Stratford High School

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!

 

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. 

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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!

Speaking to the Freshmen at Stratford High School during March

Rashed Fakhruddin

March 31, 2015

 Fakhruddin Presentation

Earlier during the month of March, I had the pleasure of speaking to Ms. Wanda Moore’s Freshmen seminar classes at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. My engineering colleague, Mostafa Shamsuddin- an alumnus of Stratford, and I divided up the classes over the 2 day period. We spoke about MNPS’s professionalism rubric, and how it ties into workplace evaluation.

Coming from industry and consulting with our HR vice president at NES, this rubric is a powerful tool in making people more employable. Industry is looking for people with these human social skillsets. The relevancy of the professional skillset that MNPS is trying to instill in students (e.g., communications, quality & commitment, interpersonal effectiveness [including teamwork], etc.) is critical to creating a large pool of highly qualified candidates in Nashville for years to come.

The interesting part of this rubric is that it can be applied by the Freshmen in their daily lives, as students trying to balance their education and extracurricular activities, and life in general. For example, a student who is trying to balance his or her A day and B day homework assignments, followed by sports after school, and in many cases, extra chores and responsibilities at home such as babysitting, are in fact having to multitask, plan and organize their schedules just as we have to do at work. On any given day, we have to manage 5 to 6 projects, take on additional assignments at work, while at the same time respond to emergencies. So my message to the students is to factor in to one’s schedule to ‘expect the unexpected’, and ‘not have one’s schedule control them, but to take control of one’s own schedule by being organized and planning accordingly.’ This type of planning means hitting the books during the weekends, and perhaps on Friday nights.

After having spoken to 12 other high schools this year, this presentation had a special component. I added a slide dedicated to a Hillsboro student-athlete LT, who had just tragically lost his life due to an enlarged heart condition while playing basketball. This slide fell under my ‘teamwork’ module, which ties into interpersonal skills. Surprisingly, about 10 different students knew LT. It dawned on me how connected these students are. Also, under interpersonal skills, I mentioned the example of a basketball legend, Stratford alumnus, Donte Jones, as he now runs the NYBA league, a phenomenal gentleman. As usual, speaking to the Freshmen inspires me to continue being involved with the our kids studying in our school system, who are the future leaders of our city.

Students Experience National Safety and Security Technologies

Stratford STEM Magnet High School held its first NSST (National Safety and Security Technologies) Day March 19, 2015. This event was designed to inform students about their future options and recruit students to the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies pathways: criminal justice and computer programming. Students had the opportunity to explore career options based on their pathways and observe the real world integration of technology with security.

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The Army Corps of Engineers Nashville Division brought their ECVV, which responded to 9-11 in New York City, as well as a crew member. Students learned first hand about the technology on the vehicle and the personal experiences from the 9-11 disaster.

NSST Day 3

The Tennessee Department of Corrections showed real-time monitoring of violent offenders as they moved through Davidson County.

NSST Day 1

More than 300 students were able to interact and learn more about their fields. Presenters included: Army Corps of Engineers- ECVV, Nashville State Community College- Visual Communications Program, Nashville State Community College- Music Technology, Nashville State Community College- Police Science, US Army, Tennessee Department of Corrections, MNPD- East Precinct, US Army Recruiter, Criminal Justice Center, US Navy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, NSG, Enterprise Program, Nashville Technology Council, and the Mall at Green Hills.

Students Job Shadow at Firefly Logic

Job shadowing gives students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world.  Students from Stratford STEM Magnet High School in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies   participated in a job shadow at Firefly Logic.  In this post, they write about their experience.

 

Firefly Logic is a technology development company creating software, mobile apps, web development, and marketing opportunities for clients. Students from Stratford STEM Magnet High School engaged with the company CEO, a programming developer, and web developer, to understand their creative process by listening to the customer needs and vision. Students learned about the iterative process of software development life cycle, their development methods, tracking project progress, testing, and delivery to the client.

 

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Freshman Students Experience College Life

FATripOn Tuesday, March 17, 150 students from the Freshman Academy at Stratford STEM Magnet High School went on one of their annual college visits.

The class was divided into three groups, each going to different colleges. Students were able to witness college life at Middle Tennessee State University, Volunteer State Community College and Nashville State Community College. In addition to witnessing college life, the students toured the campuses and learned about the different degree programs and pathways to universities each college offers.

“Allowing our students to be exposed to the college experience is very valuable, especially in ninth grade,” said Jeff Davis, Assistant Principal from the Freshman Academy. “For most of them, this is their first college visit.”

In addition to the tours, students had lunch on campus as well. Some of them had boxed lunches provided by the colleges while others ate in the college cafeteria.

