The Academies of Nashville Story

The Power of Career Connected Learning with Hans Meeder

Oct 28 2020 • 45 mins

The Academies of Nashville Story

During the 2006-2007 school year, the Academies of Nashville was only a dream—an ambitious, high school transformation effort that would bring together families, educators, and the community to improve our schools. Now, more than ten years later, that dream continues to grow.  Graduation rates have increased. Student attendance is at an all-time high. Discipline referrals have significantly dropped. Business engagement in the school system has never been stronger and more powerful.

In this episode, Hans talks with Donna Gilley, Director of the Academies of Nashville, and a CTE Director for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.  Donna is one of the founding designers of the Academies of Nashville; she works closely with colleagues at Alignment Nashville to promote knowledge and understanding about the Academies.

Learning Links

The Metro Nashville Public Schools site.

An overview of the Academies with student stories.

Get information about how to visit the Academies through a twice yearly study visit.

Learn about the Nashville Hub, an organization that provides technical assistance and support around career academies.

Today’s Guest

Donna Gilley is the Director of the Academies of Nashville and a CTE Director for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.  Donna helps manage career/thematic academies across the district, works with business partners to create engaging activities for students, and creates and facilitates professional development for teachers.

Donna has been involved in the support and management of academies since 2007 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.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

SeamlessWBL, an online system to manage all your work-based learning and program advisory board functions.  Find out more at