Category Archives: Students

Hume-Fogg sophomore awarded scholarship to program at Cornell University

Congratulations to Yeabsira Mezmur, a sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, for winning a full scholarship to the 2017 Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS) at Cornell University. The educational program, titled “Black Feminist Thought,” is a six-week-long, college-level seminar for gifted and highly motivated high school sophomores.

Admission to the program is highly selective. Teachers and guidance counselors first nominate promising students for candidacy to TASS. After completing a rigorous application and submitting an academic recommendation and transcript, TASS finalists are selected from the competitive group of applicants. Each candidate receives a personal interview by an associate or member of the Telluride Association board, after which a central committee selects the scholarship recipients. TASS Scholars enjoy free tuition, room and board and books at the seminar for which they are selected.

Telluride Association is an independent not-for-profit educational organization which has offered summer programs to high school juniors of exceptional promise since 1954. This is the 25th year of Telluride’s Sophomore Seminar.

McGavock High School Academy of Aviation and Transportation Spring Wing Fling honors students and those who support them


A Van R-6 aircraft, similar to the Van R-12 aircraft McGavock High School Academy of Aviation and Transportation students are building. The build will continue in fall 2017 and students are expected to fly the aircraft in summer 2018.

McGavock High School Academy of Aviation and Transportation hosted a celebration of students’ work and achievements at the school’s Spring Wing Fling on Friday, May 12.

“The Spring Wing Fling is a day of celebration and recognition of the McGavock High School Aviation and Transportation Academy students and those in the community who support them,” said David Hubbell, academy principal. “This year’s event was particularly exciting as we announced the first student to receive a flight training scholarship from Nashville Flight Training.”

Academy instructor Derek Rowe and AviationNation founder Bob Kelly dedicated an aircraft build project, popping the ceremonial rivet on the Van’s R-12 aircraft currently in construction by students. The project is a three-phase build kit donated by AviationNation and supervised by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Nashville Flight Training owner, Chris Erlanson announced the academy’s first Nashville Flight Training scholarship recipient. The flight school is partnering with the school to offer an annual scholarship for the Aviation and Transportation Academy students.

“We are thrilled to play a role in supporting the next generation of pilots at McGavock’s Aviation and Transportation Academy,” said Chris Erlanson, Nashville Flight Training owner. “In addition to offering an annual scholarship for students, our flight school will also partner with the academy to provide opportunities for hands-on learning.”

“Support from corporate and nonprofit partners such as Nashville Flight Training, AviationNation and the Experimental Aircraft Association enables McGavock’s Aviation and Transportation Academy to inspire lifelong learning in our students through unique educational and extracurricular activities,” said Rowe.

Students enrolled in McGavock High School’s Aviation and Transportation Academy are in an elite group of 20 schools of its type in the nation giving students the opportunity to earn a written pilot certification, one of the requirements in obtaining a pilot license, upon graduation, as well as earn up to three college credits toward an aviation degree.


#MNPSco2017: Abdulkarim Abbas, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School


Abdul and his family moved to the United States from Yemen in 2010 to escape the country’s devastating economic hardships.  Though he was still in middle school at the time, he took personal responsibility to learn to speak, read and write English.  He has always pursued the most rigorous curriculum he could successfully navigate, as he truly believes in the value of hard work and accepting challenges.  Though he can readily recall many days when he went home and cried because he was teased for not knowing the English language, he never let that “roadblock” dampen his optimism and enthusiasm for learning.

Abdul is a valued member of Pearl Cohn’s Academy of Entertainment Communication Broadcasting Team, and has developed advanced skills as a camera operator, editor, producer, and director.  He was nominated for a student Emmy Award for his work on “Justice,” a student-produced courtroom miniseries. He regularly creates both football and basketball television stories for broadcasts.  He is an outstanding soccer player, a community volunteer, and a dedicated employee of the Capitol Tower Market, where he stocks and serves as cashier.  His ability to speak both English and Arabic serves him well in his customer service-oriented job.

“Abdul’s resilience and dogged determination are well-known and admired by both peers and faculty,” said Connie Hensley,  a college and career counselor at Pearl-Cohn High School. His favorite quote is from Paul Brandt: “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”  We have no doubt that Abdul will continue reaching for the moon!

Abdul graduated in the top five percent of his graduating class this year. During his senior year he enrolled in Advanced Placement classes and earned recognition for both perfect attendance and Honor Roll.  He will attend Belmont University next year on a full “Bridges to Belmont” scholarship.


#MNPSco2017: Sharif Ezzeir, Overton High School


Due to stressful family situations, Sharif Ezzeir, a senior at Overton High School, faced more obstacles than the average high school student.

In January, Sharif found himself without a place to live. A teacher helped him complete homeless paperwork and file for social service assistance to find an apartment and transportation to get to work.

