More than 20 VIPs gathered this morning at McGavock High School for the district’s first guided tour of the Academies of Nashville, Metro Schools’ innovative approach to redesigning its 12 zoned high schools. Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register began the morning by sharing the “four Rs”—the vision of creating schools where there is academic “rigor,” content “relevance” and meaningful “relationships” with educators, so students have “readiness” for college and an eventual career. Elected officials, business executives, neighborhood association presidents and school district staff then got an overview of McGavock’s programs from principal Robbin Wall and a briefing on the school district’s strategy from Associate Superintendent for High Schools Jay Steele.
Of course, the highlight of the morning was getting a guided tour by McGavock’s outstanding student ambassadors. AT&T Tennessee President Gregg Morton shared with me how impressed he was with the students, a sentiment shared by everyone in attendance. We visited the student-run credit union inside the school, through a partnership with US Community Credit Union. We also viewed the digital design labs, where students were filming and editing video. The Academy of Health Science & Law had a crime scene lab that not only taught students about law enforcement forensics, but also the value of good lifestyle choices.
Discussion after the tour centered upon making sure the academies have the necessary “real-world” curriculum enhancements, and the academies’ role in projecting an innovative and improving public image of our schools to our community and, increasingly, across the country.
McGavock’s business partners—US Community Credit Union, CMT, Gaylord Entertainment and Permanent General—were all well-represented. We’d also like to especially recognize and thank the elected officials who took time out of their day today to see firsthand the progress in Nashville’s public high schools:
- State Representative Mike Turner
- Metro Councilman Phil Claiborne
- Metro Councilman Steve Glover
- Metro Councilman Darren Jernigan
- Metro Councilman Bill Pridemore
- Metro Councilman Josh Stites
- Metro Councilman Carter Todd
- Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard
- School Board member Mark North
- School Board member Anna Shepherd
The next VIP Tour is Wednesday, October 5, at Antioch High School. Additional tours will be scheduled later in the school year at Stratford, Whites Creek, Hillsboro and Glencliff. To see our photos of the McGavock tour, click here.