Archives for January 2012

The Academies of Nashville at Stratford STEM High School

Stratford STEM High School fulfills its mission to focus on instruction in the sciences, technology, engineering, and math through the Academy of Science and Engineering and the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies. These academies partner with organizations around Nashville to give students interactive learning opportunities, job shadowing, and internships that prepare them for pursuing a future in science and engineering.

Academy of Science and Engineering

Academies of Nashville Stratford STEM High School

Interdisciplinary Science and Research

ACE Mentor Program
Vanderbilt University Center for Science Outreach
Urban Green Lab
Adventure Science Center

Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies

Computer Simulation and Game Programming
National Security Technology
Automotive Operations and Green Technology

Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee
Nashville Technology Council

Job shadowing helps businesses connect with students and the community

Andy Schenck is the Director of Programs at Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee (JA), a non-profit organization that teaches students in kindergarten through high school how to manage their money, succeed in the workplace, and thrive as adults in the twenty-first century. JA makes learning fun by using volunteers from local businesses and from the community to lead hands-on programs and experience-based activities for students during the school day. Andy has worked at Junior Achievement for seven years and is the parent of a Metro Nashville Public Schools student; his daughter attends Dan Mills Elementary School in East Nashville.

Academies Nashville students job shadowing technology Deloitte

Students job shadowing at Deloitte learn about technology in the workplace

Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee’s Job Shadow program gives high school students a taste of the workplace by letting them spend a few hours during the school day job shadowing a professional who works in the industry that students are studying through the Academies of Nashville small learning communities. With this hands-on experience, students realize what it is like to go to work everyday, the responsibilities of an employee, and the steps they will need to take in order to pursue a career in a particular field.

Businesses that host job shadow students play an important role in training the future workforce while giving back to the community and mentoring young people. Job shadowing also provides a chance for professionals to build long-term relationships with students as they graduate high school, attend college, and prepare to get a job.

For host companies, the time commitment is manageable. Students are on site from about 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a one-day experience. Students tour the facility and interact with different employees and departments. They usually eat lunch with you before returning to school, which is a great opportunity for professionals to share advice and answer questions. Although there is some preparatory work involved for the hosts, Junior Achievement and MNPS provide all the resources needed to successfully run this program in your office.

To make the most of the experience, the activities you offer the students should be engaging, interactive, and as much like the real world as possible. Junior Achievement’s Web site offers additional information and ideas for successful hosting and job shadowing.

Job shadow days will occur during the work day throughout the month of March. This will give companies the perfect opportunity to leverage existing Academy partnerships. In order for this job shadowing initiative to be a success, we need involvement from businesses and the community. Through this unique program, we can encourage the students of Nashville as they explore different careers and push them to achieve their professional goals.

Visit JA’s Web site for more information on getting involved with the JA Job Shadow program. To sign up to host Job Shadow students, register on the job shadowing host sign-up form or email

If you have hosted job shadow students in the past, what were some of their favorite activities? What kinds of hands-on experiences did you have as a high school student?

McGavock students gain experience and jobs through internship with US Community Credit Union

In this entry, Joseph M. writes about his summer internship with US Community Credit Union. Joseph is a student at McGavock High School in the US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance.

2011 US Community Credit Union summer interns from McGavock High School

McGavock High School students worked as interns for US Community Credit Union during the summer of 2011.

My name is Joseph. I am in the academy of Hospitality and Finance. I was one of the students selected to intern at US Community Credit Union over the summer. It was a thrilling experience and I got to meet a lot of new people. It was really exciting for me to go into a company like this for my first job. There was a lot to learn, but the other employees were really nice and they helped me through it. I enjoyed establishing relationships with them, and I was glad to see how we could get along with such an age barrier.

Sometimes high school students are belittled because of our youth, but this was not the case. We were all treated just like any other employee from the start. Of course, it did help that we all had wonderful training on how to be professional and act appropriately in the business world from our business partners. We were all confident in our abilities to communicate with the adults around us. We did such a good job that they not only let us work at the branch in our school, but we get to work in the branches one Saturday a month to make a little extra money. This really means a lot to me because jobs for high school students are hard to come by.

