MNPS Voices: Eric Bryson

MNPS Voices: Eric Bryson, Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director, Jere Baxter Middle School
Posted on 04/05/2023
Eric Bryson on basketball court

Coach Eric Bryson’s goal was to work in television production, but hearing a radio advertisement from Metro Nashville Public Schools gave him a sudden change of heart. Eric Bryson

Bryson is a long-time fan of MNPS and a second-generation teacher for the district. He currently serves as the physical education teacher, athletic director and assistant boys’ basketball coach at Jere Baxter Middle School, where he has been for the last three years.

Bryson, Jere Baxter's Teacher of the Year for 2022-23, takes his role extremely seriously and works hard to ensure students are not only moving their bodies throughout the school year but also learning new and important life skills along the way.

“As the physical education teacher and athletic director, I introduce different sports units in class to make sure students stay physically active and involved in class daily,” Bryson said. “As AD, I make sure that proper protocols are followed so students can participate in various extracurricular sports activities.”

Jere Baxter Principal Dr. Kisha Cox is thrilled to have Bryson on her staff and appreciates his support for all students. 

“Coach Bryson is an advocate for excellence,” Cox said. “He inspires all to always strive and soar beyond their current potential. Coach Bryson is a product of MNPS who is committed to leaving lasting footprints for others to follow.”

Bryson, a 21-year veteran teacher, attended elementary school at Cumberland and Joelton elementary schools, went on to Joelton Middle and graduated from Whites Creek High School in 1997 – the same school his son attends today. He grew up in the Bordeaux area, where he and his family still live.

Eric Bryson on the basketball court coaching

He is a proud graduate of Tennessee State University, from which he obtained his bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a focus on radio and television. One day while heading home from his internship at a local television station during his senior year, Bryson had a change of heart concerning his career choice and felt as if there was something more he should be doing. He prayed and asked for a sign, and suddenly, he heard an MNPS teacher recruitment advertisement on the radio.

Bryson did not hesitate at the thought of serving his community and following his mother's footsteps to become a teacher. He had watched his mother, Gloria Bryson, an MNPS teacher who is now retired, teach and serve students and families for 31 years.

“Hearing so many people who would say how great a teacher my mother was and how she made a difference in their lives impacted me greatly,” he said. “It was inspiring to me.”

The next day, he applied for the master’s program at TSU, where he would eventually earn a master’s degree in health and physical education.

While he worked on his master’s degree, he started his educational career with the district at Brick Church Middle School as a campus supervisor before transitioning into the role of health teacher. After three years at Brick Church, and due to downsizing in school staff, Bryson received what he believes was a blessing in disguise.

He was transferred to Gra-Mar Middle School, where he faithfully served as the physical education teacher, the head boys’ basketball coach and athletic director over the course of his 15 years there. Bryson prides himself on the successful athletic program he was able to build during his tenure at Gra-Mar.


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