Academies of Nashville Blog

The Academies enable students to learn through the lens of a career or academic theme in a personalized learning community. Through their academy, students are exposed to a multitude of career and college opportunities, industry skills, and potential employers by way of classroom speakers, site visits, job shadowing and internships.

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  • President Barack Obama visits the Academies of Nashville at McGavock High School
  • Students demonstrate the relevance of general education subjects through real-world application.


Internships allow student to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world.
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Job Shadowing

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing connects students with the real working world and gives them an insider's view of a profession and the everyday duties and responsibilities.
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Externships give teachers an opportunity to have a real world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum.
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Business and community partners are essential factors in preparing students for life after high school and are integral to the educational experiences students receive.
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Whites Creek Students Visit Vanderbilt Wind-Solar Demo Site

Originally posted by Vanderbilt School of Engineering 

When Whites Creek High School students and teachers looked for a ground-mount solar cell installation to visit, they didn’t have to go far. It’s a mere 15 miles to the Vanderbilt School of Engineering’s wind-solar energy demonstration site at the top of Love Circle, one of the highest points in Nashville.

The Vanderbilt wind-solar alternative energy site offers a 4.8 kW (kilowatt) solar array and a 3kW wind turbine. The site was set up in 2012 by Professor Amrutur Anilkumar in collaboration with Nashville Metro Water Services. It has been used as a one-stop field teaching ground for wind and solar renewable energy facilities for both Vanderbilt engineering students and students from Nashville schools.

Eight teachers and 70 students representing Whites Creek’s Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics explored the site Nov. 4 as part of a “field-based experiential day” of learning. The academy is a three-year program in which students study wind and solar energy, biodiesel and ethanol fuels, and nuclear energy, among other topics, and they have hands-on experience on a farm adjacent to the school.

In 2014, the academy won the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Energy and Renewable Resources, a high-level state environmental prize that represents the academy’s efforts in building a future in alternative fuels.

Jason Carney, an energy consultant with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, works with the academy as part of a graduate school project, and joined the students and teachers at the Love Circle site.

“I’m surveying how interested these students are in careers in renewable energy by exposure to photovoltaic (PV) and green economy curriculum, site visits, and the institutions and professions that support the industry,” Carney said.

Students got a rundown of the PV and turbine siting, energy estimation, facility design, installation, operation and other engineering issues related to the Love Circle site. Students were also referred to the public access site – VU/MWS Renewable Energy Showcase – to follow-up on the details.

“We broadened the scope of solar energy capture by introducing space-based solar energy capture and the latter concept led to multitudes of questions as the students followed handouts for both of these methodologies,” said Anilkumar, professor of the practice of mechanical engineering and director of the showcase wind and solar facilities.

Three Vanderbilt engineering students also were on hand to take questions and encourage pursuing engineering as a career. They were mechanical engineering seniors Robb Rutherford and Matthew Kelley, and computer engineering senior Mitchell Masia.

“I am very appreciative of Dr. Anilkumar and his students for being so flexible with their time and engaging with the students during our visit to the Love Circle site. I believe interest, engagement and real learning will follow when students are able to combine hands-on work with meeting and talking with professionals who do that work every day,” Carney said.

“The teachers were very interested in the presentations and were sure to take the experience back to their classrooms,” Anilkumar said. “Several students found it inspiring to talk directly with the engineering students about engineering as a career.

“It is extremely important that more young people from all demographics become familiar with the increasing interest in alternative energy technology. This technology has the potential to alleviate, if not solve, many of the world’s needs for reliable, sustainable power sources, yet much of our population have little to no concept of that possibility,” said Willie Sweet, Whites Creek academy teacher who specializes in automotive technology.

Sweet was joined by seven other teachers, Rayna Eberhart, Leigh Siegfried, Roosevelt Williamson, Rachel Amescua, Thommye Davis, Suzanne Dixon and Savington Nickens.
Sweet said teaching students about technology is one thing, seeing it in action and talking to experts “makes it real.”

