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When the work is personal

“My mother had to apply for a special transfer for me before high school so I could attend my school of choice and not my zoned school. The special transfer was granted. The upside, I was able to go to the school of my choice. The downside was that it was on the other side of town and we had to handle transportation. This meant taking the city bus at the crack of dawn to ride downtown, then transfer to another bus which took me as close as it could, and then I walked the rest of the way to school each morning. In the afternoons, I completed the same journey but in reverse and late into the evening. Early on I understood the educational inequity in a very real way.”

This article was first published by KIPP Nashville.

During a recent fifth grade Reading class at KIPP Antioch College prep, students are having a lively discussion about a passage in the book, Wonder.

“Why do you think his Mom said that?” asks their teacher, Mrs. Pryor.

Mr. Carr checking in with a student during English Language Arts.

Mr. Carr checking in with a student during English Language Arts.

As KIPPsters weigh in, Denon Carr walks around the room, taking notes and checking in one-on-one with students to gauge comprehension of the text.

“My day-to-day includes a variety of lesson plan observations, content co-planning meetings, running point on building and sustaining a positive student culture, and just about anything else that may come up during a typical school day. The beauty is that no two days are truly the same.”

On the first floor below, Robert Wallace is checking on kindergarten classrooms to make sure daily attendance is recorded.

“I’m basically the chief problem solver,” says Wallace, as he searches for a new uniform shirt for a student who spilled their drink during breakfast. “My time is in service toward whatever it takes to help our school run smoothly.”

Both Carr and Wallace are founding members of their teams: Carr as Assistant Principal of the middle school, and Wallace as the Director of Operations of the elementary school.

For each of them, the work and the reason to do the work, is deeply personal.

Read more on the KIPP Nashville blog.

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About the Nashville Charter Collaborative

For charter public schools in Nashville with a track record of high achievement and high growth, the Nashville Charter Collaborative offers their leaders a structure to work together on areas of shared need, such as professional development and recruitment of high-quality teachers. Collectively, we believe that education transforms lives and that every child in Nashville has the right to a high-quality public education.In the fall of 2018, the Collaborative formalized as a program of the Tennessee Charter School Center to provide member schools with an official structure to continue growing their work together.