We believe principals are the most critical member of a school’s team. He or she shapes the school, guides students instruction and sets a tone for progress. Because it is such an important job that has a direct impact on every student and employee, we wanted school communities to be involved in the process for hiring a new principal.
We held staff and community meetings to gather input into the characteristics that the next principals at these schools should have. Working together with the district, those communities built leadership profiles that guided the process as we conducted interviews and chose the following new principals in Metro Schools:
Antioch High School – Dr. Keiva Wiley
Dr. Wiley currently serves as an assistant principal in the Prince George County Public School System. She has served in several administrative roles for the past 12 years. Previously, she has served as an instructional support specialist, reading specialist and English teacher. Dr. Wiley is a graduate of Florida A&M University and received her administration certification from Johns Hopkins University. She most recently completed her doctorate at Nova Southeastern University.
Bellshire Elementary School – Robbin Masters
Robbin Masters joined Metro Schools in 2015 as an Academy Principal at John Overton High School, where she led the English and English Learner departments. She brings experiences as an effective classroom teacher in Illinois schools, where she provided successful interventions for struggling students. Ms. Masters is excited to lead a school community in preparing each student to excel in our expanding global society.
The initial search and interview process for a permanent leader at Bellshire resulted in no candidates moving forward for hire. Ms. Masters was not part of the original interview process and was to be placed at Bellshire as an acting principal while we restarted the search. However, after meeting with Ms. Masters, Bellshire parents and community members requested she be placed as the permanent leader at the school. We are happy to oblige because she is a supremely qualified candidate.
Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts – Trellany Lane
Trellany Lane will be our next principal at Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts. Ms. Lane served for two years as the executive principal at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary and exudes a positive and thoughtful personality. Prior to Churchwell, she was an assistant principal for three years and taught at the elementary school level for three years. Her administrative experience, coupled with her teaching experience, has prepared Ms. Lane to not only take Creswell to the next level but also prepare students to perform at Nashville School of the Arts.
Crieve Hall Elementary School – Nate Miley
Nate Miley is the next principal of Crieve Hall Elementary School. Mr. Miley comes to us from Marion, Indiana, where he has served as the assistant principal at Frances Slocum Elementary School since 2013. Prior to his administrative role, Mr. Miley was a 5th grade teacher for four years and a 1st grade teacher for three years. Mr. Miley has had experience in a variety of elementary schools with students of all demographics and exudes a positive and thoughtful personality.
Cumberland Elementary School – Carolyn Cobbs
Carolyn Cobbs comes to us from Denver Public Schools where she was director of elementary language and literacy and where she previously served as the instructional superintendent. Ms. Cobbs has also served as a principal in the District of Columbia Public Schools and in Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.
Dan Mills Elementary School – Robert Yates
Robert Yates has been an assistant principal at Norman Binkley since 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Yates served as a classroom teacher at Lakeview Design Center Elementary here in Nashville for 10 years and at Madison Creek Elementary in Sumner County for six years.
Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School – Jeanna Collins
Jeanna Collins currently serves as the executive principal at Oliver Middle Prep School and previously served as the principal at Ewing Park Middle School. In addition to administrative experience, Ms. Collins also has 14 years of teaching experience. For the past two years, Ms. Collins has also served as a network lead principal supervising several elementary and middle schools in our district.
Goodlettsville Middle School – Beatriz Salgado
Ms. Salgado was the Engineering Academy principal at Overton High School. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, she was a school counselor and a Spanish teacher for Metro Schools and a classroom teacher in El Paso, TX. Beatriz earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, a master’s degree in school counseling from Middle Tennessee State University and most recently completed the administrative licensure program at Lipscomb University. She is currently a fellow in the Governor’s Academy for School Leaders at Vanderbilt University. One of her recent accomplishments is the addition of a new pathway to the Engineering Academy that will be available to students in fall 2017.
Ivanetta Davis Early Learning Center – Jessica Hardin
Jessica Hardin will serve as the Principal at the Ivanetta Davis Early Learning Center, formerly known as the Bordeaux Early Learning Center. Ms. Hardin is a Metro Schools graduate who taught in the district and served as an assistant principal at Lakeview Elementary School. She is also an Ayers Fellowship Mentor for prospective school leaders through Lipscomb University.