“The evidence is in the many questions our students asked, and have continued to ask, since the visit to Love Circle,” Sweet said. “From experiences such as this, we may be able to inspire future innovators in the alternative energy field who will create more efficient and cost-effective technology to benefit all mankind.”

Hispanic Heritage Month – NES’s Experience with Two Interns from Glencliff High School via the Conexión Américas Escalera program

Rashed Fakhruddin, Engineering Supervisor, Nashville Electric Service

interns in Control Design projects-staff meetingThe opportunity to job shadow a professional working in your desired career is an incredibly valuable experience. For Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) students, it’s also a requirement. During fall break, Nashville Electric Service (NES) had the opportunity to welcome two aspiring engineers from Glencliff High School through the Conexión Américas Escalera program, which works with young adults who will be first generation college students in their families.

Carlos H. and Adiel A. were motivated and eager to learn. On their first day, I had planned to briefly meet with a professor and a Vanderbilt baseball player during my lunch break with my two sons. Carlos and Adiel accompanied me for the trip. Besides meeting with second baseman Tyler Campbell, I introduced them to one of my electrical engineering college professors and a civil engineering professor whom I had sat in on his dissertation rehearsal in 1987 during my freshman year. The students then got to sit in on an engineering class and visit a robotics/automobile lab on campus.

On our second day lunch break, we played two games of full court basketball. Ouch! My back is still asking for relief! What I didn’t realize is that Carlos and Adiel were captains of their cross country team that had just won district. Coincidental, my wife and I had just watched the movie McFarland USA earlier that week, a very inspiring true story that had been featured during Hispanic Heritage Month.

interns w Vandy baseball star tyler campbellThroughout the week, these bright students got an overview of NES’ substation controls and communication designs. They learned about system protection and distribution planning. They visited the test and system control departments and got to observe the very impressive SCADA operations center. They were active participants in our project meetings, helped gather and compile information from protective relay sheets and organized electrical drawings to fit inside our storage cabinets.

In total, Carlos and Adiel completed 40 hours of work at NES and have the soft skillset required to succeed along with an excellent work ethic.

MNPS has been working hard to get students prepared to graduate and pursue post-secondary education and a successful career. As a business partner, NES plays an important role in complementing the work that MNPS does. By providing practical experience of the theory that is taught in the classroom, students can connect the dots and become better prepared for the workforce. Experiential learning opportunities show students that great opportunities can be obtained through a quality education. Internships and job shadowing specifically provide advanced training and exposure to growing career fields.

Interns at Vandy w Prof MazitaI hope that one day in the future, Carlos and Adiel will have the opportunity, after receiving their college degrees, to return to NES as full-time engineering employees.


What is it like to be an Academy of IB student?

I will admit IB was one of the most stressful two years of my life. Anyone who says it was easy either didn’t try or were probably a genius of some sort. However, it was also one of the best decisions I had ever made. I came from a small Christian school where I probably would have been valedictorian, but after freshman year I decided I wanted to challenge myself academically. I am beyond glad I did because going into college has been one of the smoothest transitions I could have imagined. I was prepared for the workload and had a significant understanding of most of the content already. I wrote my 4,000-word essay (the Extended Essay), but in college the longest paper I have written so far has been 400-700 words.

I can also say that I found a great family community in IB. I know that even after years I could probably remember all the jokes we made and all of the acronyms and experiences we had. Not only did I find good friends, I found friends in the teachers. Never have I met people so invested in wanting their students to succeed. Even when we were so annoyed, in the end it was in our best interest because we were pushed to do better than average. The teachers were also just great friends, and I know that if I ever needed anything I could email or call them and they would be extremely happy to help.

