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North Sports Report – Sports are great. Scholarships are better.

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

Big Sports Week…and Graduations

Don the cap and gown, cue the Pomp and Circumstance march, grab the tissue… the culmination of years of hard, sometimes tedious, work receives its reward. They’ve been at this school thing since they were four or five years old, and now their grown and ready to cross that stage and flip that tassel. Graduation gets first billing: everything else is part of the journey. As important as sports can be to a student (and it might be the best dropout prevention program ever devised), the diploma dash – down the aisle and across the stage – will always be the most important run of the season. Congratulations to all the graduates!

That being said…let’s talk sports.

World Cup has Nothing on this One

The Middle School Soccer City Championship might go down in history as the most riveting match in MNPS history with McMurray edging Croft in a penalty kick shootout. The soccer world will talk about this one for years.

Spring Fling – State Track Meet, May 18-22

The state track meet is a spectacle to behold! MNPS athletes competing with the best the rest of the state has to offer. Check out the schedule at tssaa.org and head to Murfreesboro to check out the action. MNPS has several teams that will be in the hunt (some might say favored) to win the state championship. Athletes to watch:

  • Hillsboro’s Janel Pate is the top sprinter in the state
  • Hume-Fogg’s Ben Brunson is the defending Decathlon champion and the state’s top qualifier

In the A-AA Pentathlon, the top four qualifiers in the state are all MNPS student-athletes:

  • Grenetria Shell, East Nashville (3,294 points);
  • Kayla Guthrie, Whites Creek (2,723 points);
  • Darreon Sawyers, MLK (2,648 points); and
  • Micquana Webster, East Nashville (2,617 points)

And many more…

Track: Middle School City Championship

The North Sports Report spent the evening at Cane Ridge High School for the City Championship Track Meet. The place was packed with fans, and these athletes are truly spectacular. Last week, I compared the middle school track athletes to comic book super heroes. This week – photographic proof. The Flash (or is it East Nashville’s Jashon Watkins?) is a blur as he makes the turn in the 200m.

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The Flash

Congratulations to all the student-athletes and coaches!

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Soccer: Middle School City Championship

McMurray and Croft will take to the pitch for the Soccer Middle School City Championship on Friday at Croft. The pool of great Boys Soccer teams in MNPS high school continues to grow deeper, (see the success of Stratford, Glencliff, Antioch, MLK, Overton, Hume-Fogg and others), and the same is true at the Middle School level. Check out this game Friday afternoon. You will be amazed!

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Celebrate! with Stratford STEM soccer

 

Scholarships in the Community

Stratford football and basketball player Chazz Simpson and Pearl-Cohn track athlete George Johnson were awarded a total of $3,000 in scholarships this week from the Madison Kiwanis Club. Chazz will attend Western Kentucky University and George will attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The scholarships are based on academics, character and service to the community. Congratulations!

MNPS: The First Choice for College and Career Ready Graduates

Saluting Excellence: 4 National Achievement Scholarship winners in Metro Schools

Congratulations to four students from Hume-Fogg and MLK for winning the National Achievement Scholarship!

This honor is given by the same people who give the National Merit Scholarship. African American students across the country earn it based on P-SAT and SAT scores, high academic performance, an essay and a recommendation. Only 800 of them were given out across the country this year.

We are very proud of these students!

  • Kami Dyer – Hume-Fogg
  • Bryan Okelo – MLK
  • Annan J. Timon – Hume-Fogg
  • David L. Tyus – Hume-Fogg

From the National Merit Scholarship Corporation:

The National Achievement Scholarship Program is a privately financed academic competition established in 1964 specifically to honor scholastically talented Black American youth and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding participants in each annual competition. By the conclusion of the 2014 program, which marks the 50th annual competition, about 33,400 participants will have received scholarships for undergraduate study worth more than $105 million. The program is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance.

Belmont University expands life changing program, gives 34 full rides to Metro students

Belmont University announced today that the Bridges to Belmont full scholarship program would be expanded from 30 students entering in fall 2014 to 34 students for fall 2015. The 34 scholarship recipients from four Metro Nashville high schools—Maplewood, Stratford, Whites Creek and Pearl Cohn—were informed of their scholarship offers earlier this month following an extensive application and interview process.

Bridges to Belmont reflects a deliberate step on the part of Belmont’s administration to enhance the University’s cultural and ethnic diversity while also continuing efforts to provide higher education to students in Davidson County. Bridges to Belmont Scholars, many of whom are first-generation college students, each are awarded a full four-year scholarship that covers tuition, room, board, required fees and books (from state and federal grants as well as Belmont scholarship funds.) Throughout their higher education experience, they also are given academic support and peer mentors.

WATCH: Students at Stratford STEM Magnet High School are surprised with the wonderful news!

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “The Bridges program clearly reflects Belmont’s mission to provide a transformative education to men and women of diverse backgrounds, but it also demonstrates our commitment to serve our city. Nashville gives so much to Belmont – this is our chance to give back by investing in these high-potential young people from our community.”

