Dr. Aimee Wyatt

Dr. Aimee Wyatt is the Executive Officer for High Schools for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and has worked in education for 24 years. She holds an Ed.D. degree in Leadership Organizations and Strategic Change from Lipscomb University.  As one of the pioneers of the Academies of Nashville, Dr. Wyatt has been instrumental in the development of the structures that has made the Nashville high school redesign so successful. She has consulted nationally on the topics of small learning communities, master scheduling, leadership development, interdisciplinary lessons, professional learning communities, teaming, using data to drive instruction, creating business partnerships, and experiential learning.


Carrie Whittaker

Carrie Whittaker is in her 16th year within Metro Nashville Public Schools, having been a secondary classroom teacher, instructional coach and district lead coach from 2001 through 2014. Starting in July of 2014, Carrie transitioned into the role of Coordinator of Instructional Projects. Her hobbies include traveling, watching the Memphis Tigers games and spending time with her husband and daughter.


Donna Gilley

Donna is the Director of the Academies of Nashville/CTE Director for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools where she helps manage career/thematic academies across the district, works with business partners to create engaging activities for students, and creates/facilitates professional development for teachers. Donna has been involved in the support and management of academies for the past ten years at the district level. Prior to her work at the district office, Donna spent 17 years in the classroom teaching a variety of business courses before joining district office administration seven years ago. She has been involved in many aspects of development and implementation of the Academies of Nashville.

Donna has been actively involved with the Ford Next Generation Learning Communities as a Professional Development Provider and consultant for over 20 years.

Donna’s educational background is in business and business education. She received her undergraduate Business Degree from Belmont University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Jack C. Massey School of Business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.


Jacob Glancy

Jacob Glancy is in his 8th year at McGavock High School, having taught English 4, Senior Capstone, and Shakespeare Studies while also serving as a team leader in the Academy of Aviation of Transportation–a two-time model status career academy according to the National Career Academy Coalition–from 2011 through 2016. Starting in July of 2016, Jacob transitioned into the role of Academy Coach for McGavock. Currently, he is also pursuing his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His hobbies include going to concerts all over Nashville; catching Predators, Titans, or Sounds games; and, spending time with his soon-to-be wife.


Jenny Bell

Jennifer is a native of Nashville, TN and graduate of Metro Nashville Public Schools.  Jennifer has 13 years of experience in MNPS as a teacher, Coordinator, Academy Principal, and Director of Extended Learning.  Jennifer has extensive knowledge and expertise in the Academy model, Exceptional Education, Interdisciplinary Planning, Schedules, and non-traditional settings.  Jennifer’s philosophy is that education is not a one size fits all model; therefore, it is our purpose as educators to be creative, innovative, and passionate about the children and communities we serve.


Kodi Kimmell

In his 25 years in education, Kodi has taught both middle school and high school math. For the past 10 years, he has been an academy principal at McGavock High School. He was the first principal over and helped develop the Freshman Academy at McGavock and for the past 6 years he has been the principal for the CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication: this academy has been recognized as a MNPS Academy of the Year and twice been recognized as a NCAC Model Academy. Not only does he deal with the day to day running of his academy, he is also in charge of testing and developing the master schedule for the Academies of Nashville at McGavock.


Paula Barkley

During her 32 year tenure at McGavock High School in Nashville, TN, Paula taught reading and English in grades nine, ten, and twelve; in addition, she taught both Pacesetter English and Advanced Placement Literature. In January 2007, she assumed the position of Site Coach for small learning communities at McGavock High School; this position evolved to that of Academy Coach. Paula was named the 2012 Academies of Nashville Academy Coach of the Year and the 2012 National Career Academies Coalition (NCAC) Educator of the Year. She retired from MNPS in 2014, but she continues to work part-time at McGavock as an Instructional Specialist for Career Academies and as a FordNGL and FordHub consultant to several districts implementing the academy model.


Starr Herrman

Starr Herrman is recognized for her work with high school transformation, and particularly, the academy model.  She was instrumental in planning, directing and implementing the smaller learning communities/academies model for the Metro Nashville Public School system from 2006 to 2012. She is a former high school teacher, CTE Director and IT manager.

Since retirement in 2012, Starr remains active in the school system, working on contract to help transform middle schools. She serves as co-director of the Nashville Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) Hub, serves on the Ford NGL Leadership Council, consults with many districts across the U.S. in high school transformation and is a National Career Academy Coalition accreditation reviewer.

Starr has been published and quoted in various articles and journals, presented at national conferences, webinars, and is passionate about the academy model.


 Susan Porter

Susan Porter is District Lead Coach for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. During her 16 year education career, she has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, and adjunct professor.  Currently, as a District Lead Coach, her responsibilities include supporting the 150+ MNPS school-based instructional coaches, facilitating professional development, and supporting K-12 social studies curriculum and instruction.  Her hobbies include reading, sports, and spending time with her husband, three children, and her dog!



Tischann Turner

Tischann Turner began her teaching career as an elementary art teacher. After realizing the vital role technology has for personalizing student instruction, Tischann has blazed new paths in educational technology for the past 15 years. She has presented locally and nationally concerning her work with online and blended learning. She has experience online as a learner, instructor, designer, and consultant. She currently serves her district as the Director of Learning Technology.


 Kelly Henderson

Passionately invested in education since becoming a business teacher in 1989, Dr. Kelly Henderson has made student learning her top priority and has sought innovative ways to maximize student potential.  After becoming CTE Coordinator in 2007, she worked diligently to support teachers and align systems so that students had access to rigorous CTE programs through the Academies of Nashville.

In her role as Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction in Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), she directed the development of a comprehensive and coherent Pre-K –12 curriculum framework that has transformed the district and contributed to increased student achievement and graduation rates. Under Dr. Henderson’s leadership, Metro Nashville public schools has been recognized as a leader in high school reform, project-based learning and blended learning with not only students in the classroom but with teachers engaged in blended professional development.

Dr. Henderson presents on the national level and consults with schools and districts across the country in the areas of master scheduling, strategic planning, and systems alignment.

Jill Petty

Jill Petty has been an educator for over 20 years. She has taught English both at the middle and high school levels.  Jill was a classroom teacher when Nashville first brought the academy model to the high schools.  She has served as an Academy team leader, English department lead,  literacy coach/school-based professional development provider, district level English Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator, and currently as the Director of Secondary Literacy for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.  Jill was the first person in MNPS to become a Project Based Learning capacity-buliding trainer. In her various roles in education, she had lead and continues to lead professional learning at the school level, district level, and national level. Most recently, Jill became a certified Gallup Strengths-Finder coach.