Overall I think I bring up IB in conversation at least once every two weeks. When explaining a concept to my friends they listen well because they know I learned it in IB and I know what I’m talking about. I mention that I was in IB to my teachers and some automatically see me as a different student because they know I’m essentially at a different level than my peers. The things I learned in IB will forever be relevant in my college career but also in life. I learned how to be aware of my global surroundings and to care about expanding my horizons. I wouldn’t be the open-minded person I am now without IB. Just know that IB is a true commitment and I wouldn’t do it if you’re not prepared to give it your all.

Hillsboro High School opens a working branch of US Community Credit Union for students to run


Hillsboro High School made history as it opened a working branch of the US Community Credit Union (USCCU) inside the school. Students will run and work in the branch as part of the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communication.

Today’s announcement also marked the official renaming of the Academy to include the US Community Credit Union naming rights. These rights are given for significant contributions to the Academy, including material supports, volunteer hours, job shadowing, internships, externships and more. USCCU is the first Academy business partner to earn naming rights at two different high schools: this one at Hillsboro and the US Community Credit Union/ Gaylord Opryland Academy of Hospitality and Finance at McGavock High School.

For senior Ty Carney, a student financial service representative for the new credit union, his summer was unlike any other he had experienced, thanks to his paid internship at the credit union.

“I wasn’t just sitting at home like I normally do. Working at the credit union is something I will forever be grateful for. It has taught me that I am in control of my spending. I learned that I can make or break my future. Managing my money better has helped me plan and save money for the things I want. I have a better understanding of what I put my parents through when I surprise them with a text telling them I need $500 for a school trip that departs in a couple of weeks,” Carney said.

US Community Credit Union

Hillsboro, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the state of Tennessee, has emerged as an incredible school that is achieving at a high level. Community partnerships enhance the school even more, as students succeed by engaging more in school and in the community.

“Today we celebrate a total of eight branded academy partners across the district as well as two branded learning laboratories. To become a branded academy, a business partner must commit to at least $100,000 in donated community investment to an academy during the first year and $50,000 of community investment in the following years,” Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele explained. “The US Community Credit Union has far exceeded these requirements. Since their initial branding at McGavock High School, nearly 100 student interns have been trained, staffed and run a US Community Credit Union branch in their high school. Today these opportunities will be extended to Hillsboro High School. ”

Hillsboro High School Principal Dr. Shuler Pelham, who opened a bank account at the credit union after the ribbon cutting, remarked that the credit unions are well respected branches, often with high accuracy rates. Shuler is pictured below with student Ty Carney.


“This is what Academies of Nashville are all about- getting students excited about connecting what’s in the classroom with what’s happening in the real world,” Pelham said.

“It’s really fun working here,” said Hillsboro student Justin Stern, who said it is easy for students and teachers to open accounts – only $5 for a savings account and $10 for a checking account.

US Community Credit Union Chief Executive Officer Paul Johnson said there is no better way to embody the vision of the company of “people helping people,” than to “educate our students and provide them a real-life work experience… The Academies provide a pathway for student success.”

The credit unions have also been good for business, according to US Community Credit Union Chief Operating Officer Ben Johnson, since student employees have lower turnover rates in the summer and address what would otherwise be a work scheduling gap, he said.

“The students have really stepped in and filled that gap,” said Ben Johnson. “Our students at McGavock and Hillsboro have been some of the best employees we have had.” Some students have even been able to transition to full-time employment after high school, taking advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit as they continue on to postsecondary education. “We have retained at least one employee from each graduating class at McGavock for at least part-time employment since we’ve opened there,” Ben Johnson said.

Internships Solidify Future Career Plans

This summer I had an amazing opportunity to intern at Wright industries as an Applications Engineer, mostly doing work in CAD. Designing and building things is something I have always been interested in. When I started 9th grade at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, I saw that there was an engineering pathway, and since engineering is all about designing and building things I decided that I should take that pathway. At the end if my 11th grade year I got an opportunity to apply for an internship at Wright Industries. I have been considering getting a degree in mechanical engineering so the internship was the perfect opportunity for me to experience what it would be like working as an engineer, and find out if engineering is something I want to do as a career.