Stratford High School partnered with GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs) for funding on these college visits. GEAR UP is a seven-year discretionary grant program, which aims to increase the number of low-income, first generation students enrolling and succeeding in college.

Accolades and Awards for Stratford

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Stratford STEM Magnet High School has had a successful year with their Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies and the Mock Trial Team.

Blake Simmons – Best Defense Attorney – Blake was recognized as the best Defense Attorney out of 22 different schools!!! Blake has “lawyer written all over him” and is a force to be reckoned with!!!!

Antoinette Lavender received the Most Valuable Player for Stratford’s team. This accomplishment was excellent as it was the result of excellent team spirit!!! Antoinette received a gavel for her recognition.

All other team members worked equally as hard and were excellent! It took a lot of dedication, commitment, studying, remembering facts, and soul searching for our students.  Each member held his/her own. Comparing them to other teams. SHS only had 6 participants.  This means they had to learn so many different roles. They were all so prepared!

Special thanks to Ms. DeMica Robinson for encouraging the students and for allowing them exposure to this event. Also, she was a wonderful support system. We appreciate you picking up students, taking them to different places, getting appropriate clothing, etc. Thanks for working even during the snow days.

Additionally, special thanks goes to mentor and Attorney-Mrs. Courtney Teasley.  Not only did she practice with students at Stratford, she opened her law office and allowed students to practice there. She donated over 100 manpower hours just to ensure the success of the Mock Trial Team.

Beating Cabin Fever on a Snow Day

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What happens when you are on your seventh snow day in a row?? You call up your teachers, Ms. Hansen and Ms. Wendling, and ask them to quiz you on Math and Science questions of course! During last Tuesday’s snow day, students, Maxie Ball, Jack Utley, and Ambrose Vargason (left to right) battled the ice and frigid temperatures to spend 2 and a half hours preparing for the upcoming Science Knowledge Bowl tournament. Their mothers prepared Rice Krispies and popcorn for the event. The boys, and teachers, thoroughly enjoyed the snacks and friendly competition.

2015 Academies of Nashville Award Nominees

We are excited to celebrate the 5th year for the Academies of Nashville Awards! The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce received more than 450 recommendations in 15 different categories. Every school was nominated at least once and eight schools had four or five nominations a piece. In partnership with the event sponsors, Altria, Interior Design Services, Deloitte, and the Memorial Foundation, we are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2015 Academies of Nashville Awards.

 

The following categories will be decided through an anonymous online ballot. 

Academy Partnership of the Year: Arts, Media, and Communications

  • Audio Engineering Society, Academy of Entertainment Communications, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Academy of Arts and Communications, Cane Ridge High School
  • HST Interior Elements, Academy of Art, Design, and Communications, Hillwood High School

Academy Partnership of the Year: Business, Marketing, and IT

  • Fifth Third Bank, Academy of Business and Consumer Services, Maplewood High School
  • Griffin Technology, Griffin Academy of Design and Technology, Hunters Lane High School
  • The Tennessee Credit Union, The Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance, Antioch High School

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

  • Hands On Nashville, Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning, Glencliff High School
  • LP Building Products, Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics, Whites Creek High School
  • Rogers Group, Academy of Architecture and Construction, Cane Ridge High School

Academy Partnership of the Year: Hospitality and Tourism

  • Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality, McGavock High School
  • Holiday Inn Opryland Airport, Academy of Hospitality and Marketing, Antioch High School
  • Omni Hotel, Academy of Hospitality, Hunters Lane High School

Academy Partnership of the Year: Health and Public Services

  • Aegis Sciences Corporation, Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Health Science and Law, McGavock High School
  • Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, Academy of Health Science, Overton High School
  • Juvenile Court of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, Academy of Law, Cane Ridge High School

Externship Project of the Year (Presented by the Memorial Foundation)

  • Flatt Rock Farms, Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Health Science and Law, McGavock High School
  • Meharry Medical College, Academy of Medical Science and Research, Glencliff High School
  • St. Thomas Health Services, Academy of Sports Medicine and Wellness, Maplewood High School

Freshman Academy of the Year

  • Glencliff High School Freshman Academy
  • Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School Freshman Academy
  • Whites Creek High School Freshman Academy

Academy of the Year

  • Antioch High School, Academy of Teaching and Service
  • Overton High School, Academy of Health Sciences
  • Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Academy of Science and Engineering

 

 

The following categories will be decided by a judging panel of community leaders through blind vote. 

