2017 In Review
We launched the 2017 with a lot of activity in the alumni world, as the 2017 alumni survey greeted us with the new year. Through the survey, we learned that our local alumni community is 760 strong, including 27 school leaders, over 70 mid-level school leaders and members of school and network administration, and over 300 alumni teachers. Additionally, we have 40 folks working in state public policy (many specifically in education policy), dozens of graduate students furthering their careers and impact at our many institutes of higher education, and a number of folks taking the leap into the entrepreneurial and start-up space.
At the end of our first quarter, we launched our first-ever alumni educator talent matching event: One Day in BNA! The event brought together hiring partners, speakers, and alumni from Nashville and around the country alike, all focused on eliminating educational inequity in Nashville and accelerating impact through thoughtful hiring.
One of the biggest wins of the year was our first ever annual alumni giving challenge. Our national board challenged us to double the percentage of alumni in Nashville who donate to the organization, growing from 11% (roughly 80 donors) to 22% (160 donors). Our alumni heard the challenge and stepped up, and our region exceeded our goal, reaching 24% giving participation. Their gifts led our region to receive a $50,000 grant to continue to grow the amazing force of leaders here in Nashville.
The summer was a busy time for local programming, as we welcomed 68 new alumni from the 2015 corps to alumnihood, including 54 from our own corps. We marked the occasion at Alumni Induction at Green Door Gourmet in May.
Shortly thereafter, we welcomed the 2017 corps to Nashville for Institute! This was our fourth regional Institute and it was the largest summer program in the city for MNPS students. We operated three schools - a middle, elementary, and high school - led by our seasonal Institute staff (most of whom are alumni!). The results were significant-- over the course of six weeks, our corps members and team led elementary schools to over a quarter of a year’s growth in reading, writing and math; middle school students to almost half a year of growth in math; and high school students to 98% credit recovery. Way to go, Institute team! (additionally, we’re currently hiring for Institute 2018. Be a part of this impactful program! http://institutejobs.teachforamerica.org/ )
Internally, our team had an incredible opportunity to grow and develop as we traveled to Houston to meet with several other TFA regions to learn about the national organization’s new Foundations, including new Core Values and a new and expanded Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness. The roll-out of these new materials dovetailed nicely with the launch of our own regional 2022 vision: “Innovative Educators, Limitless Learners, New Nashville.” In our five-year strategic plan, Executive Director Ben Schumacher (Nashville 2014) PLANs to lead the region to increased impact and progress towards One Day through Powerful Partnerships, Limitless Learning, Alumni Action, and Nashville NextGen (PLAN!).
When the first day of school arrived, our network of corps members and alumni in Nashville exceeded 900 people! After a busy summer, our programming didn’t skip a beat as we moved into the fall, launching a new coaching model for our corps members that is more differentiated by corps member experience, and we had the first two of four all-corps Leadership Summits of the school year. Additionally, our regional chapter of The Collective hosted a number events for the people of color in our community and had a board retreat to clarify goals and aligned actions for the year.
Another major highlight in the fall includes the launch of the Nashville Assistant Principals Fellowship. We welcomed our inaugural cohort of five fellows to the program, which helps experienced educators navigate the path to school leadership in traditional MNPS schools by joining the MNPS AP pool and gaining administrative credentials through Lipscomb University.
The fall brought some significant changes to our team as well, as we moved to a new office (Don’t worry, we have the same address! 220 Athens Way, Suite 300) and hired two new MTLD’s: Raneisha Arnett and Tara McPhee. Come visit us sometime!
As 2017 draws to a close, we’re proud of all that we’ve been able to accomplish this year, but we’re not slowing down: we have kicked off hiring for 2018 Institute, and our 2018 corps already 52 members who will join us next summer. We thank you for all that you do every day for our city and our community, and we hope you will join us in this work in 2018!