Academies of Nashville

Public Education and Public Television Working Together

The NECAT partnership with the USCCU Academy of International Business and Communications at Hillsboro High School has provided students with relevant opportunities that will prepare them for life. This school year, NECAT trained 50 Hillsboro students interested in careers in television and production by facilitating hands-on experience in their television studio with training and guidance for usage of every piece of equipment in the studio and control room. These students were also granted a year-long Producer membership to use the studio and create their own programming for broadcast. Of the 50 students participating in this experiential learning opportunity, six were selected to serve on the NECAT Super Crew and became an integral partner in the creation of season one of the Our Nashville television series featuring local nonprofits.

“Students are sharp, flexible, and ready to learn and contribute–we love that and need that, so quite simply we foster it and reward it,” said NECAT CEO Trish Crist, “And we are ecstatic to announce that we have secured funding to train another 25 Hillsboro broadcast career path students in the Fall semester 2017!”

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Glencliff celebrates opening a new greenhouse

Glencliff High School hosted a grand opening event to celebrate its new on-campus greenhouse that provides students with environmental learning opportunities.

The greenhouse supports students in the Hands On Nashville Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning as they prepare for futures in careers like civil and environmental engineering and plant and animal biotechnology. Seed starts and stems grown at the greenhouse will support Hands On Nashville’s nearby Urban Farm, which yields produce for local non-profits.

Check out photos from the event:


Stratford STEM Magnet student creates documentary about the Parthenon


While doing an internship with the Parthenon, Dev Bhavsar, a senior at Stratford STEM Magnet School in the Academy of Science and Engineering, used the opportunity as inspiration for another one of his passions: filmmaking.

Belmont-bound Bhavsar produced a 31- minute documentary-style video, The Lost History of the Parthenon,  that explores the history of the Parthenon from ancient times to the present. The film includes in-person and Skype interviews with top scholars, in Greece and the United States.

The music featured in the first half of the film was composed by Nikos Xanthulous, a musician and composer who appeared as a Parthenon Symposium speaker in 2012.

At the annual meeting of the Tennessee Association of Museums on March 15, Bhavsar received a TAM Award of Excellence as well as the prestigious Past Presidents Award, which is selected from all of the Award of Excellence winners in the current year.

Check out the video below.

2017 Academies of Nashville Award Nominees

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has announce the final category nominees for the 2017 Academies of Nashville Awards. In its seventh year, this event recognizes the hard work of individuals, smaller learning communities and companies playing an integral role in the success of the Academies model.

Since 2010, more than 350 MNPS educators, administrators and Academy partners have received special recognition through this initiative. This year, nearly 306 nominations were received illustrating excellence within the Academies. These submissions were reviewed and vetted through the final nominations committee comprised of MNPS leadership, Nashville Chamber, PENCIL and Alignment Nashville leadership teams. The final winners will be selected by a panel of independent judges and announced at Rocketown during the awards dinner on April 24th from 4:30 p. m. – 7:30 p.m. This is an invite-only event sponsored by The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and other generous business partners.


The 2017 final nominees are as follows: 


Academy Teacher of the Year (CTE or Thematic Pathway) 

Kathleen Homer, Antioch High School -The Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business & Finance

Lonny Nelson, Hillsboro High School- Academy of Global Health & Science

Brad Tracy, McGavock High School- Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Life Science & Law

Denise Wiggington, Overton High School- Academy of Health Sciences

Dr. Garry Gibson, Whites Creek High School- Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, & Logistics


Academy Teacher of the Year (General & Global Education) 

Thomas Thorps, Cane Ridge High School- Academy of Arts & Communication

Katherine Short Forsthoff, Glencliff High School- The Ford Academy of Business & Innovation

Scott Bennett, Hillsboro High School- Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Judith C. Lundy, McGavock High School- The CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication

Rachael Hunt, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School- Academy of Entertainment Management


Academy Team Leader of the Year 

Adam Guidry, Glencliff High School- Hands on Nashville Academy of Environmental & Urban Planning

Marc Taylor, Hillwood High School- Academy of Art, Design, & Communication

Jason Proffitt, Hunters Lane High School- Academy of Health & Human Services

Adam Lightman, McGavock High School- Academy of Aviation & Transportation

Sally Spear, Overton High School- Academy of Engineering


Externship Project of the Year 

Conexion Americas, Glencliff High School- Academy of Medical Science & Research

Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies, Hillsboro High School- Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Doerfer Industries and Universal Robotics, Stratford STEM School- Academy of Science & Engineering


