#MNPSVoices: Susan Blankenship, Principal
Susan Blankenship approaches life with a sense of honor and privilege, believing that what you do in the world matters and that everyone has a destined path. She patterns her life and career on this belief and seizes those opportunities when they are presented to her.
For the last 17 years, Blankenship has built a solid career with Metro Nashville Public Schools as a teacher, an instructional coach, assistant principal - and now, in her second year, as principal at Waverly-Belmont Elementary School. She has dedicated her life to helping children, not only here in Nashville but halfway around the world.
In addition to her work at MNPS, for the last seven years, Blankenship has been part of a faith-based organization called The Raining Season. During the summer, the group, based out of Spring Hill, Tenn., takes a team of local teachers to Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa to educate and care for children in an orphanage. Blankenship’s life was forever changed after her first journey.
"With that first trip, I thought I would come home and know exactly what I needed to do,” she said. “Now seven years later, I understand that my plan is a process, not an end-product. That experience has led to so many blessings in my life."
Among those blessings involved expanding her family of four into a family of six. Blankenship and her husband recently adopted two children from Sierra Leone - a brother and sister - who they had sponsored at the orphanage for years. The children, ages 12 and 17, came to Nashville last fall and recently celebrated their first Christmas in America.
Blankenship has always had a heart for kids, especially those who come from difficult situations. She credits the time spent in the orphanage with making her a better mom, teacher and principal.
"My life has become one of awareness, compassion and action,” Blankenship said. “I have a long way to go, but awareness is something that you can't ignore or turn off, and it leads to compassion and action. I'm just trying to do the best I can."
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