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  • Announcing Our 2014 Academies of Nashville Nominees

    by Rita McDonald | Mar 10, 2014
    Last week, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce announced the 2014 Academies of Nashville Award nominees. The fourth annual Academies of Nashville Awards will recognize the excellent teachers, principals, schools and business-school partnerships in the district’s 12 zoned high schools implementing career and theme-based academies. 

    The 54 nominees were determined by a nominating committee composed of representatives from MNPS, the Chamber and the PENCIL Foundation. The nominating committee’s decisions were informed by more than 900 recommendations submitted by high school teachers, administrators, staff and business partners.

    In April, hundreds of educators and business partners will vote for a winner in each category through an online secret ballot managed by Deloitte. High school principals, academy coaches and teacher team leaders will all have a vote, as will academy business partners and partnership council members. All the winners will be announced at the invitation-only awards dinner on Monday, May 12.

    Each of the 12 MNPS high schools that comprise the Academies of Nashville had multiple nominations. The participating high schools are Antioch, Cane Ridge, Glencliff, Hillsboro, Hillwood, Hunters Lane, Maplewood, McGavock, Overton, Pearl-Cohn, Stratford and Whites Creek.

    Congratulations to all our nominees! We are excited and proud to recognize their outstanding work. ...
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    Category: Education
  • Education Committee Members Discuss Legislative Issues

    by Rita McDonald | Feb 18, 2014

    During our Education Committee's fifth meeting this year, the Chamber, Metro Schools and legislators shared information with committee members about education issues before the Tennessee General Assembly.

    Special guests Sen. Steve Dickerson, District 20, and Rep. Harold Love, District 58, serve on the education committees in their respective chambers, and fielded questions from the committee about their positions on education issues. Love said he would like to see more highly qualified teachers who graduate from Tennessee colleges in Metro’s classrooms. He also noted that education should not be a partisan issue.

    Dickerson expressed the importance of accountability for both teachers and students. This legislative session, he said he would continue to be an advocate for school choice and accountability, and is sponsoring a bill that will create more accountability for charter schools in Tennessee. Dickerson also highlighted the recent announcement that Tennessee is the fastest-improving state in the nation on the National Assessment of Education Progress, saying these types of gains are essential if Tennessee is going to meet its goal of bringing the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by the year 2025.

    Some of the top education priorities of the Chamber, the guest ...
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    Category: Education
  • Freshman Career Fair Helps Students Plan for the Future

    by Rita McDonald | Nov 01, 2013
    'My Future, My Way' Freshman Career Fair - Oct. 30, 2013 This week, more than 300 business volunteers spent the day at the Music City Center interacting with more than 5,500 Metro Schools freshmen for the fifth annual "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair.

    We know that the freshman year is pivotal to the rest of a student's high school experience. Sponsored by Shoney’s Restaurants, the event aimed to get these teens thinking about their futures: what type of academy they might choose for the rest of their high school career, what kind of postsecondary institutions they should explore, and what types of careers they might eventually enjoy.

    The CEO Champions, a group of local business leaders who serve as public supporters of the Academies of Nashville, had a special meeting at the Music City Center overlooking the exhibit floor of the career fair. It was so exciting to see their enthusiasm and hear all their positive feedback about the interaction between the students and business partners.

    The success of the career fair depends on the time, talents and energy of our volunteers from the business community, who devote their day to meeting and talking with these freshmen about careers in a huge variety of industries. Click here to see ...
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    Category: Education
  • How Business Volunteers Are Helping Improve Metro Schools

    by Rita McDonald | Oct 11, 2013
    Because we know that support from our business community is essential to the success of our public schools, the Chamber coordinates five Academies of Nashville Partnership Councils with volunteer participation from more than 100 area companies.

    Members of the councils help guide the development of the Academies of Nashville, an approach that is helping students in Metro's 12 zoned high schools graduate prepared for college and career.

    We just completed a round of Partnership Council meetings. Highlights from these meetings included:
    • The Chamber’s research staff presented data about workforce trends related to each academy pathway. This information better prepared the councils to make recommendations about strategic improvements for next school year.
    • The fifth annual "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair will be held at the Music City Center Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 5,700 freshmen from 20 MNPS high schools will attend, and more than 300 volunteers from Nashville’s business community will be on hand to interact with the students.
    • A representative from nashvilleAchieves attended the meetings to educate council members about this new program. NashvilleAchieves was launched in August as a public-private partnership that will make postsecondary education a reality for thousands ...
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    Category: Education
  • Details of 2013 'My Future, My Way' Career Fair Announced

    by Rita McDonald | Sep 11, 2013
    At last night's school board meeting, Anita Martin, HR director at Shoney’s; Dr. Jesse Register, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS); and the Nashville Area Chamber announced details of the fifth annual “My Future, My Way” career exploration fair for ninth-grade students, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Music City Center.

    More than 5,500 freshmen from 18 MNPS high schools will attend, and more than 300 volunteers from Nashville’s business community will be on hand to interact with the students. Moving to the new Music City Center has allowed the event to grow to 200 exhibitors.

    The purpose of the fair is to help students prepare for a successful high school experience, think about postsecondary options based on their interests, and inform their choice of a career academy for 10th grade. This event also offers freshmen the opportunity to interact with business, nonprofit and university volunteers from a wide range of industries and careers. Students will complete career exploration research at school in preparation for the fair and learn about professionalism. After the event, students will participate in an essay contest and other follow-up activities to show what they learned during the expo.

