Old School: The Making of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet

In the autumn of 1983, a few pioneering  teachers and students took a chance on each other and showed up at a decrepit behemoth of a building in seedy downtown Nashville.

What happened next was bloody well magical.

Hume-Fogg Academic High School was the city’s first public academic magnet, an experiment then in its second year. That year, we were only three small classes in that grand old edifice. We were a closely knit cadre of explorers pressing into the unknown together, and we were having a marvelous time.

The faculty entrusted us with unprecedented freedom and responsibility: We were to take charge of our own learning, in classrooms and stairwells, wooded paths and artists’ studios, and most of all, at our desks at home, late into many a night. In those four years, kids became published writers, accomplished musicians, and national merit scholars—and later, trailblazers from working-class homes who were the first high school and college graduates in their families. Cycles were broken, and new ones drawn.

--Originally posted on The Greenery

Kim Green came to Hume-Fogg Magnet High School in just its second year of operation. The students and teachers there were sharing a truly unique experiment: building one of the best schools in the country from scratch.

Thanks to Kim for putting together this REMARKABLE documentary. It's short, well shot and features lots of interviews with HFA's original faculty. You need to watch it. Then go read the original post. It includes a lot more of Kim's personal experience in the first years at HFA.


And for a little more fun, here are some pages from our district history book (published in the 1970s) on the origins of Hume-Fogg. The school dates back to 1855, and the current building went up in 1912. Good read!