Archives for March 2013

Rising to the Top

Fifteen teams from seven cities across Tennessee met earlier this month for the 2nd Annual Tennessee ProStart Championship. This statewide competition includes culinary and restaurant management divisions which took place at McGavock High School. Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Academies of Nashville are so proud to have two impressive groups of students who took home top awards at the event during their first year participating in the competition.
Congratulations to Antioch High School for placing 3rd in the Restaurant Division and Glencliff High School for placing 2nd in the Culinary Division.

Finding Motivation

Chris Steele College Student, TTCU Teller on BreaksMy journey was and is a long but blessed, humbled, and rough journey. Coming from Memphis, TN to Nashville back to Memphis, I have learned a lot about life and have grown in various ways.

When I first stepped into Antioch High School with my twin, I did not take school nor life serious. I lacked motivation and work ethic. I truly did not see the value of hard work.

Around the end of my freshman year and beginning of sophomore year, I began to want more out of life than to just cruise by. What began to truly motivate me was watching the building of The Tennessee Credit Union in our cafeteria. I wanted to take on a new challenge and become a teller and show the school and my family what I can do. I wanted more out of my education and life and this was the opportunity I was waiting for.

Going through the internship with The Tennessee Credit Union has matured me and molded me into a more professional young gentleman. I have had the chance to meet so many wonderful people through this internship. After graduation and working at the main branch over my breaks, I have made many connections with co-workers over middle Tennessee. The employees’ and members of The Tennessee Credit Union are very supportive and helped me in many of ways.

To the future alumni of Antioch High School, find something to motivate you and pursue it. Don’t let anyone tell you no, especially yourself. You will never find out who you are until you find out who you aren’t. Find your strengths and build upon that and keep faith. Ignorance is not bliss.

Inaugural MNPS Project Expo

IMG_1866Throughout MNPS, students and teachers are engaging in Project Based Learning at all schools.  This type of learning leads students through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge, helping students learn key academic content while developing 21st Century Skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.  In preparing for the inaugural MNPS Project expo, we received 234 applications from students to exhibit and 123 different projects were invited to participate, representing the top work from all of our high schools. On Thursday, March 14, more than 400 students presented their work to a series of judges and were scored using a standard rubric. This expo represented the work of many people. Three organizations supported this event by giving of their time, talent, and treasure.  We would like to thank Trevecca Nazarene University for providing us with a beautiful space and prizes for our specialty awards winners, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Flatt Rock Farms for their financial sponsorship of this event.


IMG_1874After hours of interviewing, the expert panel of judges scored each project on a standardized scale. Each project earned a rating of Gold, Silver, Bronze, or participation based on the score received. Additionally, a team of reviewers viewed all projects and selected one from each category to represent the “Best In Show”, and our sponsors, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Flatt Rock Farms, also identified projects to be recognized for special awards.  Congratulations to all participants and good luck at the MNPS Project Expo 2014!


Best in Show Arts, Media, & Communications

  • Lift Every Voice and Sing from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Best in Show Business, Marketing, and Information Technology

  • The transportation and logistics analysis from Hillsboro High School

Best in Show Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology

  • The analysis of energy consumption of idle computers in MNPS from Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School

Best in Show Health & Public Service

  • Richland Creek Pollution from Hillsboro High School

Best in Show Hospitality and Tourism

  • The Topper Tea Room Business Plan from Hillwood High School

Best in Show Science category

  • The effects of caffeine on freshwater hydras from Antioch High School

Best in Show Other category

  • Public Policy: Steps Taken to Change Public Policy from Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Best Project in Healthcare

  • Fecal Coliform and E. Coli Sampling and tracking in the Richland Creek Watershed from Hillsboro High School

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Best Project in Science Research

  • The effects of mouthwash on spearmint growth an soil composition from Hillsboro High School

IMG_1895Flatt Rock Farms “Grand Champion” Project in Agriculture

  • Ethanol from Pumpkins from Whites Creek High School





Gold Ranking Awards

  • Le Feria de Marcado: Fair Market from Antioch High School
  • The Transportation Logistic Analysis from Hillsboro High School
  • An analysis of energy consumption of idle computers in MNPS from Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School
  • Topper Tea Room Business Plan from Hillwood High School
  • The effects of caffeine on freshwater hydra from Antioch High School
  • The effects of mouthwash on spearmint growth and soil composition from Hillsboro High School
  • The influence of socio-demographics on recycling behaviors in the Hillsboro cluster from Hillsboro High School


Expect the Unexpected

Students from the Antioch High School Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance had a chance to visit Deloitte for a day of discovery and job shadowing this past month. However, coming to a job shadow with preconceived notions allows for plenty of room for surprises and discoveries. Find out what the students discovered about the business world from their observations and comments below:

2013-JobShadows_030113-Deloitte“They had an entire division devoted to email, spam, or irregularities.”

“They have both IT and Accounting with a very International focus and a lot of technology.”

“They use very advanced spread sheets on the computer.”

“I thought everyone would be in small box offices, but it was a big open room.”

“All of the employees came from different backgrounds. They even had someone that just wrote reports for people transferring to different states or countries.”

“Accounting is not all about numbers it is also about networking.”

“Everyone was on task and got along with one another. I think this is important to a company.”

Stratford “Spartan” Mock Trial Reflection

Hands on learning experiences come in all forms. While many students participate in job shadowing and internship, one group of students from Stratford High School have gained real-wrold experiences through Mock Trial. Nicholas T. from Stratford High School reflects on his experience with the program. 