“At a time when there are so many opportunities for first-time college students in Tennessee, Belmont is once again leading the pack,” said Metro’s Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Bridges to Belmont is giving students an opportunity like no other, and we are so thrilled to continue this partnership. The millions of dollars and enormous support they have given to Metro students is life-changing. We thank them for their commitment.”

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Bridges to Belmont Director Mary Clark and Program Assistant Nadi Bishop oversee the program and arrange for supplemental instruction, organizational support, tutor training and mentoring. The Bridges scholars’ education begins with the Summer Academy, during which students take three general education courses in an extended format—First Year Seminar, First Year Writing and Math 1020—as well as a course in leadership skills and academic development. They also complete three community service projects at Nashville-area nonprofit organizations as well as attend an academic lecture convocation and a chapel program designed to introduce them to Belmont campus life.

Clark said, “Our Bridges Scholars have immersed themselves in campus life, including being active in academic-based organizations, extracurricular opportunities and student worker positions across the University. We have instituted new programs to not only support the Scholars but to expose them and the entire campus community to diverse individuals through the Speaking on Success speaker series and a Scholar to Professional mentoring program, among other initiatives.”

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Launched in March 2013, Bridges to Belmont is designed to enroll high potential students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who may not have previously been able to consider Belmont as an option. The first Bridges to Belmont cohort of 26 students entered in fall 2013, and a second class of 30 students began last fall. With the addition of 34 new Bridges Scholars in fall 2015, the program reflects a potential total four-year investment (from both external and Belmont financial aid resources) in Nashville students exceeding $13.6 million.

Ranked No. 5 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the seventh consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 7,300 students who come from every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With more than 80 areas of undergraduate study, 22 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual’s horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.

Win a scholarship for a selfie? Sure, why not?

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It’s something your teen (probably) does every day, only now it might actually be worth while!

There are 25 $1,000 scholarships up for grabs to students from across the country who post pictures on social media. It’s the Picture Freedom contest built to celebrate the First Amendment and free speech in America.

It’s easy to enter: post an original image – something you’ve photographed, drawn or designed, it doesn’t have to be a selfie – to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #PictureFreedom. That’s it.

The contest starts this Sunday, February 22 and runs through Saturday, February, 28. Full details and official rules are available on the 1 for All website. And there’s a version of this contest for teachers, too!

Picture Freedom is supported by the American Society of News Editors, the Journalism Education Association, the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, and hundreds of teachers and journalists.

 

College Ready: Taking National Signing Day to the next level

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

A great year for MNPS athletics gets even better on Wednesday February 4, as family, friends and coaches gather to celebrate National Signing Day – the day student-athletes choose a college and finalize athletic scholarships. The class of 2015 might be the deepest and most talented group of student-athletes MNPS has produced in many years and includes some of the nation’s top recruits.

The years of hard work and sacrifice pay off for student-athletes and their parents with the signing of college scholarship papers. The North Sports Report will follow the action of the day and attend as many of the celebrations across the district as I can. Nothing is final until the ink hits the dotted line, so the anticipation is building. Things can change right up to the last minute.

Here is the schedule for Wednesday:

  • 9:00am – Pearl-Cohn will have eight (that’s right, I said eight) student-athletes sign scholarship papers. Firebird running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Mr. Football, Hume Award winner, and Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year – has listed his top choices as Illinois, Purdue, West Virginia and Louisville. His choice is the most eagerly anticipated of the day.
  • 10:00am – At Hillsboro, Vincent Perry is expected to join to play for Coach Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers on the hill in Knoxville, and Juwan Davis is expected to sign with the Austin Peay Governors.
  • 11:00am – At McGavock, Damien Starks will sign to continue his studies and football at Cumberland University, and Chris Claybrooks will sign with Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
  • 1:40pm – At Overton, DeAngelo Holt is expected to take his sack attack to Johnson City and join the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
  • 2:30pm – At East Nashville, dual threat quarterback Isiah Upton is expected to be a wide receiver at the next level and will sign with the MTSU Blue Raiders. Lennox McAfee will take his talents to the Southern Conference as he signs with the Wofford Terriers.
  • Cane Ridge will host a celebration for the incomparable Track and Cross-Country star Bailee Dean who has signed to run for the Belmont Bruins.

Several other student-athletes signed earlier in the school year, including Hillsboro track star Janel Pate (Alabama). Other members of the class of 2015 graduated early and are enrolled in college, including some of the top recruits in the nation. Overton’s Ugo Amadi is at the University of Oregon and will play for the Ducks this fall; Hillsboro’s Michael Hughes is already continuing his education at TSU and will play for the Big Blue Tigers this fall; and Hillsboro’s Kyle Phillips has started his first college semester at UT and will a part of a top ten recruiting class.

Congratulations to the student-athletes and their families.

