Archives for February 2014

Students learn about emergency management from Nashville Fire Department

14.2.25 Stratford 2

Firemen are known for their speed and efficiency in emergency situations. Students from the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies at Stratford STEM Magnet High School were able to see this speed and efficiency in person during a recent field trip to the Nashville Fire Department at Station #3. In fact, here are some of the things students learned during their trip:

  • Fire fighters have separate roles when operating the truck; Captain, Engineer and Firefighter.
  • Fire fighters response time is shorter then police officers. They can get to someone within 15-20minutes.
  • Fire fighters have 30-45 seconds to get ready once the alarm has gone off.
  • They can get to the person quickly, because most fire stations are in the community.
  • Police stations are usually further away.
  • Firefighters at station #3 work 24 hours on and leave for 48 hours.
  • Different fire stations can work longer days.
  • Training is 6 months after you pass a test.
  • EMT stands for Emergency Medical Technician.
  • Every fire fighter is required to have EMT license
  • Everyone has to be certified to drive the truck.
  • There are 41 engines and 18 trucks at the fire stations in Nashville.
  • They have about 5-6 runs/calls a day.
  • Fire Engine holds from 750-2000 gallons of water.
  • The fire stations now do not have any poles because people were getting injured. There is one fire station in Nashville that is considered historical, and it has a pole in fire station.

13.2.25 Stratford


College Visits Impact Future Plans


Kelesha Drew, Whites Creek High School
Academy of Community Health

What did you want your career to be when you were a child? A singer? A dancer? Superman? Well, while those are all great things to find passion in, I found mine in dentistry. It’s something about being a dentist that I just love. Ever since I was in 7th grade I looked into dentistry and I knew I wanted to go to college, but I never knew how or when to apply. A question that also constantly flowed through my mind was if I even wanted to go to college Tennessee?

My freshman year at Whites Creek High School we took a trip to Meharry Medical College. It taught me a lot about the pathway I wanted to go into and also a lot about the history of the school and the school itself. I learned that the Medical College, which was founded in 1876, is one of the oldest and largest historically black academic health science centers dedicated to teaching future physicians, dentists, health experts, and more. This interested me because I was really looking into a lot of HBCU schools and could never just decide on one and I never knew if they offered what I needed to become a dentist. I learned and saw a lot of things that I had never known or seen before. Meharry Medical College opened my eyes to something new. I’d never visited a college before. I’d never talked to any college students about anything and at Meharry they made me feel like one of them. Meharry made me feel like I could go to any college and feel comfortable with touring and asking questions about their educational system and what they have to offer.

Just recently, as a sophomore in the Academy of Community Health, I was lucky enough to visit Meharry twice in one school year. On these two trips we learned different things, they never repeated anything, and once again we got to talk with real college students. They were really easy to get along with and they were really nice people. We took tours and visited the Gross Anatomy lab where they perform autopsies. As weird as it may sound, it wasn’t that bad. Meharry has opened my eyes to new careers and I’m very thankful that I got to participate in this experience. I hope to one day go back to Meharry and learn more about the dentistry path that they offer. Thank you Meharry Medical College!

Project Expo and Showcase Double Previous Year’s Numbers

13.2.19 Stratford 2Stratford STEM Magnet High School hosted a student project expo and academy showcase February 13, 2014.  Both the expo and the showcase had double the number of participating students, parents, and business partners attending the events.

As part of the expo, twenty-one business and community partners evaluated student projects and presentations in the fields of art, information technology, health and public service, hospitality and tourism, engineering, humanities, and science. Students competed during the expo and had this to say about the experience, “I get to express my passion for an evolving knowledge base.  I enjoy sharing my project and its impact with others.”

13.2.19 Stratford

“As a judge I got to enjoy (and learn from!) the projects and those students who presented their work.  The students were clearly excited (and a bit nervous) to have outsiders evaluating their work.  But they rose to the challenge and displayed their research well.  I believe this Expo is a benefit to both students and the broader community.”  Another stated, “I believe this annual event provides a great opportunity for students to interface with working professionals in STEM….and provide encouragement to seek careers in these high need fields.”

As part of the Academy Showcase, student winners were announced and honored.  During the event they shared their winning projects with potential Stratford students, parents, and the community.

Student project winners:

Art- Geometric Vs. Organic

Information Technology- Scratch – Stratford Gaming Corporation

Health and Public Service- Differential expression of MUC5AC and MUC5B in Chronic Lung Diseases.