The first day was mostly spent doing all of the necessary paperwork and things that had to be done before we could start work, but as soon as we got to the office toward the end of the day we got our first project. We started off with something simple so we could learn how to use Solid Works. At school we have been using Autodesk Inventor, which I think is easier to learn how to do 3D modeling with, but Solid Works is a more technical program and just a little more advanced than Autodesk Inventor. Autodesk assumes more than Solid Works does, which makes it a little easier to use but Solid Works can be more accurate. Our first project was making an independent testing station for LED screens. Most of the parts we needed were already made, so we just had to put them all together.

Internship summary1


The next project we worked was a packaging line. On this project we had to create more of the parts ourselves and get the files for some of the machines from the companies that make them using the Internet. We were still getting used to using Solid Works at this point, and with this project I really got the hang of using mates, which is how different parts are held together, and found that I like using Solid Works much more than Autodesk. After several revisions we got a model done.

Internship summary2

The biggest project I have worked on this summer was for a company that was making pharmaceuticals. It took several weeks and there were several different iterations that were made. At first the line had one side, but to make it easier to service I had to add a second side to the line. This required stretching the whole enclosure.

Internship summary3

One of the things I had to do on this project was make something to spread the lyospheres on the tray before it is put into the freezer. It took a few designs, but I ended up adding a wedge to the gripper on the robot.

Internship summary4

After all of this work the customer decided they wanted to make the line smaller to help cut down on cost. We decided to completely change the enclosure from a rectangle to a polygon type shape. It took a few days to do but turned out really well.

Internship summary5

During my internship I didn’t only work in Solid Works, I also got a chance to help with the paperwork of engineering. I used Microsoft Word to edit proposals that were being sent off to companies. I used Microsoft Excel to work on spreadsheets showing part numbers, where they came from, and their cost. I also learned about a program I didn’t know existed called Visio. Visio is a Microsoft program used for making flowcharts.

This internship has been a great experience for me this summer. I have learned how to do some things in Microsoft Office programs I didn’t know about before, and I have learned how to use Solid Works. From what I have seen Solid Works is more promently used profesionaly than Autodesk.  The internship has helped me decied that engineering is definitely a career that I want to pursue.

US Community Credit Union to Open Branch at Hillsboro High School

Originally posted to 

US Community Credit Union is proud to announce the opening of our second student-run credit union branch inside of Hillsboro High School. In partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Academies of Nashville, students at Hillsboro will have the opportunity to become interns and gain real world working experience at US Community Credit Union. Students will be responsible for conducting daily teller transactions and opening accounts for other students at Hillsboro. The student interns will spend their summer being trained as credit union employees and will work in the credit union branches learning career skills. When the students return to school in August, they will be responsible for operating the student-run branch and teaching fellow students about money management.

“Being involved in education and teaching students to be good stewards with their money has become a key mission for US Community Credit Union. With the tremendous amount of success we have had with our student-run branch at McGavock High School, we are excited to be able to extend our reach by opening our second student-run branch at Hillsboro High School”, said Paul Johnson, President/CEO of US Community Credit Union.

The Hillsboro student-run branch will be operated through the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communications. The credit union branch will be open Monday through Friday during lunch periods. Students and faculty will have the ability to open accounts and make deposits and withdrawals during the hours of operation. Representatives from US Community Credit Union will be at the branch to assist in the operations and to ensure accuracy and confidentiality is maintained. A ribbon cutting event is being planned for this fall.

For more information about the US Community Credit Union student-run credit union program at Hillsboro High School, please contact US at 615-256-8712.

A Classroom of Stars, Not Circles

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Glencliff High School’s Ford Academy of Business and Innovation had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners, Redpepper Advertising Agency.