Finally, the day had come. We had prepared for five months for this. The First Stratford High School Mock Trial Team was officially ready to kick some butt. The air was pensive and happy, as if the world knew we were coming. Seeing all of my wonderful hard-working team members in professional attire, our expertly trained witnesses, and our amazing coaches really put it all into perspective. I mean, how many public high school students can cite rules from the law? Few, if any. We really felt like a higher connection was achieved through the Mock Trial team. By the time it was over we had quite a few inside jokes and funny references. You could tell that we really learned a lot.

I noticed on the day of our district competition just how far we had really come from the beginning. When we started no one really knew what an “objection” was or how to correctly enter evidence, but on this day it all flowed together like silk. We had practiced so much for this day, and you could really tell when it finally came time to begin.

At first, we were all nervous (as anyone would be of course), but by the second round we had it all down. When one person smiled, it spread like wildfire, and the confidence of the entire team spread with it. As lead counsel, it was my duty to oversee the side of the Defense. I could definitely see when my team was nervous or when they were glad an objection was overruled.

I guess you might say the competition was not really about competing against other teams as much as it was learning to work together as a team and developing character connections. The Mock Trial Team, if nothing else, showed me how to connect with other people more effectively.

I really enjoyed my time on the Mock Trial team, and having the opportunity to connect with some really amazing people. There are many teams out there and I would recommend anyone to give it a try. Mock Trial is incredibly entertaining and it is very interesting to listen to other schools perspective on the case and how they present it. If I could do it all again, I would do so many, many times.

Spartabots Head to Regional Competition

Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of Science and Engineering has a FIRST Robotics Team, the Spartabots.  The Spartabots will be going to Knoxville, Tennessee with support from Adventure Science Center, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Cummings Station, Doerfer/Wright Industries, Nissan North America, Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering, and Universal Robotics for the FIRST Robotics regional competition the last weekend in March.  The competition is a vigorous, intellectual sport valuing brain power utilizing the engineering design process in collaborative teams to design and construct a remotely operated Frisbee throwing robot. The challenge is called Ultimate Ascent where two alliances are formed of three separate teams. The teams compete with their constructed robots in remotely controlling the launching of Frisbees into specified and strategic goals to gain the most points and win the competition. Wish us luck in our first competition.




A group of McGavock High School students are running a business and making a difference at the same time.

To raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, they created Teen Safety Enterprises, a legal, for-profit company managed and run by their business class through the Junior Achievement Company Program in partnership with the Entrepreneur Center Youth Initiative.

“We all know you shouldn’t text and drive, but way too many teenagers do it anyway,” said Mattea B., a McGavock senior and president of Teen Safety Enterprises. “Texting and driving puts you and everybody else on the road at risk. It’s just not worth it.”

Baskin and her classmates created a PSA video to launch their campaign and posted it on the company’s website, To keep their message on students’ minds, the team designed a key chain with a simple reminder: “DNT TXT N DRV.”

Now they need help from local businesses and community members to get their product in the hands of every high school student in Metro Nashville Public Schools – that’s about 20,000 key chains. Sponsors can make a donation through the website, and every $2 donated will purchase one student’s key chain.

Thanks to sales and donations, the students have already raised enough money to give key chains to all 6,000 juniors in Metro schools, plus the entire student bodies of McGavock and Cane Ridge high schools. Nearly 9,000 key chains are in production and set for distribution in March.

“It has been incredible to watch high school students build a company within the Business Academy program and witness their idea turn into a fully operational business,” said McGavock High School Principal Robbin Wall. “We’re incredibly proud of their efforts and excited to watch the community rally around this project.”

Nashville Tour de’CTE Wraps Up

As another Career and Technical Education month comes to an end, it is amazing to look back on all of the phenomenal work going on in our district. After bombarding, surprising, and downright startling Career and Technical Education teachers across Nashville this month, we can say the Tour de’CTE was a success. Thanks to all of the schools for hosting us. Thanks to the business partners who donated goodies for the Teacher Appreciation Gift Bags. And finally, thank you to the more than 125 CTE teachers in Nashville we were able to visit this month. The work you do to help students achieve their greatest potential is changing the lives of these students and their families and the Nashville community. To see some of the teachers who impact thousands of students across Nashville, be sure to check out the photo slideshow below.

While we are sad to see Career and Technical Education month come to a close, there is one thought that brings us comfort. Only 11 more months till CTE Month 2014!

Students Attend Naturalization Ceremony for Teacher

Students from the Hillsboro High School Academy of International Business and Communications were able to witness one of the most significant events in their teacher’s life. A naturalization ceremony is the official ceremony where a person is sworn in as an American citizen. Two students received special permission to attend and document the ceremony. 


I was very lucky to be able to film a United States naturalization ceremony. It was a great experience to see how all of those people’s lives changed all of a sudden.  People came from all over the world just to be a citizen of this great country. The naturalization ceremony was a culmination of a life’s journey for all of the new citizens. It was especially cool because when we filmed the ceremony we got the VIP treatment and we got to go to the front of the courtroom and film from a designated media spot. It didn’t even seem like a high school video or any kind of amateur work. We were running the show as a designated and legitimate media program. After the ceremony, people kept asking us to take their pictures and videos to cherish their memories. They knew that we were the real deal and they wanted professional help with their pictures. Overall, the experience was very beneficial not just to me as a media student, but me as an American citizen.  – Ian D., Hillsboro High School student