Archives for April 2015

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.

My Regional STEM Expo Experience

Students from across Middle Tennessee had the opportunity to compete in the Middle Tennessee Regional STEM Expo this week.  Austin S., a student at Stratford STEM Magnet High School in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies, writes about his experience at the expo. 


This was the first expo I ever entered, and the Middle Tennessee Regional STEM Expo was phenomenal! I had a great time presenting our Stratford Maze App to the judges and to the students present at the event. It was great telling what software and programming language we used. It was an honor to be at the Regional Expo, and we worked our hardest to get here. The competition at Stratford gave me a chance to present our work, and we placed 2nd. It was a great experience to attend and it was a fun experience.

Our Stratford Maze App not only received a gold medal, but we won the MNPS Award of Excellence! Project based learning really allows us to choose our learning and develop a project that means something to us. Collaboration is the key to our success as we all worked together to develop the best product!

My Experience in DECA

The Spring Semester is often referred to as “Competition Season” for the many Career and Technical Student Organizations. Tara Y., a student at Hillsboro High School, writes about her experience with DECA in the post below. 


As any competition goes, competitors come in with mix emotions. Excitement, anxiety, fear, determination. We all want to win and make others proud. As for me, I was fearless…. for the first hour… after which the idea of competing sunk in. We were led to a large ball room, where rows of seats overtook the area and people were filling them, quickly.

After getting our own seats, I truly realized exactly how many people took part in DECA. People from all over Tennessee were impeccably dressed and beyond ready to compete. It destroyed any bit of an ego I had left. Nevertheless, the opening session began. The executive council were introduced, and those five people were so young, yet seemed to have accomplished so much. It gave bit of motivation to do more and take part in other organizations.

Once the opening session was over, it was test time. Given that the written test is my personal weakness, I wasn’t particularly excited. We were all led to the testing area, papers were handed out, and students were taking their respective seats. Safe to say all of us were nervous, and it was obvious. By the time I had finished my test, there was only one other person from my category still there, nevertheless that put an end to my night.

The next day was my role play time. It began somewhat early and the hall was filled with attendees waiting for their appointment. Once in, the same room that was filled with tables and chairs the night before, was now transformed into interview stations. For me, the role play went well and I was pumped. The rest of the day was free until the banquet that night.

The banquet was held at the same place as the opening session, however, once again this room was completely change. Instead of rows of chairs, it was filled with dinner tables and the stage was used for a live band. It was beautiful. After dinner, the executive council began awarding the top three competitors in each aspect of every category. I was called, and I nearly fainted. I was awarded a perfect score on the role play aspect and was handed a medal; putting a wonderful end to my night.

The next morning was it, the awards ceremony. The way it worked placed the top eight on stage and awarded the top four whom would be representing and the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida. It was a long list, but my category was first up. I was called to the stage for the top eight, and nervously waited. The top four were randomly called to accept their awards. Someone must have been looking down on me, because I was called on first for a trophy.

One of the biggest slogans of the conference was “Today is a great day.” It sure was, and I was so excited to qualify for ICDC, and I still am. Next month I’ll be down in Florida for the first time in my life, and will compete in Nationals. Wish me luck!

Whites Creek brings home HOSA honors


Whites Creek High School’s Valedictorian, Joanna Y., won 1st place in the “Extemporaneous Health Poster” competition at the Tennessee State HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) Conference which was held at Opryland Resort and Convention Center, March 19-21, 2015.

This competition is designed to encourage Health Science students to improve their ability to analyze and interpret current health and HOSA-related issues and express and communicate their interpretation through the development of an artistic poster.  Students are given a health topic, when they arrive to the competition,  which they interpret and develop into posters onsite.

Joanna entered the state competition as 1st place winner from the Middle Tennessee Lower Region.  As first place winner in the state, Joanna is eligible to represent Tennessee at the National HOSA Leadership Conference this June in Anaheim, California.