Hospitality and Tourism- G.I.S.B-Cycle Station Project

Engineering- From Parameters to Parts in Practice

Humanities- Wolbachia the bacterial feminizer

Science- Sequencing an Initial Gene for Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Gall Midges

Clockwise Productions Plans “A Walk Through Times” for Antioch

Clockwise Productions will host “A Walk Through Times” on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 for Antioch High School students, faculty, as well as the local Antioch community. The event, which will be held at the Antioch High School auditorium, will help students, faculty, and the community learn about the four historic eras in time, which are Classical, Renaissance, Romantic, and Modern. During the event, guests will experience an intimate night of guaranteed grandeur, which will include live entertainment, food tastings, poetry, and art. All of this is presented by Clockwise Productions and Antioch High School’s Academy of Hospitality.

All Antioch High School faculty, students, friends and family, the local news media, and the rest of the Antioch community are cordially invited to make this event a successful one. Tickets for “A Walk Through Times” are on sale now for only $15 — secure your tickets NOW by visiting any of the Academy of Hospitality teachers at Antioch High School! For those who don’t attend Antioch High School, you can purchase your ticket to this event by calling 615-641-5400 ext. 2102 OR 615-438-0970. For more information, visit our website:!

See you on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at Antioch High School!

Frist works with Antioch HS to promote community art


NPT American Graduate Community Town Hall

In January 2014, Nashville Public Television brought community members to their studios to speak on education in middle Tennessee as a part of CPB’s American Graduate program. In this town hall meeting, parents, students, teachers, administrators, and business partners speak about the Academies of Nashville, school choice, standardized testing, and other topics.

TENNESSEAN: Kids get creative with 3-D printers

Originally published in the Tennessean. To view the article in its entirety, please click here


As a high school student, James Anderson built Pinewood Derby cars in woodworking class. Decades later, he’s teaching high school students to create similar structures, but instead of demonstrating hammers and nails, he directs students to press “print.”

Antioch High School students are conceptualizing, designing and building carbon dioxide dragsters — model vehicles similar to the derby cars of yesteryear — using the school’s 3-D printer.

“If you can create a design for it, you can print it,” said Anderson, pointing at objects around the room, from paperweights to phone cases. “Once you upload a design image, the printer sections it out and builds layer on layer until the structure is complete. Our 3-D printer can build a 10-inch-long dragster in about six hours.”

Engineering students are working in teams to design and build the dragsters, and the project will culminate in a classwide race. The 3-D printer is not just used by engineering students, however.

In a cross-curricular project dubbed “Antioch Motors,” engineering students are working with digital-design, automotive and math students to develop a hypothetical large-scale car design. Students have access to the 3-D printer during several phases of the project: from conceptualizing to sketching to creating the physical models and detailing mechanical portions.

“The students are excited to get their hands on the 3-D printer,” said Anderson. “It’s helping build enthusiasm for fields like engineering.”

Practical application

Stratford STEM Magnet High School also houses a 3-D printer, and students are developing practical as well as creative uses for the tool. When broken knobs made it difficult to change the temperature on some classroom heating and air units, Stratford engineering students fired up the 3-D printer to make replacements.

“The sophomore students in the Technological Design Department are always asking for design challenges, so when this opportunity presented itself, they were more than game,” said Stratford engineering teacher Erik Boczko. “Two students working together as a team used calipers to carefully measure one of the few remaining knobs and then modeled the part in Autodesk Inventor 2013. This process took two class periods and a lunch break to complete.”

In little more than an hour, a prototype was printed on the uPrint SE/plus 3-D and tested for functionality.

Stratford’s 3-D printer, costing about $24,000, was funded by the Carl Perkins Career Technical Education Grant.

School Patrol: Students Developing Alternative Energy Options

School Patrol: Students Developing Alternative Energy Options.

A Heart for Valentine’s Day

I love my job.  As an Academy Coach at Maplewood High School, I feel I am blessed with the best job in a school.  I have the opportunity to work in a unique way with businesses, parents, teachers, administrators and most importantly…students.  The best experiences come when students’ lives are transformed due to experiences with the business partners.

One of the most rewarding days occurred right before Valentine’s Day 2014.  St. Thomas Hospital arranged for 3 of our students to come to St. Thomas Midtown for job shadowing.  Special arrangements were made for one student to shadow in the operating room during heart surgery.  He was able to stand side-by-side with the surgical staff and the surgeon explained everything during the procedure.

