About Nashville


As a river port and railroad center, Nashville attracted a diverse population from its inception in 1779. It has continued to flourish as a destination for citizens and immigrants of varied income levels. Nashville’s famous music, top universities, and thriving health care industry often deflect attention from an incredibly stark level of inequity, especially in the school system. In 2016, just 11 percent of students achieved an ACT score that indicated they were prepared to enter college or a career. Recognizing the inequity in education, in recent years, our city and state have unleashed transformational initiatives including Tennessee winning the federal Race to the Top competition.

When diverse, dynamic people come together, incredible things can happen—Nashville is proof of it. Teach For America began our partnership with the Nashville community in 2009 with the leadership of the mayor and a group of local philanthropists who came together to champion for bringing more high-performing teachers to Nashville. Since that year, we have recruited and trained over 800 teachers for high-need Nashville classrooms. Through the development and support provided by Teach For America, corps members have been found by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to be among the most effective teachers in the state for the last six years in a row. The report also notes TFA-Nashville teachers are more racially and ethnically diverse than the statewide average (85 percent white across the state vs. 66 percent in TFA-Nashville).

However, we know that there is still much work to be done. Nashville schools are not yet adequately preparing students for college. According to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 2015 Education Report Card, only 30 percent of Nashville students graduate with a 21 or higher on the ACT, one of the benchmarks used to determine college readiness.

For long-term change to take effect, we are working to create a movement of individuals committed to collective impact on students. Students taught by Teach For America’s alumni are now becoming the next generation of corps members. Take second year corps member Andrea Kinzer for example. While attending Nashville’s White Creek High School, she was the student of TFA alumna Nikki Miller. Nikki deeply influenced Andrea as a student and offered Andrea an example of the impact she could have on her own future students. Andrea now teaches 5th grade social studies at KIPP College Prep in Nashville, where Nikki Miller now serves as the founding school principal. Student and teacher, now teacher and principal, are still working together to provide the next generation of future leaders with a high-quality education.


Total Corps Size


Alumni in the Region


Year Partnership Established

Contact Us


Teaching in Nashville


Top Stories

One Day
By Paula Ann Solis
June 11, 2018
When Adnan met Christina, two people with their eyes on the stars turned their focus to one another.
January 17, 2018
We check in with 2013 Nashville alumna, Caroline Smith, who recently received H.G. Hill Middle School's Teacher of the Year award!
Alumni Inside TFA
December 20, 2017
It’s December again! Another year has come and gone, leaving us in a reflective mood around the TFA - Nashville office. What have we been up to over the course of 2017?
One Day
By Tim Kennedy
November 8, 2017
Philadelphia scores a big success with career and technical education for students in the juvenile justice system.
September 1, 2017
Jennifer Watson, 2009 Nashville charter corps member, shares experiences moving from teaching to her work at Dollar General in the private sector.
April 4, 2017
David Lewis, '14 Greater Nashville alumnus, shares some advice and reflections from his time in the corps.
Students & Communities
March 23, 2017
In light of March Madness and college basketball dominating our screens, Justin Claybrook offers some reflections on how sports can augment student development.
Inside TFA
February 14, 2017
Angela Sessoms, Director, Institute Operations and Experience previews Nashville's upcoming 2017 Summer Institute.
Inside TFA
January 31, 2017
Teach For America–Greater Nashville launches its new blog, "Tuesdays with TFA!"

Join the Conversation


Find inspiring images, thought-provoking articles, heartwarming stories, and plenty of cute kids when you follow us online.