Dr. Battle on the importance of community partners

“Public schools are essential to a strong community, and community involvement is essential to strong public schools.”

Dr. Adrienne Battle is a Nashville native who has spent almost her entire career with MNPS. She leads our district and calls PENCIL her go-to partner for linking community resources with Metro schools. Her vision is a driving force for how community partners’ support can benefit students. Partners make tangible, meaningful impacts on our young people today, the best investment of our collective time, treasure, talent. Consider partnering with us to make Dr. Battle’s vision a reality, and let us be your guide & facilitator. 

“Public schools are essential to a strong community, and community involvement is essential to strong public schools,” says Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of MNPS. “We are stronger as a district because of the work of PENCIL in leveraging the business community to support our teachers and students in so many ways, from volunteers, to donations, to celebrating the success of our schools.” 

“PENCIL also helps to show students their future potential and inspire them to go to college through field trips and job shadowing where they get hands on knowledge and experience that is invaluable to the learning experience,” Dr. Battle continues.  “We couldn’t ask for a stronger partner than PENCIL.”   

For example, at John Overton High School (which happens to be Dr. Battle’s alma mater), PENCIL Partner HCA Healthcare is actively engaged with students in the Academy of Information Technology and the Academy of Health Sciences. During this past academic year, HCA donated 184.75 hours, worth $7,706 to JOHS students by participating in Advisory Board Meetings, and providing Job Shadows, Reverse Job Shadows, Work Based Learning Experiences, Guest Speaking, and Field Trips. Looking ahead, HCA plans to double down on that investment in students by increasing the role of Work-Based Learning in their engagement model and welcoming more students back to their facilities whenever possible.

Dr. Battle’s commitment to her students’ success – and vision for ensuring what she now describes as “every student known” – was evident even before she rose to the position she occupies now. When principal at Antioch High School, one of those students was Brandi Coates. Brandi has called Dr. Battle a mentor since she was a student at Antioch High. Now a young professional, she has this to say about her mentor, “If it weren’t for Dr. Battle’s leadership encouraging AHS teachers to push forward job shadowing and experiential learning opportunities, I would not have known about museum careers. I would not have connected with Academy PENCIL Partner, Frist Art Museum, where I am now employed. Whether it be in the career field I’m pursuing or in a space where someone who looks like me is not often represented, I continue to be inspired by her. When I see Dr. Battle, I remember her genuineness, especially her kindness, and her strong leadership. I want to be like that.”  

Dr. Battle has led MNPS through its recovery from devastating tornadoes in the spring of 2020 and its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was named director of Metro Nashville Public Schools by a unanimous vote of the city’s Board of Education on March 13, 2020, after serving 11 months as interim director. Dr. Battle is focused on a vision of personalizing education for every student, improving school culture and climate, and retaining and recruiting the best talent. PENCIL is committed to supporting Dr. Battle’s vision for MNPS through active partnerships and tangible engagements.  

To learn more about PENCIL or become a collaborative PENCIL Partner, contact Bob Kucher, Chief Partnerships & Programs Officer, at BKucher@PENCIL615.org.    

Founded in 1982, PENCIL (www.pencilforschools.org) links community resources to Metro Nashville Public Schools to help young people achieve academic success and prepare for life. PENCIL’s work is guided by the needs of MNPS, is student-centric, and is achieved through partnerships and tangible engagements. PENCIL envisions a world where access and opportunities are equitable for all students to have a successful future.