Freshman Academy of the Year 

Hillwood High School 

Overton High School 

Stratford STEM School 


Academy of the Year 

McGavock High School- Academy of Aviation & Transportation 

Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School- Academy of Entertainment Management 

Whites Creek High School- Academy of Education & Law 


Academy Counselor of the Year 

Joseph Levickis, Hunters Lane High School- Griffin Academy of Design & Technology

Amy LeVally Glancy, McGavock High School- Academy of Aviation & Transportation

Deborah Osborne, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School- Academy of Entertainment Management


Academy Coach of the Year 

Brad Meyer, Hunters Lane High School

Jacob Glancy, McGavock High School

LaSheryl Jones-Hall, Whites Creek High School


Academy Assistant Principal of the Year 

Suzanne Link, Glencliff High School- Academy of Medical Science & Research

Russell Young, Hunters Lane High School- Academy of Health & Human Services

Marvin L. Olige, Maplewood High School- Academy of Sports Medicine & Wellness

Vincent Jones, Stratford STEM School- Academy of National Safety & Security Technologies

Matthew Patterson, Whites Creek High School- Academy of Education & Law


Executive Principal of the Year 

Jill Pittman, Overton High School

Sonia Stewart, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

James Bailey, Whites Creek High School


Academy Partnership of the Year: Arts, Media & Communications 

Lightning 1OO, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School- Academy of Entertainment Communication

NECAT (Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television), Hillsboro High School- US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business & Communication

The Recording Academy – The Grammys, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School- Academy of Entertainment Communication


Academy Partnership of the Year: Marketing & IT 

Ford Motor Credit, Glencliff High School- The Ford Academy of Business & Innovation

Deloitte, Antioch High School -The Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business & Finance

HCA, Overton High School- Academy of Information Technology


Academy Partnership of the Year: Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology 

Nissan North America, Stratford STEM School- Academy of Science & Engineering

Cummins, Inc., McGavock High School- Academy of Aviation & Transportation

Stansell Electric, Inc., Maplewood High School- Academy of Energy & Power


Academy Partnership of the Year: Health & Public Services 

TN National Guard, Cane Ridge High School- Academy of Law

Aegis Sciences Corporation, McGavock High School- Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Life Science & Law

St. Thomas Health Services, Maplewood High School- Academy of Sports Medicine & Wellness


Academy Partnership of the Year: Hospitality & Tourism 

Nashville Airport Hotel, Antioch High School- Academy of Hospitality & Marketing

Holiday Inn Express Antioch, Antioch High School- Academy of Hospitality & Marketing

Music City Center, Hunters Lane High School- Academy of Hospitality

Need More Energy? Watch This.

Originally shared by Ford Next Generation Learning. 

With relatives living all the way in Jamaica, Shakarah transformed her academy network into her family. Through her Alternative Energy production class she developed meaningful relationships with her peers that are sure to last a lifetime.

Join Shakarah as she introduces us to the world class, and famous Alternative Energy program at Whites Creek High School. Unlock the power of the network here.



What Is Our Story?

From state take-over to national model. 

During the 2006-2007 school year, the Academies of Nashville was only a dream– an ambitious, high school transformation effort that would bring together families, educators, and the community to improve our schools.

Ten years later, that dream has come to fruition. Graduation rates have increased. Student attendance is at an all-time high. Discipline referrals have significantly dropped. Business engagement in the school system has never been stronger and more powerful.

But there is much more to this success than the statistics along. It is the stories that touch our hearts. This past month, the Academies of Nashville were able to celebrate their ten year anniversary at Nissan Stadium with 300 of its closest friends and partners. Partners were also able to sign a recommitment statement with PENCIL to commit to the work ahead in the next ten years. Academies of Nashville graduates Shakarah Nelson, Katherine Hernandez, and Ben Zolkower shared their stories of how their high school education impacted their future.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event, and the past ten years, a success. We specifically want to thank our founding partners Alignment Nashville, Ford NGL, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, PENCIL, and the Ford Hub. We appreciate you.

