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Congratulations to our winners!

First Place
Quanita Adams

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Quanita Adams designed an idea to create a network of supports
for novice teachers in schools that experience high teacher turnover.

Second Place
Daven Oglesby

Lakeview Elementary Design Center

Daven Oglesby from Lakeview Elementary Design Center earned second place for his plan to support special education students to develop independent living skills in the elementary school classroom.

Third Place
Addison Barrack

Margaret Allen Middle School

Addison Barrack from Margaret Allen Middle School earned third place for her plan to design a flexible school environment for students who need to work to support themselves and attend school simultaneously.

Community Favorite
LaKesha Rayford

Glencliff Entrepreneurship STEAM Magnet Elementary

LaKesha Rayford from Glencliff Entrepreneurship STEAM Magnet Elementary School earned the Community Favorite award for her idea to empower students to address cultural gaps with their peers and teachers through a supportive model.

Congratulations to every member of the inaugural cohort for designing and pitching your excellent ideas!

Meet the Cohort

Quanita Adams
Math Teacher, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"The opportunity to collaborate on innovative instructional design."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Teacher effectiveness app"

Addison Barrack
SIFE ELA Teacher, Margaret Allen Middle School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I was attracted to Teacherpreneur because of the uniqueness of this opportunity. I'll have the ability to stretch my thinking by learning about entrepreneurship while still remaining true to my passion for serving Nashville's students."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Education, allies, services"

Nikki Bolling
5th Grade ELA & Social Studies Teacher, Shwab Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"The opportunity to create change and positively impact students and their families."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Parent participation platform"

Alyssa Janco
2nd Grade Teacher, Eagle View Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I am passionate about empowering students, and I believe this program will help me to empower my English language learners."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Teacher creators & consultants"

Justin Montenegro
Engineering Teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"Teacherpreneur gives me the chance to influence the direction of computer science education within MNPS with cutting edge curriculum."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Teacher programming cohort"

David Myers
Math Teacher, J.T. Moore Middle School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I love the idea of transformative actions, and I also need to be a better market-eer."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Summer fun camp"

Daven Oglesby
Exceptional Education Teacher, Lakeview Elementary Design Center

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"As a special education teacher, and creative individual, I am drawn to the idea of creating an innovative and inclusive environment for my students in general. I believe this cohort will provide me with incredible insight into thinking critically, solving real problems and expanding my knowledge as an educator in a specialized field."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Real world experience"

Dyetra Olige
Exceptional Education Transition Specialist, LEAD Southeast High School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I know that I have an awesome idea that can drastically shift education, but I know I need some support in creating and sustaining a successful program."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Diploma, purpose, thrive"

Paula Pendergrass
Gifted Education Teacher, Robertson Academy

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"The opportunity to be solution oriented in solving issues that keep students in the center."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Gifted all day"

Chriseni Pulse
2nd Grade Teacher, Cumberland Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I liked that Teacherpreneur is going to make a real difference in the community and lives of students. I am interested in making more of an impact in education beyond my classroom. I believe Teacherpreneur can help me hone in on leadership skills that I want to increase and enhance. I like the ability to work and learn from others."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Parental involvement app"

LaKesha Rayford
Technology Teacher, Glencliff Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"It's simple. I want to ensure that every student in MNPS is really seen. This opportunity seems to be the avenue that will help me do my part to ensure that our students are seen."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Families rediscover culture"

Nita Smith
Music Teacher, I.T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"My attraction is the opportunity to be part of a core group of teachers across content areas who can help to shape a better future for our profession. The opportunity to collaborate with other teachers promotes growth and builds teacher leadership skills."

Preview your solution in three words:
"Teachers of color cooperative"

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Quanita Adams
Math Teacher, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"The opportunity to collaborate on innovative instructional design."

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Addison Barrack
SIFE ELA Teacher, Margaret Allen Middle School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I was attracted to Teacherpreneur because of the uniqueness of this opportunity. I'll have the ability to stretch my thinking by learning about entrepreneurship while still remaining true to my passion for serving Nashville's students."

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Nikki Bolling
5th Grade ELA & Social Studies Teacher, Shwab Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"The opportunity to create change and positively impact students and their families."

