The Nashville Teaching Fellows (NTF) program hosted an Opening Ceremony for their 2010 Summer Institute. NTF is a program in which highly qualified teachers are placed in high need Nashville schools with the goal of increasing student test scores and making a difference in the lives of children. Belmont is the university partner for the fellows, and representatives of the School of Education were on hand to support the opening celebration. Dr. Trevor Hutchins, Dr. Sammy Swor, Dr. Annette Little, Andrea McClain and Misty Wellman all were present to meet the new cohort of close to 100 fellows.
The celebration began with a film highlighting the experience of a few fellows from the first cohort, how fellows affect their students and Belmont’s role in the program. The film was created by Rebecca Banaszak, a fellow from the first cohort, at the request of Dr. Swor. Dr. Jesse Register, superintendent of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), was the keynote speaker and the program was closed by two talented MNPS students. Sebastian Jones, a student at Hunters Lane High School and Darius Teasley, a recent graduate of Stratford High School, recited SLAM Poetry (a combination of writing and performing poetry) describing what it’s like to grow up in their neighborhoods and what a teacher did to make a difference in their lives. Both young men received standing ovations.