To see and hear more about the event, check out the coverage by WSMV here.



Academy Coaches from the past ten years pose with a commemorative Hatch Show Print. Academy Coaches act as the business partner liaison for schools in the Academy model.


Microsoft displayed some of its newest technology to assist partners in recommitting to the work of the Academies of Nashville.

Microsoft displayed some of its newest technology to assist partners in recommitting to the work of the Academies of Nashville.


Every business partner and school employee in attendance received a commemorative Hatch Show Print to recognize the work of the past decade in the Academies of Nashville.

Every business partner and school employee in attendance received a commemorative Hatch Show Print to recognize the work of the past decade in the Academies of Nashville.


Academies graduates shared their stories of how the Academies of Nashville impacted their education. Throughout the evening, Jody Lenz recorded their inspiring messages through graphic listening.

Academies of Nashville graduates shared their stories of how the Academies of Nashville impacted their education. Throughout the evening, Jody Lenz recorded their inspiring messages through graphic listening.

The National Emmy Awards: Laith Emmy Award

The awards have been piling up for Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School student, Laith Emanuel, including the prestigious honor for receiving a National Student Emmy Award at 16-years-old. Congratulations Laith!

See Laith and Mr. Anthony Young’s acceptance speech from the awards ceremony.

See the entire Citizen Laith documentary.

Exploring Our Options

Job shadowing give students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world. Jacquelyn M. and Chassity S., students from Maplewood High School,  participated in a job shadow with the Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital.  In this post, Jacquelyn and Cassity write about their experience.

20170112_123552We learned many things in the Neuroscience unit at Saint Thomas Hospital on our job shadow experience. Going into this program we had no idea of what to expect and we encountered a lot of surprises. We encountered a lot of unsuspected things, such as checking a patient’s incisions. We had a lot of patients come in to recover from back surgeries, so one of our main priorities was trying to make the patients comfortable. We were on our feet a lot due to us having to check on our patients and bring them the medicines they needed when they needed it. We didn’t know how fit nurses had to be. Every time a patient received medical care or medicine it had to be tracked and reported. We also had to follow all of the HIPPA rules and regulations. We knew that HIPPA was part of being in the medical field, but experiencing it first-hand made us see how serious it was.

Some of the best moments were when we introduced ourselves to the staff and patients, and they were so welcoming and nice. A lot of the patients had many interesting stories to tell. The work environment was very social yet professional. It helped us obtain good communication skills and a good day’s exercise. The feeling of helping people was the best ever.

This job shadow has given us a great inside look into the medical field, and a career in nursing. In the future we would definitely like to go back and do it again, preferably in different fields of study, so we can explore our options.