Without the academies I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to get this internship over the summer and work for a great company like US Community Credit Union. I appreciate my school doing so much for me and even though I am a senior this year, I look forward to bigger and better things from McGavock. Who knows, one day I might be a business partner myself.

Junior Achievement partnership with Academies provides job shadowing opportunities for MNPS students

Andy Schenck is the Director of Programs at Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee (JA), a non-profit organization that teaches students in kindergarten through high school how to manage their money, succeed in the workplace, and thrive as adults in the twenty-first century. JA makes learning fun by using volunteers from local businesses and from the community to lead hands-on programs and experience-based activities for students during the school day. Andy has worked at Junior Achievement for seven years and is the parent of a Metro Nashville Public Schools student; his daughter attends Dan Mills Elementary School in East Nashville.

Antioch High School students job shadow Deloitte

Antioch High School students job shadow at Deloitte

JA Job Shadow offers high school students the opportunity to learn about the workplace by spending a few hours with a professional during the school day. Students observe professionals who work in the industry the students are studying through the Academies of Nashville small learning communities. Through this program, students learn about the realities of going to work everyday, the responsibilities of an employee, and the educational and professional development steps they will need to take in order to pursue a career in a particular industry.

Job shadowing is a win-win for everyone involved. Students gain a better understanding of why they go to school and how to become a successful working adult. Businesses that host students play an important role in training the future workforce while giving back to the community and mentoring young people.Educators are able to motivate students by appealing to their interests and demonstrate practical applications of the information taught in the classroom.

Last year, nearly 700 MNPS students explored the workplace through the JA Job Shadow venture as a part of the Academies of Nashville partnership. JA is appreciative of the opportunity to continue this partnership in the 2011-2012 school year.

This year, JA and the Academies of Nashville will host more job shadowing days in March. In order for this to be a success, we need business and members of the community to get involved. Through this unique program, we can give the students of Nashville a push in the direction of their future successes.

For more information on collaborating with the JA Job Shadow program, view the job shadow guide or email Ready to sign up today? Visit the job shadow sign up form for hosting students.

Stay tuned next week for more blog posts about JA Job Shadow. What else would you like to know about this program? Please send us questions and comments through the comment section!

What are community partners and how do they work with the Academies of Nashville?

For nearly thirty years PENCIL Foundation has been the primary link between Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Nashville community. This has been accomplished primarily through PENCIL’s flagship program: PENCIL Partners. A PENCIL Partner is a business or organization that connects on a meaningful level with one or more of the 144 MNPS elementary, middle, or high schools in Davidson County.

PENCIL Foundation business community support Nashville schools

During the past two years, PENCIL Foundation has been responsible for recruiting and managing partners for the Academies of Nashville. Currently there are more than 200 academy partnerships in place. These partners range from multi-billion dollar companies such as HCA Healthcare and Dollar General to local, community-based organizations such as Belcourt Theatre and Rocketown. Partners provide a variety of services to the students and faculty of the schools they support: mentoring, classroom speakers, job shadowing opportunities, and internships just to name a few. The Tennessee Credit Union and US Community Credit Union even have trained and paid high school students to staff real, fully functioning credit union branches built in Antioch High School and McGavock High School. This kind of real-world experience will be invaluable to these students as they map out a plan for college and career.

Students and teachers are not the only individuals that benefit from these partnerships. Businesses find that such personal involvement in schools has surprising benefits for them as well. Apart from the positive feelings associated with volunteerism and other forms of “giving back,” partners tend to walk away from their schools with a better understanding of the issues facing today’s students and teachers and consequently feel more responsible for what happens in our schools. Additionally, academy partners recognize that the young people they serve today are the future employees of their companies and, more importantly, leaders of our community. Partners therefore have a vested interest in assuring that our students are successful in high school and beyond.