UnknownFor our summer externship we visited Redpepper; they are an ad agency by day, but an invention lab by night. Upon arriving, we took a tour of the building and learned a little bit about the company’s norms and ideals. The company is innovatively driven. They focus their layout and norms on pushing people to further themselves and the company because like one of their norms spells out, “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.” They are founded around supporting everyone’s personal growth. This is something we were particularly inspired by because we see it as a valuable cultural component for our academy structure. Redpepper believes in empowering, rather than policing. As the Ford Academy of Business and Innovation, we need to give our teachers as well as our students the support and encouragement to try new things and pursue their passions.

The activities we participated in were based around the client experience at Redpepper. On the first day, we met with Matt, Erik, and Carl and learned about the Redpepper Invention Lab. We were able to see previous inventions created by the lab as they explained that manipulating and “playing” with new technologies helps keep them at the forefront of marketing. On the second day, we met with their New Business Department, including Samara and Victoria. They expounded on the ways they attracted new clients. Then we met with Ann, Nate, and Jamie and learned about the strategic planning that goes into developing ad campaigns for their clients’ needs. This meeting was especially invigorating, as it gave us a solid grasp of what our project would look like. The team was very helpful in brainstorming what our students’ experience could be. Next, we met with Yancey, Brooke, and Ily and explored design solutions and social media strategies in the marketing field. On the final day, we were able to share our experiences with our Academy principle and coach and meet with one of Redpepper’s copywriters, Leslie, where we learned about how the language in an ad impacts the targeted audience.

When learning about the company’s ideals, we discovered the concept of having a business full of stars as opposed to circles.   We would like to incorporate this concept in our classrooms by encouraging our students to have “sharp corners”. We want them to pursue their passions and strengths rather than “fix” their weaknesses, making them well-rounded. We used this insight as a springboard to develop our PBL. Our project idea is a design thinking challenge based around creating a new social media platform that meets specific niche interests among our student population, thus highlighting their sharp-corners. Students will use data analysis and elements and principles of design to develop their platform both strategically and visually. We will accompany them on the journey to research and discover key characteristics that could bring success to their new platform.

Our overall experience at Redpepper drove us to attempt to establish an intrinsically motivating environment for both the teachers and students of our academy. We are excited to share our discoveries with our colleagues and implement our PBL to engage our students in a similar experience.Unknown


Teachers Take Over Music Row

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School’s Academy of Entertainment Management had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partners, the Regions Bank and Warner Music. 

Regions Bank at Music Row was the site of Day One of the week-long Music Row Externship for the teachers of the Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. The Academy of Entertainment Management’s Externship included presentations by Regions Music Row bankers, Pete Fisher (Grand Ole Opry General Manager), and business manager Lainie Allbee of Martin, Allbee & Associates.  Other program days that week were at Warner Music Nashville and Warner/Chappell Music as the Pearl-Cohn faculty learn about the workings of the entertainment industry.


Jaydie Fay, Yolanda Jackson, Matthew Truwit, Stephanie Booth, Regions Bank’s Lisa Harless, Annmarie O’Daffer and William Darnell

Stratford Teachers Tour Old Hickory Lock and Dam

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Freshman Academy had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Army Corps of Engineers. 

The Freshman Academy met at the Resource Manager’s office at Old Hickory Lock and Dam where we were introduced to the Commander and Deputy, and we were provided with an overview of all the components involving the Corps of Engineers and our waterways.   “Securing the Nation’s Future Through Water” began our adventure at the Dam. We also viewed demonstrations regarding the importance of protecting the landscape along the rivers’ edges as well as protecting endangered species such as bats. In addition to providing an energy source to numerous areas within our state and outside of our state, the water system has been improved to include water storage areas through new dams.