Ideas, Plans, and Careers for my Future- Connie Tran, Overton High School

Every student enters the career fair with feelings of savory excitement from the thought that they are beginning to step out and make their mark on the world. Each person realizes that have the chance to be whoever or whatever they dream. The fair offered me that experience, but I felt shaky at first, questions popping into my head, asking myself, am I really ready for this? Am I ready to find out how I will contribute to society? However, in that period of time, I knew didn’t have to decide right there on the spot, so I went exploring to uncover a potential “me” at the fair. However, before I had entered the career fair, I had already a few preferences in mind; I wanted to work in the STEM field, and I had narrowed down my choices to the science field particularly. Knowing what sort of display I had in mind, I approached a booth relating to a medical field first. I interviewed a resident physician , Anna Kate Moen, who worked at Vanderbilt Pediatrics Residents. In my mind, the medical field had always interested me than the any other because not only could you study the world of medicine and humans, but also witness the effect I have always seen medical workers instill; they have the power to help change a life for the better. Moen told me about how her career has changed over the past years, and I found that it required a lot of schooling to achieve where she is now. 4 years of college, 4 of medical, and 3 years training got Moen in her current status. Since she is involved in pediatrics, she does a lot of work for children, and told me that winter was the toughest season of them all. I soaked up the knowledge, and was able to make a connection with my sister who was recently sick. This booth also really caught my attention because it had a hands on activity. Students were shown how to do stiches and able to test their stitch work on an orange. I feel this booth had the most influence on me because it was already in my most interested category and that it drew me closer to the medical field when I was deciding on a future academy. Although, I believed it is important to see what other careers had to offer, so my next stop was Stephanie Weeden Wright who specializes in electrical and computer/engineering. This was another STEM career, but I had not given much thought to the engineering section as much, so I was able to really broaden my horizons. Wright worked with Lipscomb University and was also a professor. She explained to me what some special challenges that people encounter in the job. “As an engineer, you have to work with other people and effectively communicate your ideas to other engineers.” This quote from Wright was able to provide me with a clear image of the effort it must take to get your ideas and opinions across because in the world of engineering, it is like clockwork; you need all the gears to make it spin. However, when I see every booth in the career fair, I wonder if this is their true calling or something they enjoy. I asked Wright that if she had the ability to start all over again, would she have changed anything about it. She once again explained to me that her job is much appreciated, “No, being an engineer is awesome. I’m getting paid to do what I love.” This quote got me really positive about the limitless and possible careers in the world, and I was determined to create an opportunity in order pursue a profession I really admire. So far, I had really been inspired and motivated to acquire a passion, but patience was needed. Before, I went to another booth, I could see Shoney’s was handing out cookies. I wondered what a great sponsor, and I hope wherever I work for will have the something similar where it influences people and society in a constructive way. Of course, I realized I should ponder these things later when I am actually on my way to the working world. However, to be honest, I can see where it influences my future decision-making because if I want to work, I desire for it to be with a cause. Where you work can represent a lot about you more than you thought I realized at that moment because my opinion of Shoney’s had changed. If you like your job, then you must have a reason to why to continue you passions. With that thought in my mind, I searched up an average number of jobs in Tennessee and found an amazing number. There was a range of up to 800 non profit jobs available, for civilians to participate in [2]. Seeing a sponsor up close, and what they do really lets me grow as an individual and tells me that there is way more out there, then just what you would see in an average classroom. My perspectives and views used to be more limited because I was unaware of certain facts and opportunities, but now that I can identify more options, then I can fully control what kind of job I want without having to hope and guess that I chose something in my best interest.
Speaking of best interest, I actually had a look at charts for income rates in Tennessee last taken in 2014. Even as high schooler, I thought it would be important to know what was the average income rates in the state in which I live in. After looking at the chart, I was able to examine what I would most likely be making or above, if I am able to dedicate my time in my career that benefits society. Although, I do realize it is not just about the money. Of course, it is a necessity, but at the career fair when I talked to each person at their booth, I wanted to love my future job as much as they love theirs. This helped me walk on the right path because it straightened by priorities and assisted me to understand that there is more to a job than earning money. So, my goals and decisions were influenced to pick a career that does not just pay well, but secure a job that would benefit me also as a person and individual.

Figure 1: chart of Tennessee income rates up 1994-2014 [1]
Besides subjects in school that interest me, I also look up to my parents. My mother works at the bank, and she deals in the investigation of fake checks. Having this kind of background, I decided to check out the Tennessee Credit Union, whose booth was run by Tracy Dain. Dain displayed different types of forgeries possible, and after watching some of the work and understanding it, I realized that it is an important to have a good background knowledge on whatever career you are pursuing because I was able to understand and interpret well when I could make a connection with prior knowledge or with a concept I learned over time. Another booth I approached was held by the Belmont of College of Pharmacy hosted by Professor Kiningham. Kiningham told me about her education after high school. I asked because I wanted to know where would I be in high school, and she described to me that after high school, she had 2 years of college and 4 years of pharmacy. I really find the medical field interesting, but medicine itself with the capsules and prescriptions, I had not learned much in detail, so I asked Kiningham what kind of skills would be most crucial to her job. She elucidated the importance of being organized, having the integrity and interest of a scientist, and working really hard. I figured the last was a given, but I did find her speech very significant. It brought me a taste of reality once again on how if I truly wanted to achieve my dream job, I would have to work harder than ever to grab hold of opportunities, and not let sit idly by and wait for chances to come knocking into me. Most of all, Kiningham said that this job requires you to “care.” A synonym to care would be passion, so having a passion is one of the most important elements of any career. I contemplated that I had not peaked where I already figured out what really drew me in all the way, but it impacted my perspective that I should search and pursue an occupation that always keeps me interested and alive. One of the last booths I visited was the Dialysis Clinic, Inc. who was arranged by Patricio Avendano, a corporate. Honestly, when I approached the booth, I had no idea what was dialysis. However, Avendano defined that it dealt with substitutes for kidneys in the body when the organ is no longer able to proper functionally. I was very excited to learn something new and captivating, and I questioned why he had chosen this career field, what made him develop an interest. Avendano replied that he once was a technician that had worked with machines and enjoyed fixing things. Then, his machines were able to function as an artificial kidney. I found this rather fascinating because one interest in a certain area, had developed into another. Avendano also explained a few of the important skills to have, which were math and trouble-shooting. I realize that math is a core subject, so you really do have to use it everyday no matter what your job may be and I should take advantage on the learning opportunities I can grab ahold of. Avendano’s lecture allowed me to see that a prior interest could still open doors for another opportunity. I was able to become more open-minded and decide that just because I had one career, did not mean I could not pursue another in a totally different field.

