Metro Schools and Metro Public Health make going back to school easy at the 2015 Enrollment Fair

School starts August 5, and now is the time to prepare! Metro Schools and the Metro Public Health Department have teamed up for a one-stop back to school shop at an Enrollment Fair on Saturday, July 11. At the fair, families can:

It’s a chance to make going back to school as easy as possible, so don’t miss it.

2015 Enrollment Fair
Saturday, July 11 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lentz Public Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Pike

Enrollment Fair 2015

CONTEST ALERT: Win up to $250 from the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Does your high schooler need something to keep his or her mind occupied over summer break? How about this?

The Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence is inviting all Davidson County high school students to write a short essay on the topic “Domestic Abuse: See Something; Say Something.” Prizes include cash ranging from $100-250 and recognition at the Coalition’s big event later this year.

Entries are due September 15, 2015. For full details and an entry form, click on the flyer below.

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Pearl-Cohn principal shares her story with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with Pearl-Cohn Principal Sonia Stewart

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with Pearl-Cohn Principal Sonia Stewart

Just a few months after Hunters Lane principal Sue Kessler was asked to advise federal lawmakers on education, another Metro high school principal was asked to give her input into national policymaking.

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School principal Sonia Stewart was invited to meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan last month. She was part of a group of innovative and successful principals brought to the White House and the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) to both learn and advise federal officials. She shared her experiences as a school leader and also gave input on a variety of programs, policies and initiatives.

She ended the day in a roundtable discussion with Sec. Duncan and Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle. The visit was part of the Principal Ambassador Fellow (PAF) program through the USDOE. The program was created in order to better allow local leaders to both contribute their knowledge and experience to the national dialogue about public education and, in turn, learn more about education policy at the federal level. According to USDOE officials, PAF is “one means of recognizing the critical impact that principals have on instruction and student achievement; school climate and improvement; and community and family engagement.”

“Strong school leadership is the key to ensuring that the best teachers are recruited and supported and that high-quality instruction is offered to kids in every classroom, every day,” said Sec. Duncan. “We are excited that principals from all over the nation will spend time with us to share their perspectives on leading schools of excellence and equity. Great school leadership matters now more than ever.”

Five more Metro schools get new principals for 2015-16

Five more Metro Schools will begin 2015-16 with new principals. District leaders have chosen experienced educators who will serve their new schools well. Also involved in these leadership changes is out-going Apollo Middle Prep principal Jon Hubble, who will move to Central Office as an executive lead principal. All will begin in their new roles July 1.

The principals and their assignments are:

  • Andrew Jackson Elementary School – Tara Loba
  • Haywood Elementary School – Xavier Barrios
  • Apollo Middle Prep – Shawn Lawrence
  • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Prep – Charlie McReynolds
  • Isaac Litton Middle Prep – Chara Rand
  • Executive Lead Principal – Jon Hubble


About the Principals

Andrew Jackson Elementary School – Tara Loba
Tara Loba has been with Metro Schools for 17 years, serving mostly as a teacher but most recently spending two years as an assistant principal at Eakin Elementary School. Andrew Jackson is her first time as principal, but she has earned it through hard work in the Metro Schools leadership pipeline. She is a graduate of the Principals’ Leadership Academy of Nashville at Vanderbilt University, traveled to China as part of the Educational Leadership Learning Exchange program at Vanderbilt and serves on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Principals Association. Ms. Loba holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education and a master’s in administration and supervision.

Haywood Elementary School – Xavier Barrios
Mr. Barrios is a well-known and respected veteran leader in Metro Schools. He has split his 20 years in education evenly between classroom teaching and school leadership. He comes to Haywood from Andrew Jackson Elementary, which was recognized as a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education for being in the top five percent of all schools statewide for academic growth. He is also a lead principal in Metro Schools, which means he supervises a small network of schools and lends his expertise and leadership to their principals. He is fluent in Spanish, holds two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees, all from DePaul University.

Apollo Middle Prep– Shawn Lawrence
Shawn Lawrence is returning to Apollo Middle Prep after a short time at another school and is ready to bring his leadership experience back to his former home. Mr. Lawrence was hand-picked by Apollo principal Jon Hubble to join the school’s turnaround team and was very quickly promoted to assistant principal. He played an integral role in the school’s improvement planning and in developing a culture of high expectations for student achievement. Last October, Mr. Lawrence and his school improvement skills were called to Neely’s Bend Middle Prep, where he honed his leadership skills in another turnaround situation. He now returns to Apollo as principal where he will continue leading academic gains and developing a culture of excellence among staff and students, as well as one of shared leadership among teachers.