Our group was provided a behind the scenes tour inside the dam, the control room, and the lock. The amazing aspect of this location is that all of the equipment is original equipment dating back to the 1960’s. After our tour and PowerPoint presentations, our group proceeded to Drakes Creek off of Saundersville Road in Hendersonville where we measured various points of erosion in the creek to determine problem areas preserving the natural habit of the areas. Our education with The Corp of Engineers left us with the knowledge that there are numerous opportunities within the Corp for our students at Stratford after graduation including several paid training jobs that do not require a college degree.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers tour the Old Hickory Lake Lock and Dam.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers tour the Old Hickory Lake Lock and Dam.

The inner workings of the Lock and Dam work well to prepare teachers for students interested in engineering, science, and research.

The inner workings of the Lock and Dam work well to prepare teachers for students interested in engineering, science, and research.

How is PBL used in the real world?

Stratford STEM Magnet High School teachers from the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies met with myEmma, one of the academy business partners. myEmma is an international email and marketing campaign services company with Nashville serving as its originating corporate headquarters location. The teacher externship included five academy teachers and literacy coach.

The team met with the company’s top management to learn about their business, its personnel, its products, technology, culture, and hiring needs. But how all of their collective educational degrees and experiences work together to create a brand that a consumer will feel confident in, is what makes myEmma such a great place to work and business to be associated with. It also creates a need for diverse personnel.

As teachers we are tasked with project based learning experiences, to incorporate 21st century skills and needs that employers emphasize to succeed, no matter what degree you may hold. Our conversations involved a lot questioning, listening, critical thinking, and analyzing to find a way to create a PBL that English, math, science, economics, and programming can work together with a shared learning experience. We found at myEmma they follow patterns of a development process that programming students may use in their future workplace.

As a result of the team’s experience that focuses on safety and community, we have challenged our students to define and develop an app for social change. The project incorporates aspects of communication, presentation, technical writing, programming, statistics, GIS mapping, and economic impact. The students will be able to pitch an app that could affect social change in their community concerning crime and other safety issues.


From Teachers to Neuroscientists

A team comprised of an Interdisciplinary Science and Research (ISR) Pathway, Biology, Spanish, and English teacher from Stratford’s Academy of Science and Engineering spent a day investigating neuroscience with scientists from Vanderbilt’s Center for Science Outreach (VCSO). During the morning sessions, team members studied the effect concussions have on the brain. Team members conducted a test for the presence of a protein released when the brain suffers a concussion and graphed data gathered. In the afternoon session, VCSO scientists led team members through an introduction to diagnosing brain injuries as well as a discussion of the brain and drug addiction. Team members diagnosed brains—really molded ice sculptures—and contemplated the problems of drug addiction in our society.

Team members met the following day to develop a PBL for ninth grade Interdisciplinary Science Research (ISR) students. Motivated by the discussion of drug addiction the previous day, the team decided to ask ISR students the driving question, “How do drugs impact your body, your family, your community, and your world?” After researching the effect of medication on the brain and disorders of the brain, students will collaborate to create concise, videotaped public service announcements which will be played in the school lobby. Not only will the students who participate in the PBL learn about the connection between addiction, chemicals, and brain function, but they will have the opportunity to share their understandings with peers in other pathways and academies.

Griffin in the Classroom

We love our business partners. And, we love sharing our business partners blog posts about working with MNPS students. Be sure to check out this great post from Griffin Technology about guest speaking at Hunters Lane High School.

Mentally and Physically Prepared for Life

Students in the Academies of Nashville have a variety of experiences and opportunities in their high schools and academies. Bailee D., a students in the Academy of Health Management at Cane Ridge High School, writes about her experience below. 

The Academy model here at Cane Ridge High School has definitely had a positive impact on my education. It has opened so many doors and allowed me to expand my horizons on the career I wish to pursue. With my Academy, I am given actual hands-on opportunities. These are experiences that you simply aren’t introduced to everyday. Without the Academies, I wouldn’t have as much interaction and focus towards my career field. It has mentally and physically prepared me for life after high school. I’ve learned to socialize and work well within groups just as I would in a job setting of a hospital, since I am a part of the Academy of Health Management. The teachers within the Academies do a great job with focusing our attention on specific “Emergency Medical” situations. We are expected to be advanced in CPR training and certified in every area of emergency technique. The Academy System is a very special model at our school that will give each and every student a better outlook for the life ahead of them, as long as they are willing to take advantage of it.