Another student spent the day in the ER, observing and learning about strokes, spider bites, and severe burns…just to mention a few things.  Her mentor took the time to explain warning signs, symptoms, and procedures for every condition she observed.   She left the experience amazed and impressed by the expertise and professionalism of the staff under such diverse and stressful conditions.

The third student gave the title “Life-Changing” to his experience.  He was debating between pursuing a career in nursing or physical therapy.  His opportunity allowed him to see both professions in action in the rehab department of the hospital.  After only a few short hours, he had no doubt that he will become a physical therapist.  He was fascinated by the psychological aspect of the career and motivated by the challenge of helping people return to a better quality of life.

When I pick up the students after a job shadow like this, the ride back to school is always loud.   The students are so excited to talk about their day, what they learned, and the goals they set for themselves that they are often all talking at the same time.  The joy of the students is almost uncontrollable!

After this particular shadow, the student who witnessed the heart surgery came back to tell his Sports Medicine and Wellness teacher about the experience.  Ironically, she was in the middle of another class teaching about the heart and circulatory system.  Apparently, he was so excited…he took over and taught the rest of the class himself!

It’s hard for me not to tear-up as I see and hear about these life-changing experiences for our students.  In our schools, we are so blessed to have amazing partners like St. Thomas Hospital who have a heart for our students…on Valentine’s Day…and year ‘round.


Using Culinary Arts to Address Medical Needs

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My name is Emilio, a senior in the Culinary Arts pathway at Glencliff High School.  Last week we had another amazing day to meet DCi (Dialysis Clinic, Inc.) patients by welcoming them to our Southern Tea Room for lunch.  Prior to this lunch, we had to research food options for renal patients that are high in protein.  So, our class found a few options and we made them.   We made both a protein snack and a lunch for them.  The snacks we found that are high in protein were muffins, strawberry/raspberry pie and a peanut butter granola.  The lunch that we made was BBQ ribs, bacon wrapped green beans and macaroni and cheese.

As the patients started to fill the room, my class worked together to prepare the two plates for the patients—one with the 3 protein snacks and the other with the lunch.  We joined the patients in the Tea Room and our chef introduced us.  After the introduction, we started to get to business discussing the different snacks.  We talked about how each group had a bar that they chose and were able to play with the recipe to come up with renal-friendly ingredients and nutrient values.  Then we brought out the lunch plate for them to enjoy.  We began to hear a lot of comments from the patients about how they were too full and couldn’t eat dessert!

Our class finished the day by talking about our school experience and what our culinary arts class was all about.  We also told them of our trips and contests.  Afterwards the patients said that they loved what we have done and now knew what they were going to cook for Super Bowl Sunday—BBQ Ribs!

Stratford STEM Magnet High School Students are Heading to the Tennessee Science Bowl

Five Stratford STEM Magnet High School students will compete in the Tennessee Science Bowl February 22, 2014 at Pellissippi State Community College. The Science Bowl is a fast-paced academic competition that offers teams of high school students from across the state of Tennessee a chance to match their wits in math and science. The winner of the Tennessee Science Bowl will advance to the National Science Bowl® in Washington, D.C., on April 24-28, 2014, all expenses paid!

The competition is played in a question-and-answer format in which two student teams attempt to answer toss-up and bonus questions. Teams are randomly placed in divisions and play against the teams within their division during the round-robin rounds. The top two teams in each division advance to the single-elimination rounds in the afternoon.

Stratford is the only Metro Nashville Public School participating in the event.  The other Nashville area school is Ensworth High School.



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Throwback Thursday

The Academies of Nashville has received a number of accolades recently: from community newspaper opinion pieces and social media shout outs to the President of the United States visiting and speaking about our schools. However, the road to success has been long and hard and began nearly a decade ago. Here is a photo of the very first Academies of Nashville planning meeting in Washington D.C. Eight principals, community leaders, and non-profit organizations came together to begin the high school transformation that is making waves in Nashville. Thank you to everyone that started this process and continues to help it develop.


From left to right: Lora Hall (MNPS), Darwin Mason (MNPS), Janet Wallace (MNPS), Lyndelle Norton (MNPS), Avi Poster (Community Volunteer), Brenda Elliot (MNPS), Jamie Jenkins (MNPS), Karl Lang (MNPS), Kelly Noser (Evaluator), Jim Briggs (MNPS), Connie Williams (Pencil Foundation), Margaret Bess (MNPS), David McNeel (MNPS), Aimee Wyatt (MNPS), Carol Nixon (Evaluator), Dan Surface (Alignment Nashville), Clay Meyers (MNPS), Starr Herrman (MNPS), and Jim Overstreet (MNPS).