Sharif secured a job so he could pay his rent and was introduced to William E. Cartagena-Vazquez, a staff sergeant in the United States Army. Meeting the staff sergeant sparked an interest in Sharif to join the army. He passed the ASVAB with flying colors and will serve in the United States Army after graduating.


#MNPSco2017: Community-Based Transition Program recognizes local employers who make a difference


Metro Schools helps students with disabilities thrive beyond the K-12 school system, collaborating with families, potential employers, community members and service providers to plan and facilitate transitions. The district’s Community-based Transition Program held an employer appreciation breakfast on May 12 to recognize local employers for doing their part to help students make the important transition beyond graduation.

Dr. Shawn Joseph, director of schools, thanked employers for the investment they have made in students’ future, building them up and giving them confidence to enter the workplace with skills and real-life experience. He also congratulated graduating students on their accomplishment.

“We are so proud of you. Your employers are proud of you and I’m proud of you. You’ve accomplished a great deal,” Dr. Joseph said to students in the audience.

“We want all of our students to have post-secondary and career and technical options,” said Debbie McAdams, executive director of MNPS Exceptional Education. “We’ve been doing this in Metro Schools for more than 20 years and we want to grow and continue to cultivate opportunities for our students.”

Michelle Hernandez-Lane, chief diversity officer for Metro government, said Mayor Megan Barry stands committed to working to support employment opportunities for people with disabilities and working with employers in their efforts to increase inclusion.

“As the city makes leaps and bounds on a number of fronts, and is seen as the ‘It City’ to many people, we want to make sure that we are the ‘It City’ for everyone and that we value and work to include all residents from all backgrounds,” said Michelle Hernandez-Lane, chief diversity officer for Metro government. “This is something that we all have to be committed to doing.  Employers, community leaders, families, teachers and school employees all have to be committed to being instrumental in creating change, opportunities and parity so that this vision of inclusiveness becomes a reality for all. That’s why this program and your participation in it is so valuable.”

Rob Bellefant of Eat Well Nashville said he was very impressed with Metro Schools schools students.

“You hear about the shortage of tech talent in Nashville but you don’t hear about the huge demand for people in kitchens in Nashville. It’s a great career path,” Bellefant said. “It’s been exciting to see students’ enthusiasm and positive attitude.”

Other participating employers in the MNPS CBTP program include, but not limited to: Holiday End (West End), Centennial Sportsplex, Kroger (21st Avenue), Divine Art Cafe, East Park Community Center Equal Opportunity, Metro Affirmative Action and Disability Services Department, St Thomas (Midtown), MTA, Lowe’s, Nashville Public Library, Kroger (8th and Moore), Papa John’s, Nashville Predators, Christ the King School, Metro Board of Public Education, Brentwood Hills Church of Christ, Glen Level Day Schools, Second Harvest Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes, McCable Community Center, Southern Hills Medical Center, Walgreens #13929, Nashville Zoo, Trevecca Nazarene University, Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Bateman Service Meals, Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, Hollywood 127 Cinemas, Embassy Suites Nashville at Vanderbilt, Skyline Medical Center, Madison Church of Christ, Walgreens #7316, Greater Nashville Regional Council, Metro Water, YMCA of Green Hills, The United Methodist Publishing House, Fairfield M.B. Church and the Nashville Airport Marriott.


MNPS Transition Program Graduating Students:

  • John Collin
  • Alejandro Lora-Berdion
  • Noah Barfield
  • Koron Bracey
  • Davonte Starnes
  • Savannah Tate
  • Derlonda Young
  • Robert Dockery
  • Thomas Chance
  • Jeremy Mathias
  • William Chris Taylor
  • Brittany Cummins
  • Isabel Hermon
  • Carlita Sanford
  • Tarrance Robinson
  • Randall Stanford
  • Clark Rice
  • John Blair

Congratulations Class of 2017!

Learn more about the MNPS Community-based Transition Program

See photos from the event below:

Metro Schools celebrates Class of 2017 success stories


Graduations for the Class of 2017 start this week! To celebrate this wonderful accomplishment, we’ll be featuring various graduate success stories here and through social media. Follow these stories with #MNPSco2017. All of the featured students were nominated by a teacher or counselor.

Here is a preview of the types of stories we’ll be sharing:

Chike Brown, Hunters Lane High School

Chike is one of ten siblings and grew up in a single-parent household, causing him to take on increased home responsibilities. Despite his family obligations, Chike chose to take IB courses in high school and will be a first-generation college student in the fall.