If you would like more information on academy partnerships through PENCIL Foundation, please contact Chelsea Parker at or visit our Web site.

Follow PENCIL Foundation on Twitter and Facebook:

The Academies of Nashville at Hillsboro High School

The Academies of Nashville at Hillsboro High School, the “international school,” encourage students to understand their connection to the broader world in an international context. Hillsboro offers opportunities to learn about healthcare, medical research, business, and media studies through two of its Academies. Hillsboro also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme through its third Academy.

Academies of Nashville Hillsboro High School

Academy of Global Health and Science

Therapeutic Services
Interdisciplinary Science and Research

Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach

Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Diploma Programme

Academy of International Business and Communications

Global Business Management
Global Logistics
Media Studies

Tennessee World Affairs Council
Belmont University Center for International Business
Averitt Express
Western Express
Tennessee State University College of Business
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

Tennessean article highlights Academies’ community partnerships

A great article ran in today’s Tennessean that describes the incredible community partnerships that are being built between the Academies of Nashville and middle Tennessee businesses. Nancy DeVille writes about the impact that community partnerships between businesses and schools are having throughout Metro Nashville Public Schools. The article goes into detail regarding McGavock High School‘s dynamic relationship with Gaylord and US Community Credit Union. The most important aspect of this collaboration is increasing real-world learning opportunities and relevancy for students as they pursue their interests in and outside of the classroom. Businesses are bringing industry expertise and a commitment to education to our schools. As superintendent of high schools Jay Steele says in the article, “It’s about working with the community to develop, deliver and enhance curriculum and making it relevant to students.” Increased relevancy for students has led to a decrease in the district’s dropout rate from 4.4 percent to 2 percent.

The Academies of Nashville at Glencliff High School

Glencliff High School is home to four Academies that connect students with community business partners to provide real-world learning experiences and professional training. The Academies focus on civil engineering, medical research, healthcare, social services, Web design, marketing, and business management.

Academy of Environmental & Urban PlanningAcademies of Nashville Glencliff High School

Civil/Environmental Engineering

ACE Mentor Program
Civil Site Design Group
Earl Swensson
Hastings Architecture Associates
Littlejohn Engineering
Nashville Civic Design Center
American Society of Civil Engineers

Academy of Medical Science and Research

Biotechnology Research and Development
Diagnostic Services
Social Services
Therapeutic Services

Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
Meharry Medical College
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
YMCA of Middle Tennessee
Youth Villages

Academy of Hospitality & Marketing

Culinary Arts
Entertainment & Marketing
Multimedia/Web Design
Salon Services

Loews Vanderbilt
Nashville Airport Marriott
Nashville City Club
Shoney’s Restaurants

Ford Academy of Business

Business: Ford PAS

Avenue Bank
Ford Motor Company
Henry Ford Learning Institute
Tennessee State University College of Business

Learning sales and customer service through job shadowing at Best Buy

In early December, four students from the Academy of Technology and Communication at Antioch High School participated in job shadowing at the Hickory Hollow Best Buy. These students spent the day with Best Buy’s Geek Squadand learned about the different aspects of professional technical support: diagnostics, customer service, sales, project management, and much more. The members of the Geek Squad were very impressed with the level of understanding, knowledge, and problem-solving skills these students brought to work. Kody M. writes that learning about computer sales taught him an important lesson on how to succeed in life. Cesar R. found that the constantly changing world of technology makes a strong education and work ethic more important than ever.

Antioch students job shadowing Best Buy

Kody and Cesar job shadowed with the Best Buy Geek Squad

My job shadowing experience with Best Buy was amazing. I got to work with Mayyadah and Chris in the computer areas of Best Buy, which is one of their biggest sales areas. I learned a lot about the type of store that Best Buy is, but most importantly about the type of person you have to be in order to work with the customers in a way that efficiently gets the job done. Mayyadah taught me a lot about computers and the way that they order and communicate between stores to get the best deals. The biggest thing I learned from the job shadow was that you have to commit to the job and take the time to learn about what you are selling. If you don’t know anything about the software or hardware, how can you expect to sell it? The same principle applies in life. If you want to make it in life you have to know who you are as a person and be able to tell people what you have to offer in order to lead a successful life.

