Change is happening at Maplewood High School

Ron Woodard, executive principal, Maplewood High School
Photo: NACC

When was the last time you visited one of the schools in Nashville’s Metropolitan school system or just took a good look at the changes that have been brought about to the building and the grounds? Well, for most it is hard to say unless you are not an educator, a student or maybe a parent.

One executive principal, Ron Woodard, feels it is a good idea to stop by and take a tour of his school, Maplewood High School. “Maplewood High School is changing,” said Woodard. “The culture of the school has changed. People are working hard to prepare students for state assessments, and guidance counselors are working hard to prepare students for college. We had $1.4 million in accepted scholarships last year.

“We also have strong community partners. The Pencil partners are assigned to and lend assistance to the academies in various ways.”

Partners listed include: Nashville Auto Diesel College, YMCA, NES, St. Thomas Hospital, Urban League, Coca-Cola, Salvation Army, Lipscomb University, Born Again Church, Broadmoor Church, Fifth Third Bank, Great American Opportunities, Junior Achievement, Lincoln College of Technology (formerly NADC), Tennessee Technology Centers, TSU College of Business, Nashville Electric, Tennessee Valley Authority, Waste Management, St. Thomas Health, and Baptist Sports Medicine.

Principal Woodard said these community businesses and organizations work in various areas of support to the school’s three academies.

According to Woodard, an academy is a small learning community where students have the opportunity to explore their interests. Each of the academies has a principal, a counselor, and lead teachers. There are paths that each of the students can take. The academies and their pathways are listed below: The Freshmen Academy; Academy of Business and Consumer Services; Automotive Technology; Business Management and Personal Care; Academy of Energy and Power—Energy and Power Distribution; and Academy of Sports Medicine and Wellness—Diagnostic Services and Therapeutic Services.

Woodard said there are four high schools with academies that have majority attendance of African American students, including: Pearl Cohn, Stratford, and White’s Creek. “They seem to be doing well also,” he said.

The demographics have changed considerably. From 2008-09, there were 980 students. For 2012-13, there are 883 students. The average daily attendance for those years respectively was 89.33% to 92.60%. Principal Woodard invites the community to come and tour the school.

“We often arrange tours for community groups, parents, etc.,” he said.