After the end of the day, I felt like I was able to discover something new behind the uncertain gray clouds, a sun peeking through. It is up to me to find that sun and passion, but I registered that as “wake up” sign. School is very crucial in a journey to success because without it, I would not be able to grab hold of as many opportunities. This changed my way of thinking at my education and my surroundings. A successful person realizes that knowledge is power, so that has influenced me to gain as much as I can. Learning more about the different types of careers really made my world seem bigger and I was able to develop a more open-minded attitude. Narrowing down what profession I would pursue is still a mystery at the moment, but I was able to narrow my focus and concentration on my school work, and I was influenced in a positive way where the career I decide to follow is chosen out of passion and not just a job. My long-term and short-term goals have also changed for the better because I can already see myself paving a path down to a bright future.

Sources Cited
[1]Krause, Mike. “Profiles and Trends Section I. State Context of Higher Education.” Profiles and Trends Section I. State Context of Higher Education – TN.Gov., 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.
[2] “Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.” Non Profit Jobs, Employment in Tennessee | Indeed, 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

Exploring the Path to My Future- Janeth Gonzalez, Hunters Lane High School

Last week, I attended a field trip that has changed my perspective on my future career. Along with over 300 of my classmates, we traveled to the Music City Center for the Freshmen Career Fair. Once we arrived, I was totally amazed at all of the different types of jobs that are available out there. I spent an hour walking around and interviewing professionals with many different backgrounds. From construction professionals to veterinarians, I saw a lot of jobs that seemed very interesting and some that seemed boring.
At our school, the Career Fair was more than just a one-day event. In our Freshmen Seminar class, we spent a week talking about what to wear, how to introduce ourselves, and how to interview a professional. We spent time practicing our interview questions and which booths we were going to visit. This was really helpful as we prepared for the Career Fair because I had a plan when I arrived. Also, I was not nervous because I practiced my questions and knew what I was going to say. From this experience, I learned that self-presentation and communication are very important skills in the business world. Also, I saw the importance of being prepared and practicing our interviews. In the future, I will spend more time preparing for work to make sure I do a good job.
Before I went to the Career Fair, I thought I really wanted to work with animals. So, I was very excited to talk to the veterinarian and ask questions about the profession. As it turns out, I think that will be the perfect career for me. The vet was very friendly and nice to me which made me think that she really liked her job. We talked about caring for different animals and going to school to get my degree. By going to the Career Fair and talking to the vet, I feel really confident in my decision and am excited to pursue my interest in taking care of animals.
While going to the Career Fair helped me decide on my future career, I also talked to a lot of other people from different jobs. This was probably the most interesting and unexpected part of the trip. Obviously, I was drawn to the career I knew I liked, but I found I was interested in other careers as well. For example, I talked to the people from the fire department, and I thanked them for saving people and doing such a hard job. Although I never see myself doing that job, I have a respect for them and recognize their sacrifice. Also, I learned so much from my conversation with them. We discussed the job requirements, training, and work schedule. This is just one of many examples of really interesting conversations I had while at the Career Fair.
The overall experience at the Career Fair is certainly one I will not forget. For all of those people to take time out of their busy days to talk to us was really meaningful. Everyone I talked to was very friendly and seemed interested in our conversations. Sometimes I think teenagers, like me, do not always see and appreciate the opportunities that we have. For me, the Career Fair was a really awesome opportunity to start thinking about my future and experience different types of jobs. Before I went to the Career Fair, I did not think much about my future career. I knew I really liked animals and wanted to be able to take care of them. So, talking to the veterinarian was great because it helped me realize that was a great job for me. Moving forward, I was always remember this experience and use the information I learned to keep me on track to pursue my goals.

