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Top Metro educator wins national award for social & emotional learning

Dr. Linda DePriest, Metro Nashville Public Schools’ executive officer for instructional support, has won a national award for her work with the social and emotional well-being of our students. Dr. DePriest has been selected as one of seven recipients nationwide of the Mary Utne O’Brien Award for Excellence in Expanding the Evidence-Based Practice of Social and Emotional Learning. The award is presented by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) headquartered in Chicago.

“We are proud Dr. DePriest has won this prestigious award. She has been tireless in making Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools a leader in social-emotional learning and she deserves this honor,” said Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools.  “As we continue to develop our program to support our students’ social and emotional needs, we look forward to seeing increased academic and personal outcomes for students and higher levels of teaching and work satisfaction.”

DePriest has served in several capacities within the district, beginning as a classroom teacher for students with disabilities. She is currently responsible for the departments of Exceptional Education, English Learners, and Advanced Academics and Student Talent Development. DePriest earned a doctorate from Vanderbilt University and is a Metro Nashville Public Schools graduate with a diploma from Hillsboro High School.

The Mary Utne O’Brien Award is CASEL’s most important award. DePriest, along with six others, will receive their awards in May at the Chicago Children’s Museum, in Chicago, Ill. CASEL is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Daniel Goleman, the author of the best-selling book  Emotional Intelligence, educator/philanthropist Eileen Rockefeller Growald, Timothy Shriver, Linda Lantieri, Mark Greenberg and David Sluyter. It works to advance the science and evidence-based practice of social and emotional learning.