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Prep – Charlie McReynolds
Mr. McReynolds is returning to Bailey after a long absence. He first taught there in 2001 before being quickly moved into middle school leadership. He has served as a principal or assistant principal in Metro middle schools for 13 years. Most recently, he served as principal at Brick Church Middle School while it transitioned to a LEAD charter school through the Achievement School District. The experience of leading a school during that kind of transitional time strengthened his collaborative and school improvement planning skills. That is exactly the experience Bailey STEM Magnet needs this year as it plans for the move into Stratford STEM Magnet and the transition into a 5-12 STEM magnet school. Mr. McReynolds will bring a passion and concern for his school, students and community to Bailey, along with a high value on personal integrity and the belief that all students can succeed academically. He also brings extensive experience in building a positive school culture, engaging the community and helping develop teachers and improve instruction. Mr. McReynolds earned his teaching degree from Trevecca Nazarene University in physical education and a master’s in administration from Tennessee State University. He is a graduate of the Principals’ Leadership Academy of Nashville

Isaac Litton Middle Prep – Chara Rand
Ms. Rand brings exactly the right kind of experience to Litton Middle. For four years, she has served as the school’s assistant principal, helping lead the dramatic transformation Litton has undergone in both academic achievement and community support. She is an instructional leader skilled at mentoring and coaching classroom teachers, and under her shared leadership Litton achieved strong growth in all academic subjects. Ms. Rand is a leadership coach with the Tennessee Department of Education charged with training teachers and principals on the new Tennessee state standards and TNReady assessments to be implemented in the 2015-16 school year. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, a master’s in elementary education and an education specialist’s degree in administration and supervision. She is now earning her doctorate in educational leadership.

Executive Lead Principal – Jon Hubble
Mr. Hubble has 28 years experience in Metro middle schools, including serving as principal at Meigs Middle Magnet and Apollo Middle Prep. While at Meigs, he received statewide and national recognition for effective leadership and his students’ academic achievement. At Apollo, he oversaw significant academic growth and was recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education for inclusive practices. He has received several teaching awards, including Metro Schools Teacher of the Year.

New website helps families and neighbors keep track of Metro Schools construction projects

Smith Springs Elementary School, Opening August 2015

Smith Springs Elementary School, Opening August 2015

School construction and improvement projects are happening all over Nashville, and the community now has a brand new tool to keep track of it all. launched today as a new website dedicated to sharing information about every major construction project in Metro Schools. It gives taxpayers an open and transparent document of how Metro Schools spends capital funds to improve schools.

The website includes a comprehensive view of all on-going or recently completed projects, including a detailed description, cost and completion date for each one. There will also be regular updates of construction work along with progress photos and renderings of the proposed final design.

“We have been very fortunate in terms of capital funding in recent years, and our team has been very busy building and improving schools,” said Ken Murdock, director of the Facility Planning and Construction Department. “We have a lot of projects underway right now. Nashville residents deserve an easy way to monitor the projects that affect them and see that we are being good stewards of their tax dollars.”

Proposed renovation plans for Hume-Fogg Magnet High School

Proposed renovation plans for Hume-Fogg Magnet High School

In addition to project information for the general public, also includes job bid information for architects and contractors. This increases transparency around the bidding process and makes it easier for architects, contractors and suppliers to participate.

There are currently 22 major construction projects in progress or recently completed in Metro Schools. These projects are designed to meet enrollment growth, relieve overcrowding and update older buildings to the needs of a modern school.

Capital improvements are funded through capital spending plans proposed by the Mayor and approved by the the Metro Council. Thanks to their consistent support over the last several years, Metro Schools has made steady progress on a long list of capital needs.

“Nashville has seen an enormous amount of growth, and our district has had to keep up,” said Murdock. “This year we need to start tackling some long overdue projects on the slate and also start preparations for some of the largest high school projects we have seen in many years. We are hopeful that the capital improvement budget will be approved and we can get started meeting the next wave of serious need in our schools.”

Proposed addition to Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School

Proposed addition to Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School

The 10-year capital master plan details $1.3 billion dollars in capital improvement needs. The Metro Council voted last night to approve $131 million for capital funding in fiscal year 2016. This includes money for a number of large projects, including:

  • $30 million for a total renovation of and addition to Overton High School
  • $30 million for a total renovation of and addition to Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School
  • $19 million to build a new elementary school in the Cane Ridge area
  • $6 million to renovate Rosebank Elementary School
  • $4 million for an addition at Pennington Elementary School
  • $2 million to convert the unused southeast public library into an Early Learning Center for prekindergarten
  • $5 million to begin planning for the eventual renovation or reconstruction of Hillsboro and Hillwood High Schools, as well as Nashville School of the Arts

It also includes $35 million in spending for technology, new school buses and smaller district-wide projects. is online now and will be updated monthly with new information and photos.


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