As current Director of Metro Schools Dr. Jesse Register nears the end of his contract on June 30, the search is on for a new schools director to take the helm. This month, our business community will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on what they are looking for in his successor.
On Wednesday, April 15, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., representatives from national executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) will lead a structured discussion about the director search, co-hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber, the PENCIL Foundation, the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber and the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. The Metro School Board has contracted with HYA to secure Register's replacement by July 1.
The discussion, which is open to the members of all four organizations, will be held in the school board's meeting space at 2601 Bransford Ave., 37204. (Onsite parking is available; please enter the building via the Berry Road entrance.) If you are interested in attending this discussion, please email me. If you are unable to attend the session but would still like to provide your feedback, you can take an anonymous three-question survey from the search consultant (the survey closes April 19) or email your thoughts on director candidate qualities, the search process, why you are engaged in supporting public education, or questions the board should ask finalists to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register's decision not to renew his contract comes at a pivotal time for Nashville's public school system, which has made great strides under his leadership. In 2009, MNPS was facing a state takeover due to low performance. Since then, test scores have steadily improved across the district, and the Academies of Nashville, a reform effort implemented in Nashville's 12 zoned high schools, has become a national model. It's essential for the next director of schools to build on this momentum and accelerate academic improvement.
Nashville's public schools have a total enrollment of 85,000 students across 73 elementary schools, 33 middle schools, 25 high schools, 18 charter schools and eight specialty schools. Public education is our Chamber's No. 1 priority, because high-quality public schools are essential to Nashville's quality of life, workforce and economic development.