New hire advances Center’s mission to further innovative strategies in education
Belmont University announced today that Dr. Alan Coverstone, the current executive director of innovation with Metro Nashville Public Schools, has been appointed as a tenure-track assistant professor in Belmont’s School of Education with additional duties as Director of Special Initiatives in Education. Coverstone joins Dr. Jesse Register, former superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and current Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at Belmont, in managing Belmont’s new Center for Improvement of Educational Systems, a think-tank, a training institute site and an incubator to discover ways to restructure schools at the district level using collaborative, community-based approaches. Coverstone will begin his new position at Belmont on Feb. 1.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Alan is a perfect fit for Belmont in that he’s well known for being a student-centered innovator who is relentless in his pursuit of improving education and striving for excellence in creating top-quality schools. I am elated to have him join Dr. Register in our new Center, as we partner with the community to discover how to best improve educational systems regionally and beyond.”
Coverstone said, “Great teaching is the key to building strong schools. I am excited about this opportunity to be a part of Belmont’s commitment to prepare teachers to meet the needs of students here in Nashville.”
Coverstone has served in a variety of positions for the District, first as a School Board Member, then as executive director of charter schools and as the executive director of innovation, where he oversaw a portfolio of turnaround schools.
Register said, “I am delighted that Alan Coverstone is joining the faculty at Belmont. His experience heading up the Innovation Zone for MNPS and his work in turn around strategies for low performing urban schools is very valuable. I have great respect for his knowledge, skills and personal integrity. He will be a great addition to our faculty.”
Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns added, “Nearly three years ago, Belmont made a strategic decision to find new ways to work with our K-12 educational partners. Our first step was hiring Dr. Mark Hogan in 2014 to serve as the chair of the Department of Education. Since that time, we’ve been very intentional at focusing on developing our institutional resources to create innovative educational programs that will serve Nashville well. Adding Dr. Register and Dr. Coverstone brings enormous experience in K-12 education, innovative thinking about teacher preparation programs and new opportunities that help us realize significant steps in achieving our goals.”
As an MNPS board member, Coverstone led a study group that evaluated school policies and practices and established what has become the heart of the District’s portfolio approach today. He has built relationships with and successfully advocated for stronger policy oversight of the District’s charter schools. In 2010, Coverstone played a key role in earning Nashville a spot as one of nine cities nationwide to participate in the Gates Foundation District-Charter Collaboration Compact. That same year, Coverstone was selected to administer the $12 million Magnet School Assistance Grant awarded to MNPS. Under his direction, six district schools have been converted into thematic magnet schools: two museum magnets, three STEM magnets, and Nashville’s first entertainment industry magnet school.
Chair of Belmont’s education department Dr. Mark Hogan said, “Dr. Coverstone’s addition to the teacher education program at Belmont will allow us to provide our students with first hand experiences in public, private and charter school environments. As both a teaching faculty member and Director of Innovative Programs in Education, Dr. Coverstone will also add to the rich experiences our existing faculty.”
Prior to joining MNPS, Coverstone spent 14 years at Montgomery Bell Academy as a teacher, debate coach and academic dean. He received a B.A. in speech communication and rhetoric from Wake Forest University, an MAED in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix and a doctorate in education leadership, policy and organizations from Vanderbilt University.