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This week’s MNPS MVP Abigail Hawkins – Two Rivers Middle School

This week’s MNPS MVP Abigail Hawkins – Two Rivers Middle School

Abigail Hawkins participates in a long list of extracurricular activities at Two Rivers Middle School. As an honor roll student, she belongs to the Strings Club, Entrepreneurship Club, Encore, participates as a morning school announcer and Student Lighthouse Leader. With everything on her already busy schedule, Hawkins still makes time to add volleyball to her list.

“During physical education class we were learning how to play volleyball,” Hawkins said. “The teacher saw me playing with the other students and suggested that I try out for the school’s volleyball team. I had never played volleyball before; I was just hoping I would do well.”

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Big Picture student lands agreement with multi-platinum music producer

Big Picture student lands agreement with multi-platinum music producer

The sweet sound of music was in the air when one student received a unique opportunity to work with a top record producer.

James Spencer IV, an 11th grade student at Nashville Big Picture High School, signed a production agreement Jan. 23 with multi-platinum, Grammy Award-nominated producer, Tay Keith’s production company, Dramatized. This opportunity opens doors for Spencer offering a closer glimpse into the evolving music scene as well as to learn more about the business-side of the industry as he works toward the goal of becoming a music producer and, hopefully, one day owning his own record label. 

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#MNPSVoices: Officer Reuben Dobson, Interim Field Director

#MNPSVoices: Officer Reuben Dobson, Interim Field Director

Officer Reuben Dobson is certainly a product of his environment. He grew up in Nashville, along with his brother – both products of Metro Nashville Public Schools. His mother retired from MNPS, his father is a retired officer with the Metro Nashville Police Department, and his grandfather was a chief court officer. One might say law and order is in his blood.

“I had a good upbringing and my parents were always supportive of me, but it took me until I was in my mid-20s to decide to go into law enforcement,” Dobson said. “My dad always wanted me and my brother to go into law enforcement but he was steering us in the direction of becoming attorneys, not police officers.”

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MNPS MVP: Dominic “DJ” DeVilla – McGavock High School

MNPS MVP: Dominic “DJ” DeVilla – McGavock High School

Dominic “DJ” DeVilla has only been bowling for two years. Nevertheless, in that time he joined a bowling league, competed in several individual tournaments and participated in his first regional tournament with the McGavock High School Raiders. One might say DeVilla is well on his way to bowling strikes on the professional level.

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#MNPSVoices: Karen McIntyre, School Librarian

#MNPSVoices: Karen McIntyre, School Librarian

Karen McIntyre comes from a legacy of educators. Both her mother and grandmother worked as teachers, and her plans were always to follow in their footsteps and teach English. But her career aspirations took a turn when a supervisor at her first job at a library gave her a new perspective on how she could influence the learning of children.

Now, an 18-year veteran with Metro Nashville Public Schools, McIntyre serves as the school librarian at Westmeade Elementary School. In addition to inspiring a love for reading with her students, she has also incorporated her passion for the environment in the work she does helping students and the community understand the importance of preserving the environment.

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Attendance Matters – Students need to be in school all day, every day

Attendance Matters – Students need to be in school all day, every day

Did you know if students miss just two days per month, every month, they are less likely to graduate high school? Getting kids to go to school is one of the most powerful predicters of future academic success. That’s why we’re kicking off the new year with Attendance Matters, a campaign aimed at educating students, families and the community on the importance of why good school attendance matters.

As parents, we may not realize how absences add up, but students who miss school have difficulty keeping up with their peers academically and tend to fall behind in reading. Last year, 18 percent of MNPS students missed at least 18 or more school days – that’s more than 15,000 students who missed more than half a month of instructional time – and the numbers are on the rise. In fact, chronic absence in MNPS has increased by two percentage points over the last three years, from 15.8 percent in 2015-16 to 17.8 percent in 2017-18. While these numbers may sound small, the impact is huge.

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Have Questions About the School Choice Process? Start Here.

Have Questions About the School Choice Process? Start Here.

Is your student interested in a school with STEAM programs? Maybe your family is looking for a school that has before or aftercare? Does your child want to earn a college associate degree through the Early College High School?

In Metro Nashville Public Schools, families can choose to send their students to select schools across the district through the school choice application process starting Jan. 11. Here are some need to knows.

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#MNPSVoices: Lolita Kinnard, Administrator-Records, School Financial and Payroll

#MNPSVoices: Lolita Kinnard, Administrator-Records, School Financial and Payroll

Lolita Kinnard, records and payroll administrator at Percy Priest Elementary, is something of a legend within Metro Nashville Public Schools, having pulled the teeth of 9,949 students since 1986. She still remembers how it all started—with a brave student named Cynthia who came to Kinnard with a wiggly tooth. So, with a song and a purposeful tug, Kinnard successfully pulled her first tooth and rewarded the student with a treasure box.

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Buena Vista Elementary Shares in the Spirit of Giving

Buena Vista Elementary Shares in the Spirit of Giving

During this is the time of the year, it is sometimes easy to fall into the “gift giving” frenzy and forget the true meaning of giving. But the faculty and staff at Buena Vista Elementary School got it right Saturday, Dec. 8 and showed exactly what the power of giving means.

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#MNPSVoices: Shirley Davis, Distribution Center Office Manager

#MNPSVoices: Shirley Davis, Distribution Center Office Manager

Shirley Davis, office manager at Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Distribution Center, has worked in the district for 31 years and is the first woman to ever work in the warehouse as a “warehouseman.” Davis says she enjoys her job and credits her longevity to good leadership and a strong team.

Davis, who is a five-year Air Force Veteran, came to MNPS with international warehouse experience from her military career in Portugal. Although her initial application with the district was for a school bus driver position, she quickly realized that was not her calling.

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