Academy Teacher of the Year: CTE or Thematic Pathway (Presented by Deloitte)

  • Lauren Beck, Academy of Information Technology, Overton High School
  • Jeremiah Davis, Academy of Education and Law, Whites Creek High School
  • Jon Stephens, Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies, Stratford STEM Magnet High School
  • TJ Williams, Academy of Business and Consumer Services, Maplewood High School
  • Todd Young, Academy of Entertainment Communication, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Academy Teacher of the Year: General and Global Education

  • Elijah Ammen, Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies, Stratford STEM Magnet High School
  • Paul Beavers, Freshman Academy, Hillsboro High School
  • Serena Moore, Academy of Education and Law, Whites Creek High School
  • Ryan Murphey, Academy of Sports Medicine and Wellness, Maplewood High School
  • Brittany Tharrington, Academy of Business and Hospitality, Hillwood High School

Academy Teach Leader of the Year

  • Tobey Green-Mayfield, Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies, Stratford STEM Magnet High School
  • Allyson Kreise, Academy of Entertainment Communication, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School
  • Danette McMillan, Academy of Business and Consumer Services, Maplewood High School
  • Jason Proffitt, Academy of Health and Human Services, Hunters Lane High School
  • Josh Swartz, Academy of Global Health and Science, Hillsboro High School

Counselor of the Year

  • Adrienne McNew, Academy of Business and Marketing, MNPS Virtual School
  • Stephanie Pate, Academy of Engineering, Overton High School
  • Amanda Springer, CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication, McGavock High School

Academy Coach of the Year

  • Jennifer Berry, Stratford STEM Magnet High School
  • Brad Meyers, Hunters Lane High School
  • Mary York, Overton High School

Academy Assistant Principal of the Year (Presented by Altria)

  • Celia Conley, Academy of Teaching and Services, Antioch High School
  • Melissa Harkreader, Academy of Global Health and Science, Hillsboro High School
  • Steve Shaeffer, Academy of Musical Performance, Overton High School
  • Janet Wallace, Academy of Science and Engineering, Stratford STEM Magnet High School
  • Nick Wilson, Ford Academy of Business and Innovation, Glencliff High School

Executive Principal of the Year (Presented by Altria)

  • Susan Kessler, Hunters Lane High School
  • Adrienne Koger, Antioch High School
  • Shuler Pelham, Overton High School

MNPS Named a District of Distinction

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools: The Academies of Nashville- Urban High School Transformation

Originally posted at District Administration by Ariana Rawls Fine

In 2006, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) received a $6.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Smaller Learning Communities model in its comprehensive high schools.

Public schools in Nashville were in near-crisis mode. MNPS failed to make adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind legislation. As a result, in 2009, the district was placed under the direction of the state of Tennessee.

The Academies of Nashville is MNPS’ primary initiative to prepare more than 17,000 high school students for college, career and life. Each of the 12 comprehensive high schools house academies where students take general education classes, electives and specialized courses. Each academy has its own principal, counselor, coach, interdisciplinary team of teachers, and a network of business partners to help students.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit PENCIL Foundation and Alignment Nashville link community resources to the academies. More than 310 businesses provide opportunities for experiential learning, host teacher teams for training, and help develop curriculum.

The National Career Academy Coalition has accredited 20 of MNPS’ academies with 18 having received the “Model” distinction. In addition to increases in the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in the end-of-course exams, MNPS graduation rates have increased from 58 percent in 2005 to 79 percent in 2014.

In recognition of the innovation and success of this initiative, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools has been named a District of Distinction by District Administration. Metropolitan Nashville was among 62 districts that were honored in the March 2015 round of Districts of Distinction, the magazine’s national recognition program for K12 school districts.

“We are pleased to honor Metropolitan Nashville as a District of Distinction,” says JD Solomon, editorial director at District Administration magazine. “Like all our honorees, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools serves as a model for school leaders across the country.”

Bridges to Belmont: 12 students receive full-ride scholarships

Twelve students from Stratford STEM Magnet High School received full ride scholarships to Belmont University. Watch and hear their reactions to this incredible news in the video below.

Operation Field Trip

Field trips give students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world. Criminal Justice students from Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy National Safety and Security Technologies participated in a field trip this month of the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center. In this post, Mr. Stephens documents their experience.

 

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Criminal Justice I students successfully completed their field trip mission to the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center. Students were accompanied by Academy Principal Merkerson and their teacher, Mr. Stephens.  This unique opportunity was facilitated by Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, Ms. Earl, Lt. DeMoss, Sgt. Foley, and Mr. Pressler. Students discovered that Lt. DeMoss was a graduate of Stratford High School and so was his father! Lt. DeMoss volunteered to attend the Stratford Career Day later this month and is looking forward to touring the school and seeing the progress of the renovation.

