Dr. Shawn Joseph, the newly selected Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, will immediately begin spending time in Nashville working on his transition to the district in preparation for his official start date of July 1.
Over the next several weeks, Dr. Joseph will meet with members of the Metro Nashville Board of Education, community members and staff to assist him in developing plans for his first 100 days as director.
During this time, Dr. Joseph will also announce dates for ‘Listen and Learn’ sessions in all nine school board districts. The sessions will be an opportunity for Metro Schools families, staff and other concerned community members to meet Dr. Joseph and share their ideas for the district. As an exercise in evaluating the priorities, concerns and goals of the district’s diverse stakeholders, participants will be asked to help define what excellence will mean for Metro Schools.
Dr. Joseph and Board Chair Dr. Sharon Dixon Gentry sent a joint e-mail to Metro Schools staff this morning pointing to a quote by the late Scottish author Samuel Smiles to describe the opportunity that comes with new leadership in the district:
“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”
“We are excited to embark upon a new chapter in the history book of the Metro Nashville Public Schools,” Drs. Joseph and Gentry said in the email. “On Friday, we committed ourselves to cast the shadow of our burden behind us, and we re-committed to ensuring that every child, in every school, in every classroom is at the center of all of our decision-making.”
Over the next few weeks, while the Board of Education and Dr. Joseph are finalizing his ‘100 Day Plan,’ Dr. Joseph will also be forming a transition team comprised of staff, members of the community and national educational leaders. The committee will be charged with advising Dr. Joseph on his initial steps in critical school system areas by thoughtfully studying the district from an objective point of view.
At the same time, Dr. Joseph will be looking at critical data points to help him develop a detailed understanding of the current state of Metro Schools.
“We are committed to engaging and effectively communicating with the community as we collaboratively move through a phase of studying, reflecting, planning and doing,”
Drs. Joseph and Gentry continued. “As we close this school year, we are optimistic that our best days are ahead of us.”