Students Celebrate Black History Month through Music

Music and entertainment is ingrained in the culture of Nashville.

Students at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School eat, sleep, live, and breath the music industry. In honor of Black History Month, students at Relentless Entertainment (the Pearl-Cohn record label) took on the challenge to discover how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. impacted the music industry.

The students brought together an in-depth lesson about Dr. King’s work in Birmingham, Alabama, their Academy theme and work at the record lable, and a classic hit from Marvin Gaye to create a fascinating project.


Giving Back to My Alma Mater- Through CTE

rashed prfile pic blogRashed Fakhruddin has been working at NES for the last 19 years where he is a senior engineer in the area of system protection and communications.  He graduated from Hillsboro High in 1987, Vanderbilt in 1991 and Georgia Tech in 1994. Volunteer boards and organizations Rashed serves on include NPT’s advisory board, Vanderbilt University’s Religious Leaders Advisory Council, STEM Prep Academy Advisory Board, MNPS’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Partnership Council, etc. He has volunteered with Project Pencil in the past and is currently mentoring students through TN Achieves.  Rashed enjoys volunteering with the schools, as he has recently developed a presentation for schools called ‘The MNPS Professionalism Rubric and How it Translates into Performance Evaluation in the Workplace’, and has been presenting to many of the high schools’ Freshmen Academies at MNPS. He has three children attending MNPS – elementary, middle and high school.  Rashed enjoys playing and coaching basketball. 


Glencliff Freshmen Academy 9-17-13 pic 2Being National Career and Technical Education month, I would like to share my experience working with the schools as a business partner from NES.  Looking back to 5 years ago when I was invited to serve on the Academies of Nashville Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Partnership Council, I had no idea what an incredible school engagement opportunity this was going to lead to.  Plans for teacher externships, student job shadowing, business partnerships with specific academies, etc., were being discussed and shared.  There was not a moment of talking and planning that was not followed up with action and implementation. Within a year, NES embarked on engaging with Maplewood High School’s Academy of Energy and Power, and it has been a very fruitful partnership ever since.   I had the pleasure to attend the Academies of Nashville Winter Leadership Retreat last December, and I was amazed at the planning, brainpower, details, etc. that had been put into place regarding the academies – we are so fortunate to have such visionaries, administrators, and teachers who work together to carry out this plan.

Through the partnership council, it has been a nice experience working with the Career Exploration Fair every year since its inception in 2009, and interacting directly with the students.  I was touched when receiving a thank you letter from a high school student stating, “Your job as an electrical engineer is so interesting. It made me decide to become an electrical engineer. You showed me the knowledge you need for this job, and I just happen to love it.” Wow, honestly, one of the main reasons I decided to pursue engineering since my freshmen year in high school was because I was told that engineering was a good fit for me due to my math skills. Otherwise, I basically had no clue neither what an electrical engineer did nor what it entailed until I attended Vanderbilt and later Georgia Tech.

I had always wanted to give back to my school (Hillsboro) and the school system which I graduated from, and more than 20 years later that opportunity arose through the partnership council.  It motivated me to put together a presentation over a year ago named ‘The MNPS Professionalism Rubric and how it Translates into Performance Evaluation in the Workplace’, which by the end of February, I will have presented to more than 2,700 MNPS Freshmen from 7 different high schools during this academic year alone.  As President Obama stated, “We’ve got to reach more kids – and we’ve got to do it faster.” I plan and hope to speak to every Freshmen Academy in the Academies of Nashville every year in order to help inspire and place relevancy to this great professionalism skill set that MNPS is trying to instill in the students.  These same skill sets are necessary for employees to succeed in the workplace (e.g., communications, quality & commitment, interpersonal effectiveness (including teamwork), etc.). I strongly feel like our workforce in Nashville will have a good pool of highly skilled candidates in the upcoming years and onward through our graduates of MNPS, and the vision stated by Dr. Register during the Chamber’s Report Card- for MNPS to be the highest performing urban district in the U.S. by 2018-  will have become a reality.

Proud Partners


Griffin Technology has been a driving force at Hunters Lane High School this year. Through donating equipment and technology to providing guest lecturers in class, Griffin is paving the way for students to learn innovative skills on modern day equipment. In celebration of their partnership, Griffin recently posted a blog about their enthusiasm and excitement for the new partnership. Check out their blog post here. To find out more information on how to become an Academy Partner, like Griffin, take a look here.