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TN Department of Corrections Shares Duties with Students

Criminal Justice students had guest speakers from Tennessee Department of Corrections Board of Probation and Parole. Guests spoke with students about their roles and responsibilities in the field office. Officers that came out inform the students that each one of them worked in different units such as: sex offender unit, parole, and probation. Each unit has to complete a home visit, urine test, employment checks, arrest check, and other things. Officer’s informed the students of the consequence of texting inappropriate pictures and how they could be charged with a sex offense as a juvenile. They told the students that some individuals on probation have to wear a GPS and how the GPS tracking device worked. District Director LaRhonda Williams was one of the four officers, along with the Sex offender supervisor, parole and probation officer who spoke with the student.  The students eagerly asked questions and discussed multiple topics during their visit.

 

 

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Teacher Collaboration Equals Student Success

Interdisciplinary learning is a staple in the Academies of Nashville. General Education teachers and Career and Technical Education teachers often work together on projects to show the relevance of subjects and topics that students might otherwise dismiss. Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies describes a specific project below. 

 

Mr. Ammen and his creative writing students collaborated with Mr. Stephens Criminal Justice students regarding a cold case. Students participated in 11 hours of case facts, court proceedings, research, documentation, critical thinking, team discussions, planning and real world role playing.

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Defense Attorney Stone questions key witness Roberts on direct examination.

Project-based learning collaboration between English Creative Writing and Criminal Justice students allows for verbal and mental debate.

Project-based learning collaboration between English Creative Writing students and Criminal Justice students allows for verbal and mental debate.

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Army National Guard providing Criminal Justice students with an overview of education and career opportunities available in the Guard. Future planned guest speakers will be from the Marine Corps, Navy, MNPS Explorers, FBI Cyber Squad, and Private Security.

The United Project: A Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action

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The Academies of Nashville, in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the PENCIL Foundation, is announcing plans for a new initiative focused on creating pathways to success for youth in foster care called the United Project. This program is a Commitment to Action for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America annual meeting, which these organizations attended this summer.

 

The United Project will expand education, training and employment pathways for Davidson County foster youth. MNPS, DCS, and PENCIL will work collaboratively to identify, recruit, and serve foster youth in order to develop meaningful relationships between these students and local business. Business partners will have the opportunity to:

  • provide students with work-based and service-learning opportunities,
  • model and coach youth on appropriate work-place behaviors, and
  • offer mentorship experiences that support student’s personal and professional growth.

 

“The Nashville community has consistently demonstrated its willingness to make a difference in the lives of our students,” says Dr. Chaney Mosley, the Academies of Nashville and Career and Technical Education Director for MNPS. “This initiative will be the first of its kind in Davidson County that specifically targets youth in foster care. For these students, successfully transitioning to adulthood is challenging without the support network of family. We recognized the potential for combating this through a partnership with DCS.”

 

“We are thrilled that our youth are going to get these opportunities,” says Michael Leach, director of Independent Living at DCS. “As our young people prepare to leave foster care, they need to make connections with adults that will help them succeed in the working world.”

 

While the Tennessee Department of Children Services will work to identify and recruit students into the program, the PENCIL Foundation will act as a liaison between Nashville businesses and organizations that wish to participate in the program.

 

“The United Project is an innovative and forward thinking program that allows PENCIL, MNPS, and the Department of Children’s Services to help students succeed academically and prepare for life,” says Matt Seaton, Vice President of Partnerships and Programs for the PENCIL Foundation. “For nearly five years, the PENCIL Foundation’s College and Career Mentors program has helped hundreds of students reach their college aspirations and begin planning for a productive career. The United Project will allow us to expand that reach and serve a population of students in need of additional support.”

 

There are currently more than 8,000 youth across the state of Tennessee that are served by DCS. Those youth who are also students of Metro Nashville Public Schools will have the unique opportunity to develop life and social skills as well as become college and career ready.

 

CGI commitments are new, specific, and measureable plans to address a significant challenge- in the case of CGI America, economic recovery and growth in the United States. Commitments range broadly in scale, value, approach, and in the types of partnerships they employ. The CGI commitment signaled the intent of the United Project to mobilize with its partners a multi-year change effort, providing a way to leverage the enormous scale and reach of the Nashville community to help solve social problems.

 

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)- an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation- convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prizes laureates, and hundreds of learning CEOs, heads of foundations and NGSs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community of around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

 

About CGI America

Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative American (CGI America)- an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation- addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since the first meeting in 2011, CGI America participants have made more than 300 commitments valued at more than $15.3 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.