Vanderbilt collaborates with NPEF to celebrate Nashville’s outstanding educators

In a celebration of teaching excellence, Vanderbilt University recently hosted the annual Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards in partnership with the Nashville Public Education Foundation. The event recognized the outstanding dedication of educators in Metro Nashville Public Schools who go above and beyond to ensure every student’s success.

Blue Ribbon Teacher honorees with Mayor Freddie O’Connell and Dr. Adrienne Battle (photo credit: Joe Howell)

The NPEF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to removing barriers to student success by advocating for change, promoting excellence and innovation, and supporting MNPS as a thought partner. They also convene stakeholders to drive community solutions, making a significant impact on the local educational landscape. MNPS serves more than 86,000 students in Davidson County across 159 schools, which makes resources like those provided through NPEF critical to student and educator success.

One of NPEF’s key initiatives is the Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards, which were created in collaboration with MNPS and the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee. These awards highlight teaching excellence in the categories of equity, leadership and instruction. The awards celebrate educators who have shown exceptional dedication to their students, ensuring that they thrive in the classroom each day.

Marcy Singer-Gabella, Sally Parker, Hal Cato, Midori Lockett, Daniel Culbreath, Stephanie Coleman, Nathan Green, Kim Karesh and Laura Booker at the NPEF Public School Hall of Fame event.

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell and MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle were present to congratulate the honorees. Fifty teachers received recognition, each receiving a $1,000 cash prize, a trophy and a round-trip airline ticket, generously donated by Southwest Airlines.

Vanderbilt was honored to host this year’s Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards at Peabody College’s Wyatt Center rotunda; the Vanderbilt Community Relations team collaborated with NPEF to organize the event.

In addition to the Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards, Vanderbilt supported NPEF’s Hall of Fame event on Sept. 27. The Hall of Fame luncheon honored trailblazing alumni from MNPS, visionary leaders and educators dedicated to improving student outcomes in Nashville’s public schools.

Vanderbilt proudly sponsored and presented the Nelson C. Andrews Distinguished Service Award at the event. This prestigious honor went to Hal Cato, CEO of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Now in its 19th year, the NPEF Public Schools Hall of Fame event serves as an annual milestone for community leaders to gather and celebrate achievements and to inspire solutions to challenges in Nashville’s schools.

In collaboration with the NPEF, Vanderbilt University continues to champion educational excellence and support educators who are shaping the future of Nashville’s students. This partnership exemplifies the university’s commitment to the community and its dedication to advancing education for all.