The Importance of Academies: Through the Eyes of Business Partners

The Academies of Nashville business partners are an essential element to high school redesign. While many partnerships occur in the classroom through guest speakers and mentoring, there are some partnerships that occur with students outside of the school ground. Magistrate Sheila Calloway is a judge with the Davidson County Juvenile Court System and shares her experiences with students outside the classroom. 

Sheila Calloway - Vandy pictureAs a Juvenile Court Magistrate, it’s unusual to have the opportunity to work closely with the school system in developing curriculum and a plan of study for the students.  To my delight, working with the academies allows for that opportunity.  I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with the Health and Public Service Partnership Council (formally, the Human and Public Service Partnership Council) from the beginning of its formation.

Many times, I have been asked why I invest so much time for the academies and MNPS.  I have so many responses to that question that include answers from the excitement that I get when I see students involved in a mock trial to the satisfaction that I feel when students in the law academies have the opportunity to do job shadowing at court.  I have truly had the experience of watching the students of MNPS grow.

Recently, however, I saw for my own eyes the real answer to that question.  During a court proceeding, I had the opportunity to talk to a child witness.  During that child’s testimony, the one thing that stood out was her excitement about her current school assignment.  Having just finished with her freshman academy, she could not WAIT until she got into her chosen academy.  She told me about all the field trips that the other students had the chance to participate in; she explained to me the pathway that she was interested in and all the opportunities they had; she knew about the business partners that were associated with the particular academy.  She was READY for school to start and ready for where that academy was going to take her.

And that’s exactly why I love my work with the Academies of Nashville.  I get to see first hand how the academies touch the lives of our children.  That is exactly what education should look like!