the Year in 2010. She has served on the board of the Northwest YMCA in Nashville and is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.