CEO Champions

Talking Points, 1.31.18

To: Dr. Shawn Joseph

From: Michelle Michaud

Re: CEO Champions Meeting

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018


Arrival Time: 8:30 a.m.

Speaking time: 9:35 a.m.

Location: Nashville Area chamber of commerce, 211 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN 37201. Parking is validated.

Event contact: S A M A N T H A   P E R E Z


Director of Education Policy, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce


Office: 615.743.3153   Cell: 415.350.8587   //

About the Event:

CEO Champions are a committee of advocates for the Academies of Nashville. The committee includes regional CEOs, the Mayor (who co-chairs this group), and the MNPS Superintendent.

Please see draft agenda attached.

How many in attendance: Including Dr. Joseph, there should be between 10-15 people in attendance.

Talking Points:Please find attached talking points.

Steam Video URL:

And meeting agenda.





At last year’s State of Schools address, I announced our district’s intention to transform all of our middle schools to STEAM middle schools.

At that time, I said that I hoped this instructional approach would inspire our students, challenge our students and help them develop their own self-confidence by realizing the unique talent they bring to the workforce.

I believe - and the video we just watched together shows – this is happening in our middle schools.

Our students are finding their voices – through a rigorous approach that challenges them to think critically, to think creatively, to communicate with one another and to collaborate with their peers.


Any well-rounded 21st century student needs to be able to think critically, develop innovative solutions to problems, have an appreciation for the arts and recognize the beauty and wonders of nature.

STEAM – which stands for science, technology, engineering arts and math, directly aligns with what our students will see when they graduate from our high schools.

Our days as professionals aren’t dictated by 60-minute blocks; we use a variety of skills and focus on a variety of different areas at all moments.

Through this interdisciplinary, project-based learning, students are prepared not only for success at the high school level, but for college and career with relevant, hands-on classwork.

How are we making this work? We’re committed to getting this right for our students.

We believe we have the right learning environment with the right instruction, the right resources and the right people to lead this transformation.

We’re supporting our teachers in ways we never have before with intensive professional development.

Our students have opportunities to expand their horizons in certified, nationally recognized schools, like Rose Park Magnet School, which – just last year – was recognized as one of America’s best urban schools.

We’ve also invested in technology and advanced academics to ensure our students have access to the right instruction that will prepare them for their futures.

And our community partners, and you all know this well, have stepped up to ensure our students have meaningful curriculum-career connections, like at Croft Design Middle School, where students have access to Virtual Zoo, thanks to community partners like the Nashville Zoo, T-Mobile and others

You can’t be what you can’t see – and our community partners across the city are helping our students shape their future through their commitment to our classrooms.

Community Connection

And we believe that what we’re doing in the classroom won’t just impact our schools – but it will impact the entire Nashville community.

Our students will graduate Metro Nashville Public Schools and head on to whatever is next for them – be it college or a career – with a great understanding of how they can impact their cities and how their unique skillset can be applied across many industries.

We’re not only improving on student outcomes and achievement – we are showing our students how to make a better contribution to the city of Nashville.



We often talk about telling our story at Metro Nashville Public Schools – and Part of my own story is that I spent much of my career as a middle school teacher and principal so I know first-hand the unique challenges and opportunities our students at the middle school level face.

Those few years in middle school are a unique time in a child’s growth and development, and it is a time we must capitalize upon. We must provide our young adolescents with an education that sparks their curiosity and inspires them to new heights.


There is no better place for this to happen than in Nashville – where technology, arts and science blend together throughout our community to create a vibrant and thriving economy – and now our middle school classrooms reflect just that.