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Official News From the Office of Communications

Dr. Fisher to Co-Chair Mayor’s Project for Student Success

FisherMayorDean.jpgNashville Mayor Karl Dean today announced the members of Project for Student Success, a 40-member group convened to develop action steps to reduce the dropout rate of students in area public schools. The project includes parents, students, education professionals from all levels, government officials, and members of neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations, non profits and the business community. Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors and President of Belmont University Bob Fisher will serve as co-chairs.
“I have had numerous conversations with both the vice mayor and President Fisher about reducing the dropout rate and they share my deep desire to give every student that comes through our public school system a chance to have a future and to be a productive citizen in our city,” Dean said.
Four sub-committees of the project will each focus on one of the key factors research has shown to contribute to students dropping out of school: chronic poor academic performance, student risk factors, lack of family or parental support, and community risk factors. Recommendations will be presented to the Mayor’s Office by June 2008.


“Reducing the dropout rate is not just a schools issue – it’s a public safety issue, an economic development issue, and for me, a moral issue,” Dean said. “I want to thank each of the members for the commitment they have made. This will not be an easy task. Expectations are high. But I know they are just as committed to this task as I am.”
Members will also participate in a graduation summit co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office and Alignment Nashville. The summit Operation Graduation & Beyond will take place Feb. 1 at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University. The task force members are:
• Carla Aaron, executive director of Child Safety for Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
• Yousuf Ahmad, student at Hillsboro High and chair of Mayor’s Youth Council
• Alene Arnold, parent
• Hal Balthrop, parent
• Jim Bearden, CEO of Gresham Smith & Partners
• Camilla Benbow, dean of Vanderbilt University
• Mary Bufwack, CEO, United Neighborhood Health Services
• Hal Cato, executive director of Oasis Center
• Robert Churchwell, assistant principal of Gra-Mar Middle
• Steve Cook, vice president of Dell Computers
• Rodger Dinwiddie, executive director of Center for Youth Issues – STARS
• Rev. Rueben Dockery of Bethel Family Church and BFC Missions
• Randy Dowell, principal of KIPP Academy
• Vincent Durnan, director of University School of Nashville
• Marsha Edwards, executive director of Martha O’Bryan Center
• Kim Finch, principal of Stratford High
• Bob Fisher, president of Belmont University
• Elizabeth Fox, community activist
• Darrell Freeman, president and CEO of Zycron Inc.
• Allison Halbrook, teacher at Maplewood High
• Pedro Garcia, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools
• Adrian A. Granderson, president and CEO of 100 Black Men of Middle TN
• Judge Betty Green, Metro Juvenile Court
• Journey Johnson, president and CEO, YMCA of Middle TN
• Melvin Johnson, president of Tennessee State University
• Julie Lamb, community activist in Bellevue/Hillwood area
• Rev. Clint Lewis of Mt. Hopewell MB Church
• Brenda Morrow, director of Edgehill Family Resource Center
• Cesar Muedas, parent
• Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors
• Michael Nettles, senior vice president of Educational Testing Services
• Eric Polk, recent MNPS graduate
• Cara Robertson, parent
• Ralph Schulz, CEO of Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
• Chief Ronal Serpas, Metro Nashville Police Department
• Julie Simone, teacher at H.G. Hill Middle
• Ashley Stevenson, student at Overton High
• George H. Van Allen, president of Nashville State Community College
• Marsha Warden, chair of Metro Board of Education
• Roy Wilson, director of Metro Parks & Recreation