Markia Shaw, The Academy at Opry Mills

Markia admits that she wasn’t focused on school during her senior year, and as a result she didn’t graduate with her class in May 2016.  In July, she suffered a devastating loss when her mother died in a car accident. She moved to a rural Tennessee area to live with her grandmother. Markia knew her mother wanted her to graduate high school, so she tried to enroll in the local school system. Because Markia had already missed her graduation date, she was denied enrollment. Not deterred, Markia moved back to Nashville to finish school at the Academy at Opry Mills while also working two jobs to support herself. As difficult as it was, Markia finished her courses quickly and graduated in December 2016.

William Robinson, Nashville School of the Arts

Will has been through an amazing story of identity and personal growth he continues to live each day. He is an inspiring dancer, and he radiates hope to every person he encounters. He aspires to attend college next year, and has been admitted to a number of colleges already this spring.

Kelton Elliott, Whites Creek High School

Kelton has been living with his grandparents since fifth grade. He has overcome many obstacles and has stayed focused with his academic goals. He is determined to meet his educational goals and will attend MTSU this fall.

Antonious Hanna of Glencliff High School

Three years ago, Antonious moved from Egypt to the United States and spoke barely any English when he arrived. He was originally placed in the Glencliff Adult Program because he was 17 years old and only had a few high school credits from his country.  Antonious fought to attend regular classes because he wanted to take full advantage of the traditional education he had moved across the world for.  He was granted permission to exit the Adult Program and enroll in regular classes, where he flourished. Antonious truly shines amongst his classmates. He is very involved in school activities and loves serving his community and bettering himself through action. Despite being an EL student, he scored seven points higher on his ACT than Glencliff’s average score.

Maplewood breaks ground for new outdoor training lab

Maplewood High School students and staff celebrated the groundbreaking for their Energy and Power Outdoor Training Lab on May 4. The new lab will serve Academy of Energy and Power students at Maplewood.

The lab is part of school’s business partners’, Nashville Electric Service and Stansell Electric, Inc., work to provide Academy of Energy and Power students with the equipment and materials they need to conduct the duties of professional electric linemen or journeyman electricians.

When the lab is complete this fall, students will get real-world experience installing, maintaining and repairing transmission and distribution lines and systems as well as hooking up panels, transformers, plugs, lights and switches – right in their school’s backyard.

Check out photos from the event:

PHOTOS: MLK Magnet High dedicates new library to founding principal

Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School celebrated the opening of its new library with a dedication ceremony. The library was named after Dr. Samella Junior-Spence, the founding principal of the school and the first woman to serve as an executive principal in Metro Schools.

Dr. Junior-Spence founded MLK Jr. Magnet School in 1986 and served as the school’s principal until her retirement in 1997. MLK opened with 200 students, and by the time Dr. Junior-Spence retired, boasted an enrollment of 900 students.

Dr. Junior-Spence opened MLK in the same building as Nashville’s first African American high school – another school where Dr. Junior-Spence served as principal and became Davidson County’s first female high school principal. When Dr. Junior-Spence retired in 1997, she ended a 43-year-long career in various teaching and administrative roles that took her across Tennessee and Georgia.

In addition to education, Dr. Junior-Spence has been involved with the Nashville nonprofit community including the YWCA, United Way, Girls Scouts, March of Dimes and many others as well as leadership and professional organizations.

Dr. Junior-Spence graduated with honors from Spelman College in 1953, and she continued her education at Louisiana State University where she earned a master’s of music education. She went on to earn two doctorate degrees – one in theology from United Theological College and one in philosophy from the George Peabody College of Education.

View photos from the dedication below:

Honoring Metro Schools’ long-time employees for their service

A luncheon was recently held at the Martin Professional Development Center to honor Metro Schools employees who had served the district for 30 and 40 years.

Click here to see a list of the employees who were honored.

View photos from the event below:

Metro Schools students compete in regional STEM expo

Regional Stem Expo (1)

Eighty-five Metro Schools students participated in the 5th Annual Middle TN STEM Innovation Expo at Tennessee State University on April 7.

The students are part of G2ROW STEM, a Metro Schools i3 grant-funded program dedicated to growing STEM learning. The program consists of afterschool sessions, Saturday sessions and a two-week STEM summer camp. G2ROW STEM also offers mentors, hosts guest speakers and conducts field trips for its student participants.

The students entered a total of 23 projects in the competition and were awarded five gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals for their efforts.

“This program allows students to use their STEM assets and experiences to learn and apply key academic content, make informed decisions,  practice communication and collaboration, and use their critical thinking skills that will help them make informed decision,” Dr. Regina Etter, instructional lead coach for 17 STEM Metro Schools teachers, told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District in an interview.

The expo was judged by a group of technical experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District including Jimmy Waddle, Engineering and Construction Division chief; Ben Rohrbach, Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch chief; Mark Abernathy, Visual Information specialist; Lori Neubert, commander’s secretary; and David Bogema, civil engineer in the Water Management section.

Read more about the expo here.

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