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Alyssa Janco
2nd Grade Teacher, Eagle View Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I am passionate about empowering students, and I believe this program will help me to empower my English language learners."

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Justin Montenegro
Engineering Teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"Teacherpreneur gives me the chance to influence the direction of computer science education within MNPS with cutting edge curriculum."

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David Myers
Math Teacher, J.T. Moore Middle School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I love the idea of transformative actions, and I also need to be a better market-eer."

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Daven Oglesby
Exceptional Education Teacher, Lakeview Elementary Design Center

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"As a special education teacher, and creative individual, I am drawn to the idea of creating an innovative and inclusive environment for my students in general. I believe this cohort will provide me with incredible insight into thinking critically, solving real problems and expanding my knowledge as an educator in a specialized field."

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Dyetra Olige
Exceptional Education Transition Specialist, LEAD Southeast High School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I know that I have an awesome idea that can drastically shift education, but I know I need some support in creating and sustaining a successful program."

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Paula Pendergrass
Gifted Education Teacher, Robertson Academy

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"The opportunity to be solution oriented in solving issues that keep students in the center."

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Chriseni Pulse
2nd Grade Teacher, Cumberland Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"I liked that Teacherpreneur is going to make a real difference in the community and lives of students. I am interested in making more of an impact in education beyond my classroom. I believe Teacherpreneur can help me hone in on leadership skills that I want to increase and enhance. I like the ability to work and learn from others."

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LaKesha Rayford
Technology Teacher, Glencliff Elementary School

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"It's simple. I want to ensure that every student in MNPS is really seen. This opportunity seems to be the avenue that will help me do my part to ensure that our students are seen."

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Nita Smith
Music Teacher, I.T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts

What attracted you to Teacherpreneur?
"My attraction is the opportunity to be part of a core group of teachers across content areas who can help to shape a better future for our profession. The opportunity to collaborate with other teachers promotes growth and builds teacher leadership skills."

THE COHORT's JOURNEY

See below for some highlights from our inaugural Teacherpeneur cohort as they prepared to pitch their prototypes on February 24.

Cohort mentor Brian Purvis advises the inaugural cohort

Teacherpreneurs David Myers and Paula Pendergrass discuss root causes of educational inequities

Teacherpreneurs Addison Barrack and LaKesha Rayford share findings from their empathy interviews

Teacherpreneurs Justin Montenegro and Nita Smith practice their pitches and provide feedback

Inspired by words from local entrepreneur and educator Emily Freitag, CEO of Instruction Partners, to “find a problem you can fall in love with,” our 12 Teacherpreneurs are designing solutions to problems they are most passionate about addressing. Some of these include:

  • The effect of high teacher turnover on teachers and students
  • The need for more effective instructional supports for English Learners
  • The struggle of balancing work and school for some students
  • The lack of access to teachers of color
  • The lack of accessible opportunities for parents to engage in their child’s education

"Teachers are the backbone of education! To hear the passion and brilliance of my Teacherpreneurs cohort members was confirmation of why this think-tank is needed and even more so amid such perilous times in education."

- Inaugural cohort member

Teacherpreneurs Nikki Bolling and Chriseni Pulse discuss ways to increase equitable access to parent involvement activities

Each cohort member received a box full of books, supplies, and mementos

Teacherpreneurs Daven Oglesby and Quanita Adams practice their pitches and provide feedback

NPEF's Katie Cour interviews Instruction Partners CEO Emily Freitag

Create. Refine. Pilot. Scale.

The Teacherpreneur program is designed to harness educator innovation to remove inequities and build schools where all students thrive.

This leadership development opportunity will help teachers scale their innovative solutions while changing the way our community sees educators - as change-makers both in and beyond the walls of their classroom.
The inaugural Teacherpreneur cohort will undergo professional learning throughout early 2022 to design and refine their innovative solutions to eliminate systemic inequities in our schools. The cohort experience will culminate in a prototype pitch event awarding more than $25,000 in cash prizes to the top concepts.

Select winners will be chosen for seed funding to implement or scale their innovative solution.