Newly appointed Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Dr. Shawn Joseph addressed the August meeting of the Chamber’s Education Committee at Lipscomb University. Joseph shared his vision for MNPS and highlighted the critical need for mentorship within our schools as a component of student success.
Joseph said he truly believes Metro Nashville is capable of being one of the best urban school districts in the nation, but added, “If you don’t expect a lot, you don’t get a lot.” To this end, MNPS employees are now expected to mentor and inspire district students. Joseph himself mentors two students at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School.
Mentorship at any age is pertinent for next-level attainment, but it proves especially critical during the transition from middle school to high school, when students are most susceptible to the woes of the world and dropout rates are most prevalent.
Education Committee Chair Laura Delgado, director of Lipscomb University's Pionero Scholars program, said, “Dr. Joseph spoke powerfully about how his values and personal experience with schooling have shaped his priorities as a leader.” Delgado was most touched by Joseph’s comments on societal views of poor children. Joseph believes we look at children from underprivileged families as if they are "broken," and we spend a lot of time talking about what they can’t do. “Dr. Joseph’s newly implemented initiative that every central office employee must mentor a student and meet once a month is a step in the right direction,” said Delgado. As public education advocates, we at the Chamber couldn't agree more!