Kody M., senior, Antioch High School

Today I learned about how Best  Buy’s computer services department works. I learned that the Geek Squad actually develops its own programs to help diagnose problems with personal computers (PC’s). I got to see firsthand the process they follow to fix PC’s. I helped a technician install Microsoft Office and the driver for a printer on a laptop. The Best Buy employee that I shadowed informed me about the ever-changing technology. He had been working with computers since they first came out. He informed me about what it takes to work in the Information Technology and Information Services department. The highlight of my day was when I got to smash some hard drives with a hammer so they could be recycled. This experience reminded me of why I like technology so much. I really enjoyed my day at Best Buy and will pursue employment at this company.

-Cesar R., senior, Antioch High School

The Academies of Nashville at Whites Creek High School

Whites Creek High School, the “school of community health and public service,” aims to educated students to serve the community through two Academies that focus on healthcare and public service. Students are able to learn about public health, business management, teaching, energy, automotive technology, and law through real-world learning opportunities.

Academy of Community Health

Academies of Nashville Whites Creek High School Pathways:
Business Management for Healthcare
Diagnostic Services
Therapeutic Services

CIGNA Government Services
Meharry Medical College
Metro Public Health Department
Vanderbilt Sports Medicine

Academy of Public Service

Alternative Energy
Automotive Technology
Law and Law Enforcement
Leadership Development (ROTC)
Teacher Training

Educational Services of America
Brown and Caldwell
Tennessee State University College of Public Service and Urban Affairs
Lipscomb University College of Education
Metro Nashville Education Association

The Academies of Nashville at Overton High School

At Overton High School, students can choose from four Academies that focus on health, engineering, information technology, and music.

Academy of Health Sciences

Academies of Nashville Overton High School Pathways:
Diagnostic Services (Classes: Health Science Education, Rehabilitative Therapies Diagnostic Medicine)
Therapeutic Pharmacy

Southern Hills Medical Center
Lipscomb College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

Academy of Engineering

Engineering & Technology (Classes: Foundations of Technology, Technological Issues, Advanced Design, Engineering Design)
Environmental Science (Classes: Geology, Invertebrates and Vertebrates, AP Environmental Science)

ACE Mentors
Stantec Consulting Services
Louisiana-Pacific (LP) Corporation
Metro Water Services

Academy of Information Technology

Computer Programming
Networking Systems
Web/Multimedia Management

Bridgestone Americas
C3 Consulting
Cornerstone Financial Credit Union
Trevecca Nazarene University Information Technology
Caterpillar Financial

Academy of Musical Performance


The Academies of Nashville at Hillwood High School

Hillwood High School is the home of three Academies that offer contextual learning in art, communication, business, hospitality, and healthcare. The Academies of Nashville at Hillwood were delighted to welcome Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier of the U.S. Department of Education to tour the school and see the exciting achievements of students in real-world, hands-on learning.

Academies of Nashville Hillwood High School

Academy of Art, Design, & Communication

Design Communications
Journalism & Broadcasting
Visual Arts

Nashville Education Community and Art Television
The Parthenon

Academy of Business and Hospitality

Business Management
Food and Beverage
Music Arts

Belle Meade Plantation
Event Logistics, Inc.
Holiday Inn Vanderbilt
Hutton Hotel
Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Academy of Health Sciences

Diagnostic Services
Health Informatics
Therapeutic Services
Therapeutic Emergency Services

HCA Healthcare
Qualifacts Systems, Inc.
Belmont School of Nursing
Nashville Fire Department

Maplewood and Fifth Third Bank team up to teach about finance and create college savings program

