I have served in public education for over 15 years. Before coming to Maury County, where I served as Executive Lead Principal at The Mount—Tennessee’s first and premier Pre-K-12 STEAM campus for the past six years—I was an English teacher, Dean of Students and Assistant Principal at Maplewood High School in Nashville, TN. I received both my masters and doctorate degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University. I have served in both urban and rural schools, traveled to China with Vanderbilt University, given a TED TALK and served as Keynote speaker for organizations such as Junior Achievement, Advanced Education/Cognia, Leadership U and the Departments of KY and North Dakota Public Education. My passion is serving the Underdog—ensuring all students have access to a high-quality education and purposeful, lucrative post-secondary opportunities. Along with being a principal, I currently serve on the Maury Alliance Board of Directors and lead the executive leadership team for Kids On Stage of Maury County, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the gap between public-private partnerships in middle Tennessee. I also founded Fit Leaders, LLC, a leadership development organization that supports all leaders from all industries on their road to living and leading a healthy lifestyle. Most recently I was named the Maury County Principal of the Year for 2022-23.
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How does this teaching strategy positively impact/apply to students with special needs? I live everyday trying to educate my child with Downs Syndrome. How do I apply your Competitive Teaching Model (CTM) to another true underdog? His true sense of belonging is tested every day.
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Dennis, your question sits at the top of education’s moral imperative and one of the key reasons I created the CTM. Inclusion rests at the heart of the CTM, where each student’s progress directly correlates to the success of the whole and the mantra “A rising tide lifts all boats…” is exemplified through personalized feedback with collective, synergetic success. Ultimately, the CTM offers all students an opportunity to be a part of an academic team, experiencing the invaluable effects of goal-setting, collaboration and risk-taking. Finally, the model hinges upon teaching students empathy — a trait too often taken for granted in schools yet not an innate emotion.
Hope this provides some clarity and would be honored to discuss further.