The marching band and majorettes greeted more than 30 community and business leaders outside the front entrance for the Academy VIP Tour at Stratford High School yesterday morning. The Academies of Nashville are Metro Schools’ innovative approach to redesigning its 12 zoned high schools, impacting 15,000 students with the goal of preparing every graduate for college and an eventual career. We’re hosting this series of VIP tours in partnership with Metro Schools so our city leaders can see the transformation of our high schools firsthand.
Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register talked about the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focus at the school, with the new academy programs that were funded by Tennessee’s recent Race To The Top grant award. Principal Michael Steele, recruited to the school district from Jacksonville, Florida two years ago, praised the work of his faculty and staff in working with university and business partners to raise the academic rigor of the curriculum.
Highlights of the tour included classroom visits to a mock trial courtroom and a crime scene lab in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies. The group also heard from Vanderbilt University scientists teaching in the Academy of Science and Engineering. The visit included a stop at the Top Floor, the afterschool college-preparatory space run by a community nonprofit, the Martha O’Bryan Center. As in our previous VIP tours, the Stratford students were the real stars of the show, sharing their academy experiences with the group of visiting community leaders.
We’d like to especially recognize and thank the eight state and local elected officials who took time out of their day to see the progress in Nashville’s public high schools firsthand:
Mayor Karl Dean
State Representative Mike Stewart
Metro Council member Anthony Davis
Metro Council member Scott Davis
Metro Council member Erica Gilmore
Metro Council member Ronnie Steine
Metro Council member Peter Westerholm
School Board member Gracie Porter
Another large group has confirmed for the next Academies VIP Tour at Whites Creek High School on Thursday, November 10! Click here
for more photos from the VIP Tour of Stratford High School.
The defense rebuts the prosecution as Mayor Dean, Ron Corbin and Councilman Ronnie Steine observe the mock trial taking place in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies. A Stratford student explains the STEM curriculum, which includes a research project requirement.