MNPS makes new school leadership appointments

(top row l-r) Jeresther Thorpe-Page, Roderick Webb, Kisha Stinson-Cox, Myra Taylor (bottom row l-r) Hawaya Wilson, Russell Young, Robin Shumate and Brian J. Mells.

Metro Nashville Schools is proud to announce a dynamic group of new school principals. These experienced leaders were chosen through a process that included parent and staff input and using rigorous criteria, evidence of candidates’ skills and results. Each principal was carefully selected for his or her school assignment based on individual skills and strengths.

“Great principals aren’t just administrators, they are leaders who set the climate and culture to create an excellent learning environment and place to work,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, director of schools. “I’m grateful for everyone who took time to have their voices heard in the selection process and look forward to seeing improvements in the lives and academic outcomes of the students these principals serve.”

The following principals have been chosen to lead their schools in the 2020-21 school year:

Cumberland Elementary School — Jeresther Thorpe-Page (formerly interim principal)

Haynes Middle School* — Roderick Webb

Jere Baxter Middle School* — Kisha Stinson-Cox

Jones Paideia Elementary School* — Myra Taylor

Oliver Middle School — Hawaya Wilson (formerly interim principal)

Percy Priest Elementary School — Russell Young

Waverly Belmont Elementary School — Robin Shumate

Whites Creek High School — Brian J. Mells

*Haynes Middle, Jere Baxter Middle, and Jones Paideia Elementary are all schools that have recently undergone consolidations as part of the Metro Schools ReimaginED initiative.

The selection processes for additional schools with vacant principal positions are still underway, with further announcements by the end of June.

Jeresther D. Thorpe-Page joined Metro Schools last summer as the interim principal of Cumberland Elementary School. Over the last 19 years, she has served in rural, suburban, and urban school districts across the country as an elementary school teacher, ESOL district coordinator, special education district coordinator, assistant principal, and principal.

Dr. Roderick Webb earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tennessee State University and his doctoral degree from Lipscomb University. For the first six years of Dr. Webb’s career with MNPS, he served as a math teacher at Bailey Middle. Next, he served 12 years as the assistant principal and principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle School. Most recently, he served as the principal of Joelton Middle School.

Prior to assuming the role of executive principal at Jere Baxter last year, Kisha Cox served as executive principal of Margaret Allen Middle School beginning in 2014. She was also recognized as MNPS’ Middle School Principal of the Year in 2019. Cox has been with MNPS since 1997 and has served as a teacher, Title I coordinator, and assistant principal.

Myra Taylor has 20 years of classroom and administrative experience. She taught middle and high school English and advanced placement English and served as a high school administrator at Hillsboro, Whites Creek, and East Nashville Magnet high schools. She is currently a doctoral student at MTSU.

Hawaya Wilson brings 17 years of educational experience as teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and interim principal. She holds an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Union University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education from Tennessee State University.

Russell Young‘s educational career began as a classroom teacher and coach in Massachusetts before he moved to Nashville in 2012. During his time in Nashville, he has served as a teacher at The Cohn Learning Center, an assistant principal at Hunters Lane High School, and most recently as the principal at West End Middle School for the past three years.

Dr. Robin Shumate has worked in MNPS for the past 24 years, beginning as a classroom teacher. She served as assistant principal of Thomas Edison Elementary School prior to serving as principal at Lakeview Design Center Elementary School for nine years. Most recently, Dr. Shumate worked as the executive director of school support for elementary schools.

Dr. Brian Mells was most recently the principal of Madison Middle School, which was recognized as a 2018-19 National Model Middle School. He has served in Metro Schools since 2006 as a math teacher and an assistant principal. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, a Master of Education degree in educational leadership, an Educational Specialist degree in curriculum & instruction, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction.