CEO Champions Honor the Founding Partnership Council Chairs

On May 12, 2014, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Academy Awards. Teachers, principals, business partners, and community interest groups came together to celebrate the achievements of the 2013-2014 school year and recognize those schools that have made outstanding gains. photo Academies of Nashville Partnership Councils are composed of business leaders and MNPS educators who represent five broad industry areas and advise their related academies throughout the year. The Partnership Councils advise, assist, and advocate for the Academies of Nashville. They help ensure adequate and equitable partnership resources across academies, provide input regarding the creation and closure of academy programs, and support continuous improvement through the regular review of partnerships and student data. Formed during the 2008-2009 school year, Partnership Councils were the first component to be created in what is now a nationally recognized business engagement structure to support academies.

The business leaders serving as the first chairs of these Partnership Councils were true pioneers. Asked to serve by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the PENCIL Foundation, they led newly formed committees before the existence of the CEO Champions, before the formal recruitment of academy partners, and during a time of leadership transition within Metro Schools. Theses business leaders were instrumental in the creation of the Partnership Council dashboards, the academy coach position, and the My Future. My Way. Career Exploration Fair.

Several of the inaugural chairs continue to serve on their respective Partnership Councils, in addition to providing system-wide strategic support as members of the All Chair group, a committee of current and former Partnership Council chairs. The CEO Champions recognized the following individuals for their commitment and service to the Academies of Nashville:

  • Kelly Dando, Associated General Contractors of Tennessee
  • Thom Druffel, Holiday Inn Vanderbilt
  • Kira Florita, Leadership Music
  • Kent Fourman, Permanent General Assurance Corporation
  • Bill Rochford, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Jaff Yarbro, Bass, Berry & Sims