Many students are told that the sky is the limit and to reach for the stars, and recently, that is exactly what 8th-grade science students at Bellevue Middle did.
Through a partnership with the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, Dr. William Teets visited two of Mrs. Fitzgerald’s science classes had been studying the formation of the universe, focusing on our solar system. Dr. Teets has been with Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory as a staff astronomer since 2012. Prior to that, he worked at Dyer part-time during his graduate studies from 2006 to 2012.
Whites Creek High School’s Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics opened its new solar farm April 11, a student-led solar panel project which started in 2015. The project was made possible through grant awards from Ford Motor Company ($20,000) and Piedmont Gas ($10,000), and a donation of 40 solar panels by The Solar Foundation.
Through the support of business partner, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the implementation of the solar farm will power machinery in the school’s boiler room saving the district approximately $1,900 per year, according to James Carney, president of Southern Alliance.
Vickie Everson will never forget working at an internship in Atlanta shadowing a social worker. At one of their visits, she saw a baby lying in a crib. The child was just like others in the room – the only difference – the child was unable to vocalize due to a disability.
Everson shelfed her desire to become a social worker and decided to work with children with special needs as an exceptional education teacher. In this role, she is able to help children who need extra support. The student breakthroughs are among the most rewarding parts of her job.
“I enjoy working with these kids, learning their personalities and especially seeing the light go off when they finally understand something,” Everson said. “I want them to have success when all their lives they’ve worked extra hard to learn.”
Erianna Thomas credits her brother for introducing her to the game of basketball. Thomas and her family would attend his games and she would watch him dominate his opponents on the court. After one particular game, as Thomas was waiting for her brother, she picked up a basketball and began shooting it around. This became a regular practice for Thomas after each of her brother’s basketball games until she began to get better.
Barrett Boese knows that “the race is not given to the swift but to those that endure to the end.” A mantra he uses when it comes to life, and especially to track and field.Boese put this to the test when his parents registered him for his first 5K race in the fifth grade. To his parent’s surprise, Boese did well and beat both of them in the race. This was the beginning of his journey as a runner.
“I have enjoyed running ever since I participated in field day in elementary school,” Boese said. “I would beat everyone I ran against. My passion for running spilled over into middle school and now high school.”
Before his introduction to Metro Nashville Public Schools, Chris Echegaray was an award winning journalist with a focus on immigration and gangs in middle Tennessee. When he decided to make a career move, he knew he wanted to use his communication skills in support of a mission-focused organization. So, in 2013, he found his way to the MNPS Communications team where he served for two years.
“Because I’m a mission centered person, I couldn’t leave journalism and go into the corporate world. I had to be able to believe in what I would be doing and public education is definitely worthy of mission centered people,” Echegaray said.
For two days, fifth grade students at Bellevue Middle School took their STEAM classroom learning to a new level through a series of unique and exciting experiments showcasing changes in matter.
More than 200 students were able to take their textbook learning and witness the concepts in action by using creative materials, thanks to the Nashville Fire Department (NFD) and Captain Wilkerson, a 40-year veteran of the department.
Huong Trinh, a junior at Glencliff High School, never considered herself an athlete and was far from a sports fan. At the time, she was an average eighth grader hanging with her friends getting prepared for high school. However, when Trinh decided to attend her brother’s tennis match, her interest in sports changed. While watching the match she grew eager to learn more about tennis.
“I saw that my brother enjoyed playing tennis and when I told him I was interested in playing he was excited for me to begin,” Trinh said. “I also befriended my brother’s teammates and asked them questions about tennis. When they noticed how interested I was in playing tennis, they encouraged me to join the team once I started attending Glencliff High School.”
Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) early childhood education programs focus on a high-quality, play-based curriculum that supports the development of the whole child and prepares children for kindergarten.
Amanda Vernon is the parent of an MNPS prekindergarten (Pre-K) student at Ivanetta H Davis Early Learning Center. With one child who went to Pre-K and what who went straight into kindergarten, she can see how getting her child into school earlier has benefitted her youngest already. Although both children have adjusted well, Vernon sees the benefits of early childhood education.
Throughout the month of March, Metro Nashville Public Schools is honoring the work school social workers do in service to students every day. Social workers connect what happens in the home, in the community and in schools – and they strive to provide social and emotional support in a way that promotes students’ overall success, both in life and in the classroom.
Yasmin Johnson, an eight-year veteran of the MNPS social work department, shared her day-to-day experience and why she chose this work in this interview: