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North Sports Report – August 4, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

It’s Time to Fan Up
The North Sports Report is back to keep you up to date on Metro Schools athletics from a fan’s perspective. This is the place to find photos, stats, schedules and even reviews of concession stand cuisine. But the best way to follow the action is to become a fan and attend the games. You will not be disappointed.

Breaking News – Maplewood Football to Play at Vandy in Backyard Burger Bowl
Great things happen when schools partner with Nashville’s universities and corporate friends. Maplewood Principal Dr. Ron Woodard, Vanderbilt Vice-President for Athletics David Williams, and Backyard Burger Vice President Michael Kern reached an agreement to bring the Maplewood Panthers to Vanderbilt Stadium for a game each of the next three years. The Backyard Burger Bowl will be part of the Panthers’ regular season schedule. This year’s game will be September 5, 2014, and feature the Panthers vs. Lipscomb. Tickets will go on sale soon. Plan to join us at Vanderbilt Stadium that evening for a great celebration of high school athletics.

“Practice…We’re Talking About Practice” –Iverson
Even before school starts, the student-athletes and coaches are hard at work getting ready for the fall season. Discipline, teamwork, sacrifice, challenge, triumph! In the game and in the classroom, student-athletes will earn the payoff for putting in the work. Practice is beautiful!

Fall Season 2014 –MNPS will Shine
Pay attention this Fall. High school sports include Cross-Country, Volleyball, Girls’ Soccer, Football, Cheerleading and Golf; and Metro Schools will feature some of the best student-athletes and teams in the state, including:

  • Cane Ridge’s Bailee Dean, the best cross-country athlete in Tennessee and defending state champion;
  • Hume-Fogg’s state runner-up volleyball team and middle blocker Delaney Gallagher (committed to play at MTSU);
  • Pearl-Cohn’s KeShawn Vaughn, the highest rated running back prospect in the state with scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Cal Berkeley, Illinois, Arkansas State, and East Carolina;
  • Overton’s Ugo Amadi (committed to play in the SEC for Ole Miss);
  • East Nashville’s dual threat quarterback Isiah Upton (offers from SEC schools and Pac12 schools) and multi-talented Lennox McAfee (committed to play at Wofford);
  • Hillsboro will feature Kyle Phillips – perhaps the most heavily recruited football prospect in Tennessee with offers from all the top colleges – along with Michael Hughes (committed to play at Tennessee State) and Vincent Perry.

That’s just the short list. It is going to be a great year!

New Stadium for the Colts
Demolition of Glencliff’s old stadium will make room for a brand new football stadium. The Colts will play their football games with temporary bleachers this year awaiting a major renovation to their athletic complex. Congratulations to the Colts!

Alumni Alert: Fenway Park Phenom
Overton baseball star, Mookie Betts (Class of 2011) worked his way into the Boston Red Sox starting line-up last month. The Red Sox moved Betts, who started the season in the minor leagues as baseball’s top second base prospect, to the big leagues to play centerfield. His miraculous catch Friday night led the Red Sox to a victory over the Yankees and earned the No. 2 spot on ESPN’s Top 10. Betts is hitting .243 in 12 games with the Red Sox.

Middle School Sports to Include 6th Graders
MNPS middle school sports will include 6th graders for the first time this year. Interscholastic athletics is one of the best after school programs, and expanding those opportunities to more students is a great step by MNPS administration.

MNPS: The First Choice for Community Partnerships

2014 Teachers and Principals of the Year

In the first of two celebrations this week of Nashville’s best educators, Metro Schools is proud to announce the 2014 Teachers and Principals of the Year. Many of the district’s top educators are being honored tonight at Lipscomb University with an elegant dinner and awards ceremony.

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Out of 140 school-level Teachers of the Year, these three were chosen as the district-wide winners:

  • Tanisha Wesby from Shwab Elementary School – Elementary School Teacher of the Year
    Ms. Wesby teaches first grade at Shwab. Her teaching philosophy is built on the premise that “Every child has a gift to share!” and she has applied this philosophy for the more than 15 years she has taught in Metro Schools. She promotes parent communication as one of the most essential elements of a strong classroom and communicates with parents daily. Ms. Wesby believes every child is different, but that there is always a tool that can be used to bring out his or her gifts. It is the teacher’s job to find that tool.
  • Kyle Alexander from Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School – Middle School Teacher of the Year
    Mr. Alexander teaches social studies and geography and is an instructional leader at MLK and in Metro Schools, serving on both the school’s Leadership Team and as Seventh Grade Team Leader. He is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher who leads professional courses for his colleagues to help improve their classroom skills and understand changes in instruction. He is an adjunct instructor for Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and was the first in his school to complete the All-Star training.
  • Melissa Brooks – Hunters Lane High School – High School Teacher of the Year
    Ms. Brooks teaches U.S. History and is an instructional leader at Hunters Lane. She serves on the Leadership Council and is team leader for the Academy of Design and Technology. She believes in collaboration among teachers for student success, and meets regularly with her team to look at student performance and plan lessons, assessments and interventions. She regularly finds fun ways to involve her students in class, like dressing up in period costumes for history lessons and using a tournament bracket to teach about how the New Deal helped end the Great Depression.

