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Academies shine, Jay Steele wins award at national conference

Metro high schools really wowed the crowds and impressed educators from across America at the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) national conference. Metro Schools held court in 24 sessions, with students, teachers, counselors, assistant principals, principals, central office folks and community partners at PENCIL and the Chamber of Commerce all taking part.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele and four Metro students were the conference's keynote speakers.

Then came the honors...

McGavock High School was one of two national high schools featured as a model school, and four academies were awarded model status: two academies from McGavock, one from Cane Ridge and one from Overton. Principals were each given a $500 check and a banner to hang in their schools.

Academy business partner Deloitte won the Exemplar National Business Partner Award – the second year in a row for a Nashville business (CMT won it last year).

Then, in a surprise announcement, Dr. Steele also won the Sisyphus Award for perseverance in the support of academies.

Dr. Steele accepts his award in this blurry, far away cell phone picture.

From NCAC:

We felt Jay deserved this award because of the leadership he exhibited in both Jacksonville and especially in Nashville to create a national career academy model for a city to emulate. This model highlights the critical role of collaborative work among a school district, the Chamber and business community, the college community and the Mayor’s Office to forge a relationship with career academies as the foundation towards high school graduation, academic attainment, economic and workforce development. It took a vision, hard work and persistence for this model to develop and be sustainable. The fact that people are coming from all over to learn how to do it, speaks volumes.

The Sisyphus Award is given every few years by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) to professionals who have contributed on behalf of career academies, often in challenging or difficult circumstances. Generally, we have given this award to people in the national arena who have spearheaded the career academy movement. One award winner authored a major national assessment of career academies after a ten-year study; another has been seen as a national leader and the prime author of the National Standards of Practice.

What a great conference for our schools! Thank you to all the students who took part and shared their incredible Academy stories with the rest of the country.