Freshmen at Maplewood High School‘s Academy of Business and Consumer Services are setting their sites on the future. A new partnership between the school and Fifth Third Bank has opened the door for dynamic learning and training opportunities for students and teachers. Principal Ron Woodard is excited about this new relationship with the financial institution: “Fifth Third is a highly respected corporation that takes great pride in serving its community [. . .] the bank will provide extensive training on financial literacy for our students and community members. This will be such as asset for our community.”Academies of Nashville at Maplewood High School

Students from the Academy of Business and Consumer Services will learn about financial literacy and have the chance to participate in job shadowing at the bank in departments such as retail, mortgage, and commercial banking. The most ambitious goal of the partnership, however, is to create a college savings program for all freshmen. Leaders at Maplewood and Fifth Third Bank hope to set up a system that will allow every freshman to open a college savings account during their first year of high school. Fifth Third’s Community Reinvestment Act executive for Tennessee, Luis Parodi, believes the new relationship will contribute to the economic prosperity of the mid-state area: “Given the current economic state and unemployment concerns, people are becoming more aware of their personal accountability for their financial future. Volunteering our time to provide financial education gives us a chance to empower people with knowledge to make the right choices.”

Academy Ambassador: the blue jacket that changed my life

Rachel T. of McGavock High School writes in this post about how becoming an Academy Ambassador has given her professional skills and personal confidence to make plans for the future and thrive in a professional environment. She is a student in the Academy of Aviation & Transportation at McGavock.

When starting out as a freshman, I barely thought about what I was going to do after high school. I figured that it was such a long ways away, that I didn’t have to worry about it then, and quite frankly, I was scared to. I was scared to death of one day having to be independent and make important decisions on my own.

Official jacket uniform for student ambassadors in the Academies of Nashville

Academy Ambassador jacket

In the middle of my junior year, I was chosen to be an ambassador for my academy of aviation and transportation. That meant that I would have to learn to be a leader, speak to adults comfortably, carry myself professionally, and be a representation of my school and academy. I was terrified, but we went through a training session that gave me many tools I could use to boost my self-confidence and improve the way I interact with people.

The first couple of events I worked as an ambassador, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and proved that I could carry myself maturely and professionally. Ever since then, I have been pushing myself in every aspect of my life, knowing what I want and working hard to go for it. I’m not afraid of anything anymore and I don’t let opportunities pass me by. I don’t hold myself back from being successful. That little blue jacket changed my life for the better, and I’m proud every time I get to put it on.

The Academies of Nashville at McGavock High School

At McGavock High School, five diverse academies provide students with real-world learning opportunities in fields as varied as communications, Web design, aviation, transportation, tourism, hospitality, business management, and healthcare.

Academy of Aviation & Transportation

Academies of Nashville McGavock High School

Aerospace Engineering
Aviation Flight
Aviation Maintenance
Collision & Repair
Engineering & Technology

Middle Tennessee State University Department of Aerospace
Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville
Helistar Aviation

Follow the Academy of Aviation & Transportation on Facebook.

Academy of Digital Design & Communication

Applied Music
Audio Technology
Design Communications
Journalism and Broadcasting
Visual Art

Country Music Television
Stones River National Battlefield
Rocketown of Middle Tennessee


Academy of Health Science & Law

Diagnostic Services
Law Enforcement
Pre-veterinary Services
Therapeutic Emergency Services
Therapeutic Services

Aegis Sciences Corporation
Metro Nashville Airport Authority
United Neighborhood Health Services
Tennessee Justice Center
Summit Medical Center

The US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance

Through an exciting partnership with US Community Credit Union, the Academy of Business and Finance operates a fully functioning credit union branch inside McGavock High Schools. Students who work in the branch learn about banking operations and customer service while their peers can come to the branch to deposit money and learn how to better manage their personal finances.

Banking & Finance
Web, Multimedia Management, Webmaster
Business Management

US Community Credit Union
Cedarstone Bank
Tennessee State University College of Business

The Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality

Food and Beverage Services
Hospitality and Tourism
Recreation, Attractions, Sports, and Entertainment


Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center
Gaylord Entertainment
Centresource Interactive Agency