Today, Metro Nashville Public Schools is proud to announce the selection of Robert Blankenship, current principal of Rose Park Science and Math Middle School, to lead the district’s STEAM initiative as the director of STEAM. Blankenship will replace the current director of STEM, Dr. Kris Elliott, who has accepted a position with Oregon State University.

Blankenship has served the students of Metro Schools for more than 30 years as a teacher, an assistant principal and an executive principal and he has solidified Rose Park Science and Math Middle School’s reputation as a nationally recognized STEM school. Under his vision and leadership, Rose Park has achieved many accomplishments, including being awarded the esteemed National Center for Urban School Transformation’s Award of Excellence twice, most recently in 2017 and also in 2013. This award recognizes transformation in the nation’s highest-performing urban schools. In the last five years, Rose Park has also been named both a SCORE (State Collaborative on Reform Education) finalist and a winner.

With Blankenship’s leadership and experience, Metro Schools will continue the work related to the recently announced STEAM initiative, which will completely transform teaching and learning in all of our middle schools. Blankenship’s appointment will directly support the “Our Students” goal area of the district’s three-year plan by continuing to design an interdisciplinary STEAM curriculum that promotes active student engagement and yields consistent improvement in academic achievement.

“Shifting to a STEAM curriculum approach is a transformation for our district,” said Dr. Monique Felder, chief academic officer. “We are confident that Robert’s extensive science and STEM experience, his vision, and his passion for science education will help lead Metro Schools to have the best STEAM program in the nation.”

Blankenship begins his new position Monday, Aug. 14. Mr. Rommie Vasser, the current assistant principal, has been named interim principal for the remainder of this school year.