Also honored at tonight’s dinner, the 2014 Principals of the year are:

  • Lori Donahue from Granbery Elementary School – Elementary School Principal of the Year
    Ms. Donahue is a long-time and beloved principal. For many years she has shepherded a neighborhood school to great achievement. On the latest Academic Performance Framework, Granbery earned very high marks in every category, including school climate as determined by teacher and student surveys. She welcomes and values every member of the school community and works diligently to foster parental involvement and community support.
  • Dr. Antoinette Williams from Gra-Mar Middle Prep – Middle School Principal of the Year
    Dr. Williams is finishing her third year at Gra-Mar and has driven the school through an innovative period that saw a number of new strategies for dramatic gains in achievement. She is student-focused, and under her leadership students have made gains. She started her career as a journalist but felt a calling to education where she felt she could help children live and prosper in their communities.
  • Dr. Steve Chauncy from Hillwood High School – High School Principal of the Year
    Dr. Chauncy has led Hillwood High School since 2008 with a relentless focus on academic achievement. The graduation rate at Hillwood is the best among the district’s zoned high schools at 84%, and test scores have also made dramatic improvements. All three of Hillwood’s Academies are designated national models, and the school boasts 17 Advanced Placement classes. Dr. Chauncy was named “Academies of Nashville Principal of the Year” in 2012. Perhaps most importantly, he is liked and respected by his students, faculty and parents.

“The Teacher of the Year program is a long-standing tradition in Metro Schools,” said Chief Human Capital Officer Susan Thompson. “These teachers have been held up by their peers as the best. That is significant not just because of the enormous respect they have for each other, but because it shows us what kinds of qualities they value in their schools.”

Teachers of the Year are nominated by their colleagues in the classroom, and finalists and district-wide winners are chosen by a committee of district administrators and educators. The program honors teachers and school leaders for the difference they make in students’ lives.

“Metro teachers are professionals who deserve our respect every day of the year,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Teacher of the Year isn’t just a celebration of the 140 teachers at the event, it’s a way for us to honor all of the great educators who work so hard for Nashville’s families all year long and who are making Metro Schools the first choice for families.”

While Teacher of the Year is a district-led celebration of exceptional teachers, later this week the greater Nashville community will do the same with the announcement of the first class of Blue Ribbon Teachers. Community and education leaders not employed by Metro Schools selected the recipients through a blind review of more than 300 nominations from community members.

See the complete list of all school-level Teachers of the Year

Intersession Diary: Touring colleges and Sony Music

They didn’t have to be at school today, but here they are. Students all over Nashville are taking advantage of the intersession programs at their schools and in the community. Here’s a look at one of the programs making a difference for students today, March 19.

Thanks to a college access and success program called GEAR UP MNPS, students from 13 Metro middle and high schools get to tour college campuses and do some job shadowing this week.

Today, students from Bailey, Brick Church, Joelton, McKissack, and Wright Middle Preps toured Sony/ATV Music Publishing on Music Row. They met some executives, saw the studios, and learned about music recording and publishing. It was all about career opportunities and seeing a little of what it takes to succeed in a real-world job.

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At the same time, GEAR UP MNPS took students from three more schools to college campuses:

  • Antioch High School students toured Belmont University
  • Cameron Middle Prep students toured Austin Peay State University
  • Glencliff High School students toured Lipscomb University

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These trips started yesterday and are happening all week long. Take a look:


  • Antioch High at Western Kentucky University


  • Antioch High at UT Knoxville
  • Cameron Middle at MTSU
  • Glencliff High at Nashville State Community College
  • JFK Middle at Belmont


  • Apollo, Jere Baxter, and JFK Middles at Sony ATV Music
  • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle at Austin Peay’s STEM Center
  • Brick Church Middle at the Tennessee State Capitol
  • Cameron Middle at Tennessee Tech
  • Gra-Mar Middle at Fisk and Meharry
  • Joelton Middle at TSU


  • Joelton Middle at the Warner Park Nature Center
  • Litton Middle at Belmont

What a great way to spend a day out of school!


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