    Through a five-year donation, ...
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    Category: Education
  • Academies of Nashville Partnership Councils Plan for 2013-2014 School Year

    by Rita McDonald | Aug 05, 2013
    A week of Academies of Nashville Partnership Council meetings is behind us, and what a week it was! The Chamber convened 134 business partners at Stratford, Hillwood and Overton high schools at the end of July to discuss plans for the 2013-2014 school year, including the "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair for MNPS freshmen; creative solutions; district changes; academy coach updates; and, most importantly, a shared vision of a brighter future for the Academies of Nashville.

    Each meeting began with a rundown of the new implementation of Common Core state standards in Tennessee schools. Common Core is a set of guidelines for math and English that were developed to ensure every student graduates from high school prepared for college or the workforce. Jared Bigham and Mary Cyprus Howell from TN SCORE informed the business partners of what to expect from the new standards, and conveyed the importance of the business community’s support of Common Core.

    The Chamber coordinates five Academies of Nashville Partnership Councils with volunteer participation from more than 100 area companies.

    Thanks to our volunteer chairs of each Partnership Council for their leadership:
    • Arts, Media & Communications: Lucia Folk, CMT
    • Business, Marketing & IT: ...
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    Category: Education
  • Volunteer With ONE NASHVILLE for Your Chance to Win!

    by Rita McDonald | Apr 24, 2013
    The ONE NASHVILLE call to action that began January 28 to encourage people to volunteer within Metro Schools is in the home stretch. The final day of the initiative is May 1; only a week remains!

    We hope you have had a great experience working with Metro Schools. Volunteering and interacting with the students is truly a rewarding experience. To boost the number of volunteers to help better MNPS, we decided to make it even more enticing and added chances for prizes into the mix. ONE NASHVILLE tracks the number of volunteer hours through schoolvolunteers.org.

    To create an equal playing field for the chance of a prize, three divisions with guidelines were set:
    • Individual: Anyone who logs 12 hours or more will be entered into the drawing.
    • Business: Employee volunteers must log an average of 2.5 hours each. For example, if a company has 10 employees who volunteer in Metro Nashville Public Schools, they would need to log at least 25 combined hours for the business to be entered into the drawing. Each business must log a minimum of 10 hours in order to be entered into the drawing.
    • School: Each school will need an average of one volunteer hour ...
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    Category: Education
  • Congratulations to the 2013 Academies of Nashville Award Nominees

    by Rita McDonald | Mar 04, 2013
    The Academies of Nashville Awards, now in their third year, are presented by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the outstanding teachers, administrators, schools, programs and business partnerships that are making a difference in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

    Last week, the Academies of Nashville Awards nominating committee officially announced the nominees for the 2013 awards, after receiving more than 600 recommendations from teachers, school administrators and business partners.

    Each of Metro's 12 zoned high schools received at least two nominations within the 15 award categories. The categories include: Academy Teacher of the Year (CTE/Thematic Pathway); Academy Teacher of the Year (General Education); Academy Team Leader of the Year; Academy Partnership of the Year, Arts, Media, and Communications Partnership Council; Academy Partnership of the Year, Business, Marketing, and IT Partnership Council; Academy Partnership of the Year, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology Partnership Council; Academy Partnership of the Year, Health & Public Services; Academy Partnership of the Year, Hospitality and Tourism Partnership Council; Academy Coach of the Year; Externship Project of the Year; Academy Assistant Principal of the Year; Executive Principal of the Year; Counselor of the Year; Freshman Academy of the Year; and Academy of the Year.

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    Category: Education
  • Get Involved and Support Nashville's Students

    by Rita McDonald | Feb 05, 2013
    Volunteering with Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the most important and rewarding community involvement opportunities in Nashville. As if that wasn't motivating enough, through May 1, ONE NASHVILLE is encouraging individuals, businesses and schools to log volunteer hours for a chance to win prizes!

    Volunteer hours must be logged via www.schoolvolunteers.org, and you must meet the criteria listed here. Those who meet their category requirements will be entered into a drawing in May for a chance to win.

    The winner of the individual volunteer category will win a $1,000 Walmart gift card. The winner in the business category will receive recognition in a full-page ad in The Tennessean. A $1,000 donation will be awarded to the winning school.

    To view available volunteer opportunities, visit nashville.schoolvolunteers.org/opportunities.
    Ready… set… VOLUNTEER! (And don’t forget to log your hours!)

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    Category: Education
    Tags: MNPS
  • Academies of Nashville Partnership Councils Wrap Up 2012

    by Rita McDonald | Dec 14, 2012
    Community support is one of the most important ingredients schools need to succeed. To spur business involvement in Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Chamber coordinates five Academies of Nashville Partnership Councils with volunteer participation from more than 100 area companies.

    Over the past several weeks, we've completed meetings for all five councils (Arts, Media & Communications; Business, Marketing & Information Technology; Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology; Health & Public Services; Hospitality & Tourism). The meetings focused on a debrief of the 2012 Freshman Career Exploration Fair, which was held in October; academy and pathway planning; plans for the 2013 Partnership Council project fair; and a special presentation on Intersession for MNPS. Academy coaches also shared updates and discussed their needs.

    This year, Nashville was the host city for the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Conference, which was held Nov. 7-11. The program included tours of Metro academies, so this conference was an opportunity for NCAC members from all over the country to learn about what we're doing to prepare our students for college and career. Several VIPs who attended the conference also sat in on the Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology Council meeting on Nov. 8.

    One of the most ...
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    Category: Education