Joelton Middle School – Todd Irving
Todd Irving is the next principal of Joelton Middle Prep. Mr. Irving comes to us from Irvine, California, where he has been the principal of Spurgeon Intermediate School since 2013. Mr. Irving served as a coordinator for leadership development in the Orange County central office, and was a high school principal for eight years. Mr. Irving also has experience as an education consultant and as a lead instructor for the Aspiring Administrator Academy in Santa Ana Unified School District. Mr. Irving began his career as a middle school teacher in Long Beach.
Kirkpatrick Elementary School – LaToya Cobb
LaToya Cobb is the next principal of Kirkpatrick Elementary School. Ms. Cobb currently serves as the assistant principal at Paragon Mills Elementary School – a role she has held for four years. Ms. Cobb previously served as a school counselor for nine years, six in the district and three in Kentucky. She also had four years of elementary teaching experience in Kentucky. These experiences, along with her development through the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville, have prepared her to lead Kirkpatrick Elementary thoughtfully and effectively.
Madison Middle School – Jackie Freeman
Jackie Freeman is the next principal of Madison Middle Prep. Freeman currently serves as the assistant principal at Rose Park Middle Magnet School in the district – a role he has held for six years. Mr. Freeman previously served as assistant principal at Dupont-Tyler Middle Prep for five years. In addition to his administrative experience, he has 10 years of teaching experience in math and algebra at the middle school level. These experiences have prepared Mr. Freeman to, in his words, “lead Madison to national recognition.”
McGavock Elementary – Hilda Smith
Ms. Hilda Smith will be our next principal at McGavock Elementary School. Ms. Smith has served in Metro Schools for 15 years, including the last three years as the assistant principal at Cane Ridge Elementary. She has also previously served in the district as a teacher, a model classroom instructor, an instructional coach and as a district presenter for Sally Ride Science.
McKissack Middle Prep -Thomas (Tre) Chappelle III
Mr. Thomas (Tre) Chappelle III will be the next principal at McKissack Middle School. Mr. Chappelle has been an educator for 17 years including time in Metro Schools and in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr. Chappelle has served as the assistant principal at Oliver Middle School since 2011. Prior to being an administrator, he served in a school support position for two years and taught as a classroom teacher for nearly a decade in middle school grades. He is also a graduate of the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville, where he gained experience with global research and training for school improvement work. Mr. Chappelle believes that all students can be successful as learners and transformed into community leaders.
Napier Elementary School – Dr. Watechia Lawless
Dr. Lawless currently serves as the interim principal at Napier, a role she has held since last October, but also served Napier for seven years prior to that as a classroom teacher and assistant principal. She began her career in education as a classroom teacher at Dodson Elementary School for two years. These experiences have prepared Dr. Lawless to be the next principal of Napier Elementary.
Neely’s Bend Elementary School – Derrick Salter
Mr. Salter has been an assistant principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School since 2014. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Tulip Grove Elementary for four years. He has also served as a numeracy coach in elementary school and was a teacher for six years, serving both 4th and 6th grades.
Oliver Middle Prep – Steve Sheaffer
Steve Sheaffer will be our next principal at Oliver Middle School. Dr. Sheaffer has been serving the students of Metro Schools for 18 years. For the past five years, he has been an academy principal at Overton High School. Under his leadership, the academy of Engineering became Overton’s first NCAC model career academy in 2013. In 2015, Dr. Sheaffer began Overton’s newest academy, the Academy of Event Marketing and Music Performance. Prior to these roles, he was an academy coach, instructional coach and classroom teacher. Dr. Sheaffer is excited to continue working with the families of the Overton cluster.
Paragon Mills Elementary School – Dr. Joie Austria
Dr. Austria comes to us from Adelphi, Maryland where she has been the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructional specialist for secondary schools in Princes George’s County Public Schools. Dr. Austria has previously served as an ESOL instructional coach and as an acting assistant principal. Dr. Austria also started her own school in her home country of the Philippines.
Shayne Elementary School – Elayna Wilson
Elayna Wilson is the next principal of May Werthan Shayne Elementary School. Ms. Wilson comes to us from Atlanta where she has been an assistant principal at the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School since 2012. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at Lindley Middle School in Marietta for three years and an assistant principal at Sandtown Middle School in Atlanta for three years. Her nine years of administrative experience, coupled with her 11 years of teaching experience in grades 3 through 5, have prepared Ms. Wilson to take Shayne Elementary School to the next level.