I have also had the honor to serve as a Cane Ridge Ambassador, representing my academy. This has also provided opportunities for me to take part in unforgettable events that have in a way, been life-changing. I was able to meet President Obama and take part in leadership conventions that not only made me a better leader but phenomenally enhanced my social skills. By being an ambassador, I feel that I am advanced in many areas outside of the classroom, such as communication, social skills, and speaking techniques. I now feel comfortable with myself in front of large crowds and I am ready for life in a college based setting.

Students Help Students Register to Vote

Community partners come in all shapes and sizes. The League of Women Voters works to encourage women and young people to vote for matters pertaining to their community. Dev B., a student at Stratford STEM Magnet High School in the Academy of Science and Engineering, recently produced a video for the League of Women Voters to encourages high school students to register to vote. Dev writes about the experience below. 


I produced the video “Careless” for the League of Women Voters. The campaign’s goal was to encourage responsible high school juniors and seniors to register to vote.

The challenge for me was to create a video on a topic which I really didn’t know much about. If I’m not even a junior, then how could I possibly come up with a way to encourage juniors and seniors. Despite the fact, I decided to take on the challenge and began the production of the video.

Not only was the concept challenging, but the shooting of the video was as well. The snow days pushed me far behind, and I was not able to find a sufficient amount of actors for the video. The script lacked revision, and there were only two weeks remaining to complete the video challenge.  I gathered two people at the beginning of the video shoot the number morphed into five. Fifty percent of the footage for the video were shot. And, everything seemed alright. But, the next day the continuity of the video was in danger. The hall in which we started shooting, had a problem with the lighting, one of the actors had to reshoot their lines, because the camera stopped rolling earlier. It was a downfall.

Later on, I had to reshoot all of the lines for one of the actors in a different location. We reshot more and more lines. We took care of the lighting by pumping up the exposure, and reassigned fewer lines to even out the script.

On the last day of the shoot, I shot the last line of the video and officially packed up the shoot. Then, came hours of editing, processing, aligning, and more of the video clips. Background music was tailored and images for the banners were created.

Finally, the project shined when I shared the first link to my friend who also acted in the video. Nothing seemed more glorious when I read, “this video is amazing!”

From this challenge, I learned the importance of staying punctual. I believe if I have taken some more time on organizing than rushing, this video wouldn’t have been much of a struggle.

Few weeks later, I began receiving emails from the coordinator of the project. On almost every email, she complimented the video and appreciated our team. Eventually, the head of the organization sent me an email consisting of a letter, which said that my video would be distributed to all Metro high schools. Happiest day ever!


Whites Creek VIP Tour

Over 40 VIPS attended the Whites Creek Academies of Nashville VIP Tour on April 9, 2015. After a short program where Sharon Gentry, chair of the Board of Education, commented on the success of the academies,  students led tours showcasing the individual academies , where participants learned more about the model through the lense of students.  Ninety-nine percent of survey participants felt they were better informed about Metro schools and they are a higher opinion of Whites Creek and of MNPS.


Whites Creek High School Academy Ambassadors welcome guests to the VIP Tour.

Whites Creek High School Academy Ambassadors welcome guests to the VIP Tour.

Dr. Register is escorted into the building by members of the Whites Creek JROTC.

Dr. Register is escorted into the building by members of the Whites Creek JROTC.

VIPs tour the Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics greenhouse.

VIPs tour the Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics greenhouse.

VIPs tour the Academy of Community Health dental laboratory.

VIPs tour the Academy of Community Health dental laboratory.