Excellence; success; opportunity. These are all things we want for every single student in Nashville’s public schools.
But we can’t help our students achieve these three things if they aren’t in school. When students miss school, they miss out. Student who are in school consistently learn more, achieve higher and are more likely to graduate high school ready for their next step – and we want to help our families and students get to school every day.
Gary Mitchell enjoys his work with Metro Nashville Public Schools so much so that he decided to take on double duties. Mitchell serves not only as an educational assistant in a Pre-K classroom at Napier Elementary School, but is also the lead custodian there, too.
Mitchell, who has been with the district since 2003, started his career at Napier as a custodian. He recalls the encouragement he received from the head custodian at the time, who he said saw something special in him.
David Williams II, an advocate for public education and long-time supporter of Metro Nashville Public Schools, died unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 of an apparent heart attack. Williams, who had served as a middle school teacher and coach in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan for 10 years before pursuing a legal career, never hesitated to share his views on public education and its importance to the city of Nashville.
“I believe in my soul there is no issue more important to a community’s success than public education,” Williams once said. “I saw what happened in Detroit and Columbus when the public lost faith and confidence in its public schools. It had a devastating effect on those cities. I want to do whatever it takes to ensure Nashville never falls victim to that.”
As Ellie Smith reflects on her soccer career at Hillwood High School, she is now preparing to envision herself playing the game with her new teammates. Smith recently accepted a scholarship to play soccer at Maryville College and she couldn’t be more ready to play her first game.
“My family are my biggest supporters,” Smith said. “Playing in college is a big deal and I hope that they continue to support all the way in Nashville. Maryville is not too far away and I’m hoping for games close to home.”
The Metropolitan Nashville Office of Internal Audit released its report addressing questions about the district’s compliance or non-compliance with particular purchasing policies, federal regulations, and state law, within the context of the allegations that were made. Of the 18 allegations made against MNPS, 16 were unsubstantiated, and the two which were substantiated were clearly explained.
For National School Counseling Appreciation week, we interviewed two counselors of the many in Metro Schools. All week we have seen schools sharing appreciative social media posts of their awesome counselors and heard the amazing things they do for their schools. Here are just two of the staff stories.
Black History Month provides an opportunity to highlight the amazing contributions of the African-American community and connect it to intentional learning about that history. Students at Eakin Elementary School recently hosted their 3rd annual Black History Live Wax Museum event selecting notable Black figures to celebrate and share with others what they learned.
Although Lindy Matthews is not new to Metro Nashville Public Schools, she is now part of a newly created team at the district — the federal Magnet Schools Assistance Grant (MSAP) staff. The 14- person group of grant-funded professionals is made up of curriculum specialists, site managers, and Matthews, who serves as school marketing coordinator. With a background in communications and a passion for education, Matthews says she has found what she believes to be a perfect fit.
“My role now is really the best of both worlds,” she said. “I get to do teacher and family engagement and use my communications skills to help the MSAP schools tell their stories. I’m just inspired every time I go into schools.”
Jacobly Summers wants to have a successful basketball career and in order to be the best he knows he has to do what most young aspiring basketball players do – watch, study and play the game.
Since his sixth grade year, Summers has played basketball for Haynes Middle School. As shooting guard and small forward, he keeps points on the score board to help his team win. During one game he scored a personal best of 25 points.
“I was excited about scoring that many points during the game,” Summers said. “I wasn’t expecting to do that well but I did what I supposed to do, which was shoot the ball.”
Whether it’s work force development, higher education or K-12, Wayne E. Simpson brings the same level of professionalism and purpose with him – a passion for helping students and families.
When the district established a Family Engagement department to support families across all 12 clusters, Simpson decided to consider the opportunity. He was hired by the district to work in the Hunters Lane Cluster as a family engagement specialist, a position he held for three years before shifting to a school-level role at Bellshire Elementary School, where he currently serves.