Cheers, Tears, and Celebrating Ten Years

This year is the Academies of Nashville 10-Year Anniversary!

While we will be celebrating all year long, we hosted a special presentation at the December Administrative and Supervisory Meeting last week. Hear from students from each of the Academies of Nashville schools on how the academies have helped their pursue their college and career goals.

Nnadozie Ibe, Antioch High School, Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance


Jarad McCray, Cane Ridge High School, Academy of Law

Reanas Saleh, Glencliff High School, Hands On Nashville Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning

Olivia Zavitson, Hillsboro High School, US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communication

Tevion Turner, Hillwood High School, Academy of Health Sciences

Alanna Brown, Hunters Lane High School, Academy of International Baccalaureate

BreeAnna Collins, Maplewood High School, Academy of Sports Medicine and Wellness

Victor Ochoa, McGavock High School, Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality

Khai Hardin, Overton High School, Academy of Information Technology

Jacob Graham, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, Academy of Entertainment Communication

Jack Utley, Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Academy of Science and Engineering

Jacob Williams, Whites Creek High School, Academy of Community Health

Championing Career Academies

Metro Schools was recognized by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) for being a champion of the career academy model, marked by small learning communities, college-prep curriculum with career themes and partnerships with local employers, higher education institutions and the community. Several schools as well as community partners were honored at the NCAC conference held in Tampa earlier this month.

McGavock High School Receives Jeffrey N. Stein Award

The Jeffrey N. Stein Award recognizes a school with career academies that demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to and passion for career academies as catalysts for helping all students, and especially disadvantaged students, according to Susan Katzman, recent past-president of the National Career Academy Coalition.

“I had the pleasure of knowing Jeffrey Stein for many years, and as a businessman and an educator, he exemplified passion, commitment and the pursuit of excellence. He did not do anything if he could not do it well. His widow Judy and a former executive director of NCAC wanted to create an award in his honor for schools that exhibit the same qualities,” said Katzman. “I am pleased to present this year’s award to McGavock High School in Nashville, Tennessee. They began the career academy process in 2008 and perfected their work over the next eight years. They have model academies, numerous business partners and successful students. You cannot google McGavock without seeing a YouTube video of President Obama visiting and speaking at the school in 2013.”

Meharry Medical College and Bridgestone Americas Receive Partnership Awards

Also recognized at the NCAC conference were Meharry Medical College and Bridgestone Americas, which both received the Henk Koning Exemplary Partnership Award for their continued support and partnerships with academies in Metro Schools.

Dr. Susan DeRiemer, a professor at Meharry Medical College has led Meharry’s partnership with the Glencliff High School Academy of Medical Science & Research (AMSR) almost since its beginning. Meharry, founded in 1876, is one of the oldest and largest historically black medical colleges in the United States that has always focused on training talented individuals from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and prepared them to go into underserved areas to work. Highlights of the partnership includes:

  • Externships for the academy teachers;
  • Curricular support throughout the course of the school year to carry out the project based learning endeavors;
  • Medical Interpreting pathway (started in 2014) that was co-written by Dr. DeRiemer and members of the AMSR faculty. This curriculum is the first of its kind in the nation and has been adopted by the Tennessee Department of Education as an approved pathway.

Bridgestone Americas has embraced the Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, even exposing the students to international business leaders from Japan and South America, supporting students to develop beyond basic mechanic skills and become potential corporate executives. Highlights of the partnership with Maplewood High School include:

  • Transforming Maplewood’s high school automotive shop into a one-of-a-kind automotive training center in cooperation with Firestone Complete Auto Care. This included building an official Customer Service Center inside the school and providing students with access to and training on the proprietary software used in the Firestone organization;
  • Enhancing course offerings by encouraging all students to take at least one course in Marketing and Management;
  • Investing more than $300,000 in building the Firestone training center, the organization provides 2 to 3 staff members on a regular basis every couple of weeks to provide industry training to students.

