Nashville’s Public Schools Get Big Community Boost

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Honorees highlight best of Nashville’s public education alumni and volunteers

Hundreds of Nashvillians gathered at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 14, to honor six new inductees into the Nashville Public Education Foundation’s (NPEF) Public Schools Hall of Fame during its 11th annual honorees’ luncheon.

Happening less than three months ahead of the mayoral election and in the midst of a transition to a new director of schools, the event brought community and private-sector leaders together to lend their support to accelerating improvement in public schools.

“This year’s event marked the turning of a page to the next chapter in Nashville’s quest for public school excellence,” said Shannon Hunt, NPEF president and CEO. “The private sector’s investments of critical funding, leadership, expertise and volunteerism are at the core of our ability to make greater, faster strides in our schools.”

Husband and wife, Ralph and Juli Mosley received the Nelson C. Andrews Distinguished Service Award for their many contributions to the city, particularly for their commitment to the Nashville Promise Neighborhood initiative of the Martha O’Bryan Center. Four MNPS graduates were honored at the event with the Distinguished Alumni Award:

  • Mary Carol Humphreys Friddell, president and owner of nursing assistant training school NATS, Inc., and a 30-year MNPS teacher who taught in seven schools across the city. Friddell is a graduate of John Overton High School;
  • Decosta Jenkins, president and CEO of Nashville Electric Service and graduate of North High School;
  • Beverly Keel, professor and chairwoman of Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Recording Industry, journalist, and graduate of McGavock High School; and
  • Mark Rowan, president of Nashville-based Griffin Technology and graduate of Antioch High School.

Also at the event, five-time GRAMMY nominee and entertainer/songwriter Hunter Hayes performed with members of the Hume-Fogg Jazz Band. Hayes is a supporter of the CMA Foundation’s commitment to strengthening Nashville’s public schools and partnered with the CMA Foundation and VH1’s Save The Music Foundation in 2014 to help raise awareness for music education programs in Roanoke, Va.

Building off the excitement of the event, the crowd was reminded about RESET Saturday, an unprecedented idea festival on May 30 at Rocketown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.