Saluting Excellence: Eight Metro students are National Achievement Scholarship semifinalists

Eight Metro students have been named 2015 National Achievement Scholarship semifinalists. More than 160,000 African American high school juniors applied, but only 1% of them (1,600) we’re chosen. The National Achievement Scholarship Program was created to recognize academically promising students and support their future education.

The Metro students below will now compete for 800 Achievement Scholarships worth about $2.5 million. Congratulations to them and good luck in the spring!

Hillsboro High School

  • Reseun O. McClendon

Hume-Fogg Magnet High School

  • Miles A. Crenshaw
  • Kami S. Dyer
  • Annan J. Timon
  • David L. Tyus
  • Aminah D. VanArsdale

Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School

  • Andriana D. Johnson
  • Bryan C. Okelo

Saluting Excellence: Even more National Merit Scholarship winners in Metro Schools

Adding to the ranks of award winners in the Class of 2014, three more Metro students have won National Merit Scholarships. These awards are sponsored by the colleges the students plan to attend and are worth anywhere from $500 to $2,000 annually for four years.

The winners are:

  • Zheer Ahmed – MLK
    Sponsoring College – Vanderbilt University
    Probable Career Field – Physics
  • Owen LeGrone – Hume-Fogg
    Sponsoring College – University of the South
    Probable Career Field – Government Service (Intelligence)
  • Elizabeth Smith – Hume-Fogg
    Sponsoring College – University of Chicago
    Probable Career Field – International Relations

Winners of the College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship are chosen by the sponsor colleges from among the ranks of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists. This year, 16 Metro students were named Finalists. Three of those finalists were named National Merit Scholars and five other students won the National Achievement Scholarship.

We are so proud of these students and what they have achieved. We know they will go on to do great things in college and beyond!

Here’s a bit more about the program from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation:

This year, 190 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 113 private and 77 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia. College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced today are a part of the distinguished group of about 8,000 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth over $35 million. Earlier this spring, NMSC announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit® $2500 Scholarships.

About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, approximately 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, Semifinalists first had to advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each Semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 met requirements for Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2014.

NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors. These sponsors join NMSC in its efforts to enhance educational opportunities for America’s scholastically talented youth and to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

Saluting Excellence: More National Merit Scholarship winners in Metro Schools

Adding to the ranks of award winners in the Class of 2014, three more Metro students have won National Merit Scholarships. These awards are sponsored by the colleges the students plan to attend and are worth anywhere from $2,000 to 8,000 over four years.

The winners are:

  • Jerrod Attias – MLK
    Sponsoring College – Vanderbilt University
    Probable Career Field – Law
  • Alexandra Cox – McGavock
    Sponsoring College – University of Oklahoma
    Probable Career Field – Physics
  • Samihah Islam – MLK
    Sponsoring College – Vanderbilt University
    Probable Career Field – Medicine

Winners of the College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship are chosen by the sponsor colleges from among the ranks of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists. This year, 16 Metro students were named Finalists. Three of those finalists were named National Merit Scholars and five other students won the National Achievement Scholarship.

We are so proud of these students and what they have achieved. We know they will go on to do great things in college and beyond!

Here’s a bit more about the program from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation:

This year, 190 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 113 private and 77 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia. College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced today are a part of the distinguished group of about 8,000 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth over $35 million. Earlier this spring, NMSC announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit® $2500 Scholarships.

About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, approximately 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, Semifinalists first had to advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each Semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 met requirements for Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2014.

NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors. These sponsors join NMSC in its efforts to enhance educational opportunities for America’s scholastically talented youth and to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

Saluting Excellence: District scholarship winners

Every year Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools awards six scholarships to six deserving students. They are open to all students and given to those who display strength in leadership, community service and academics.

This year’s winners are:

  • Nettie Adams James Scholarship – Chandler Hawkins from Hume-Fogg Magnet High School
  • J.T. Perkins Scholarship – Qiaozhi Guo from Hume-Fogg Magnet High School
  • Bill M. Wise Memorial – Jasmine Dunlap from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School
  • John Harper Harris Scholarship – Bhavya Parikh from Overton High School
  • Charlotte and Elbert Brooks Scholarship – Ronald Elliott from McGavock High School
  • Excellence In the Arts Scholarship – Elizabth Crabtree from Nashville School of the Arts

Congratulations, graduates!

McGavock community gives $34,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors

In a remarkable show of community support, the McGavock Cluster Coalition – made up of parents, business owners and other community leaders – has given more than $34,000 in scholarships to the McGavock High School class of 2014.

Coalition members today handed out $500 scholarships to 68 students. To qualify for the award, these students had to have at least a 21 on the ACT, at least a 3.0 grade point average and at least 50 hours of community service. With all that under their belts, they are definitely deserving of some scholarship cash!

This is the first of what we hope are many such ceremonies at McGavock. Thank you to the Cluster Coalition members and thank you to the students for elevating your school and your community.

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