Thirteen Metro Schools Receive NCAC Accreditation

In addition, the following Metro schools officially received NCAC Accreditation during the conference:

  1. Cane Ridge High School – Academy of Health Management
  2. Glencliff High School – Academy of Medical Science and Research
  3. Hillsboro High School – Academy of Global Health and Science
  4. Hillwood High School – Academy of Health Science
  5. Hillwood High School – Academy of Business and Hospitality
  6. Hillwood High School – Academy of Art, Design, and Communication
  7. Maplewood High School – Academy of Energy and Power
  8. McGavock High School – US Community Credit Union/ Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality and Finance
  9. McGavock High School – CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication
  10. McGavock High School – Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Life Science and Law
  11. McGavock High School – Academy of Aviation and Transportation
  12. Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School – Academy of Entertainment Management
  13. Whites Creek High School – Academy of Education and Law

For more information on the National Career Academy Coalition, visit

Hispanic Heritage Month- Drawing Inspiration from Aspiring Engineers

By Rashed Fakhruddin, Engineering Supervisor, Nashville Electric Service

Through the Academies of Nashville, Metro Nashville Public Schools, in collaboration with the business community, works diligently to prepare students to graduate ready for post-secondary education and successful careers.

As an Academy business partner, Nashville Electric Service (NES) plays an important role in providing students with experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and job shadowing which assist future graduates with developing the necessary employability skills to be successful in their future careers.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I would like to highlight two students from John Overton High School who interned with NES’ Design Engineering department through Conexión Américas ‘Escalera: Taking Steps to Success’ program, which works with young adults who will be first generation college students in their families.

Juan Martinez and Eric Jaramillo made an impression on the employees of NES during their 40-hour internship last July. They exhibited great work ethics by interning with NES for half the day and then going straight to their construction jobs immediately following.


These bright students got an overview of NES’ substation controls and communication designs. They learned about system protection and distribution planning. They visited both the test and system control departments and observed the very impressive SCADA operations center.

They were also active participants in our project meetings, including a conference call with a manufacturer that NES was working through several issues with. On the call, engineers with the manufacturer were speaking in English to us and in Spanish among themselves. Juan and Eric stepped in and translated the conversations to help clear up the previous miscommunication. Our interns became heroes overnight. This highlights the importance of speaking a second language, which is an asset of many students attending MNPS. Over 30 percent speak a second language at home and more than 100 languages are spoken by students from over 75 different countries.


Although born in the U.S., Juan and Eric are of Mexican heritage, as is NES board member, Irma Paz-Bernstein. Upon completion of their internship, Irma invited them both to her business, Las Paletas, for a visit. The next day, Irma emailed me the following message:


Dear Rashed, 

I was happy to meet with Eric & Juan. The idea of inspiring young people always moves me. The interesting thing that happens is that something magical flips things around and I am the one that walks away different.

Listening to their hopes, their stories, their situations and how ready they are to be lifted, to fly, just made my heart grow. I thank you for the opportunity to be inspired and moved.

Peace, always,



As much as we try to inspire these young adults, many times we are the ones who are changed in the process.


Tennessee Credit Union Welcomes Students to Main Branch

TTCU was excited to host 42 sophomores from Antioch High School Sept. 29. The students are from TTCU’s Academy of Business and Finance and all are in the Accounting pathway.

The students visited our Main Nashville Branch to learn about careers in Banking and Finance. We are proud to be able to help guide the students in their future careers by discussing the job responsibilities of various positions in the credit union and financial services industry, such as tellers, member service representatives, branch managers, fraud prevention specialists, IT professionals, marketing managers, and internal audit & accounting leaders.

Saint Thomas Health Scholars Program Puts Students on Career Path to Healthcare

Originally posted to Saint Thomas Health Beat

It was a night to shine. It was a night to celebrate. One hundred students from nine high schools with health & science academies in Metro Nashville were selected to the Saint Thomas Health Scholars Program. The program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, provides mentoring and hands-on experience in the healthcare field in hopes of paving a career path for these seniors once they graduate from high school. The program also prepares them to take the certification exam at the end of the school year to become a medical assistant. All this at no charge to the students and their families.

Saint Thomas Health, a part of Ascension, partnered with Metro Nashville Public Schools for this inaugural program. A special event was held at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville to commission the students into the program.