Metro Schools celebrates A.Z. Kelley Elementary's 10-year milestone

AZ Kelley Great Grandchildren presentation Jocelyn Hernandez  is one of the first fourth graders at A.Z. Kelley Elementary School who attended the school when it opened 10 years ago. Now a freshman at Lipscomb University majoring in Biology, she has fond memories. A.Z. Kelley Elementary opened with more than 500 students, including three fourth grade classrooms. Andrea Crews was a teacher at that time and still is to this day.

"I loved being in Ms. Crews' class. She always made me happy being in that classroom," Hernandez said.

Tristan Jameson is an English major at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who plans on being a teacher one day. Her fondest memories at A.Z. Kelley Elementary School are playing the flute in Mr. Currie's music class.

Jameson and Hernandez were part of half a dozen people recognized as being the first fourth graders who attended A.Z. Kelley who have now graduated from high school. The school commemorated ten years of excellence on Monday, December 14 with a school assembly that opened with students singing the school's alma mater.

A.Z. Kelley Alma Mater

Written in just four hours by then teacher Marilyn Moon with the help of her husband Fletcher (who helped with the musical composition), the couple said hearing the students sing the song today brings one to tears.

"It's always wonderful and heartwarming," Marilyn Moon said. "I knew A.Z. Kelley. My brothers used to get their hair cut at his barbershop." Marilyn Moon is now retired and her husband, Fletcher, is an associate professor and head reference librarian at Tennessee State University.

Named after the late Rev. A. Z. Kelley, Sr., who successfully championed the desegregation of Nashville public schools, the school was built as a result of overcrowding. The school officially opened for the 2006-2007 school year and is now part of the Cane Ridge Cluster.

"This school was built to meet the needs of this growing community.  A decade later, southeast Davidson County continues to be the fastest growing part of our county.  Three years ago we added Cane Ridge Elementary School to this cluster. And we are now beginning to plan for the construction of another elementary school to serve this area," said Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. "Antioch is a great place to raise a family, and we are thrilled that the many families who are choosing this community as the place they want to live are also choosing Metro Schools. We recognize that families have a lot of choice when it comes to their children’s education. We are proud of the great work taking place here at A.Z. Kelley.

Interim Director of Schools

"Anniversaries are a time to look back and celebrate the moments that have passed, but they’re also an opportunity to look forward and set new goals for the future. I know Marsha Dunn and the faculty here at A.Z. Kelley are committed to providing the very best to their students every day, and we look forward to the great working continuing at this school for many years to come," Henson said.

Check out highlights of the school's commemoration below:

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Former Nashville Bill Purcell spoke at the A.Z. Kelley 10-Year Anniversary assembly on Monday, December 14. Southeast Davidson County's projected growth at the time forecasted the need for a new elementary school. Purcell reminisced on what the new A.Z. Kelley Elementary meant to Nashville at the time it opened. Purcell said it was his first time back at the school since. "When I walked into this school it looked better than I remembered." A.Z. Kelley Elementary Principal Marsha Dunn said that all mayors leave a legacy and for Purcell, "education was first," she said.




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A.Z. Kelley Elementary School Principal Marsha Dunn at the school's 10-Year Anniversary Assembly.