Sylvan Park Elementary School – Robin Elder
Robin Elder has served as a classroom teacher, elementary school guidance counselor and assistant principal of an elementary school in College Park, GA. In her role as an assistant principal she served more than 1,100 students, and the school was recognized as a Distinguished Title 1 School for being the highest performing school in South Fulton County, GA.
Stanford Montessori Elementary School – Angela Bailey
Angela Bailey will be the new principal at Stanford Montessori School. Ms. Bailey is a veteran educator and Metro Schools graduate. She has served as an assistant principal in the Antioch Cluster for the past three years. Prior to that, she served the district as an instructional coach, mentor, trainer and teacher. She is dedicated to ensuring a nurturing environment where children are recognized and supported as individuals and encouraged to grow through enriching and engaging experiences. She is excited to return to her home community.
Tulip Grove Elementary School – Dr. Allyson Johnson
Dr. Johnson has served as an assistant principal for four years. Dr. Johnson was the assistant principal at Gower Elementary School and most recently at Amqui Elementary School. Prior to her administrative roles, she served as a school counselor for nine years in two elementary schools in East Nashville: Caldwell and Warner. Dr. Johnson has also worked as a case manager in the Department of Children’s Services and served on the Metro Action Commission. Her varied experiences developed her skills as a child centered leader.
Warner Elementary School – Denise Jacono
Denise Jacono has been the principal at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford, Delaware for three years. Ms. Jacono previously served as the principal at Holy Cross School in Dover, Delaware for four years after serving as the principal at Holy Rosary School in Claymont, Delaware for five years. In addition to her administrative experience, she has 15 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle school grades. Before working as an educator, Ms. Jacono served in counseling positions at state levels and in various healthcare facilities.
For a variety of reasons, some principal changes are happening late in the summer with little time to find a permanent replacement. To provide consistency throughout the school year and avoid changing leadership in the middle of the semester, we have placed acting principals at these schools for the full school year while we perform a thorough search and hiring process for a permanent leader.
Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School – Ms. Marcia A. Northern
Marcia Northern’s familiarity with the school will ensure continuity of services to students, staff and parents. Ms. Northern has demonstrated excellent skills as an instructional leader and will ensure that teachers provide rigorous instruction that promote the 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills. Ms. Northern has articulated a strong commitment to enhancing literacy skills as a vehicle to ensure student success across all subject areas. Ms. Northern believes in having a safe, orderly and academically enriching learning environment. She knows that the school, the classrooms, the extracurricular activities on and off campus have to be safe. To this end, Ms. Northern emphasizes collaboration with all staff to identify needs and develop a plan as to how to address those needs. The relationships that Ms. Northern has established with staff and students will be in asset as we provide a safe and orderly environment where learning takes place at high levels.
Croft Middle School – Dr. Jeremy Lewis
Dr. Lewis has served in administrative positions at Bellevue Middle and Cane Ridge High School. As you know, his most recent role as the Dean of Instruction for Croft Middle School, which will make this a seamless transition. Dr. Lewis is a native Tennessean. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from MTSU, a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Christian Brothers University and an Educational Doctorate degree in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University. We are excited that Dr. Lewis plans to continue the work and mindset of moving Croft Middle School from good to great. His focus on high expectations for all, his desire to collaborate with all stakeholders and his student centered decisions making will undoubtedly yield positive results.
DuPont Tyler Middle School – Dr. Bianca Jefferson
Dr. Jefferson has served as an assistant principal at J.E. Moss Elementary for the past three years. Before becoming an administrator, Dr. Jefferson taught as an exceptional education teacher at J.E. Moss Elementary and Charlotte Park Elementary. In addition to her school leadership and instructional experience, Dr. Jefferson is an adjunct professor with Cumberland University. Dr. Jefferson earned both her bachelor’s in psychology and master’s of education with a special education focus at Tennessee State University and her doctorate at Lipscomb University.
Maplewood High School – Dr. Keely Jones-Mason
Dr. Jones-Mason believes in having a safe, orderly, and academically enriching learning environment. The schools, the classrooms, the extracurricular activities on and off campus have to be safe. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Jones-Mason emphasizes the need for collaboration with all staff to identify needs and develop a plan to address those needs. She also maintains that the school must be welcoming to parents and visitors. Visitors entering the school should always feel safe, feel welcomed, and receive good customer service. Dr. Jones-Mason also feels that celebrations are an integral part to having a healthy school climate.