Back to School 2020: New School Leadership Placements


新皇冠体育盘口Metro Schools is proud to announce a dynamic group of new school principals. These experienced leaders were chosen through a process that included parent and staff input and using rigorous criteria, evidence of candidates’ skills and results. Each principal was carefully selected for his or her school assignment based on individual skills and strengths. For more on the principal selection process, . 

As we progress through the summer, we will update this blog post with the latest principal announcements so check back often!

July 10 update:

新皇冠体育盘口Four additional elementary school principals have been named, ahead of the 2020-2021 school year. 

“Though this school year will look much different, I am eager for these experienced school leaders to serve their school communities and find innovative ways to motivate their teachers and students,” said Dr. Battle. “I know they will lead with sincere compassion and the flexibility required for such unique circumstances.” 

  • A.Z. Kelley Elementary School, Dr. Pippa Meriwether

  • Casa Azafran Early Learning Center, Dr. Lily Leffler 

  • Granbery Elementary School, Emily Kajihara 

  • Stanford Montessori School, Dr. Olivia Travis

June 23 update:

Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle is honored to announce a second round of school leadership appointments, . 

This group of school leaders represents the expertise and talent within Metro Nashville Public  Schools—all administrators were MNPS employees, familiar with the district and the students we serve. This group of educators collectively brings more than 130 of years of public education experience to their positions, with the majority of that experience spent at MNPS. Two of these veteran educators have dedicated their entire professional career to Nashville’s students. 

新皇冠体育盘口“I have known for a long time that Metro Schools has smart, talented employees who care deeply about the success and growth of the district,” said Dr. Battle. “I am excited to see what these educators can achieve in their new roles.”

  • Haywood Elementary School, Damon Cathey

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Eagle View Elementary School, Amy Via

  • Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School, Kendra Chapman, previously interim

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Shwab Elementary School, Cheryl Bowman, previously interim

  • Antioch Middle School, Bryan Seay

  • Madison Middle School, Polly Cauthen

  • 新皇冠体育盘口West End Middle School, Trey Stephens

  • 新皇冠体育盘口McGavock High School, Angela Bailey

  • 新皇冠体育盘口MNPS Virtual School, Kelby Garner, previously interim

Elementary Schools


- Pippa Meriwether

  • Pippa Meriwether brings more than 20 years of education experience to her new appointment as the principal of A.Z. Kelley Elementary School. Meriwether spent several years in the private sector before becoming an educator. She has served Metro Schools as a classroom teacher, a behavior specialist, an executive principal, a community superintendent and, most recently, as an associate superintendent of elementary schools, primarily in north Nashville. Dr. Meriwether earned a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and both a master’s degree and doctoral degree from Tennessee State University.

- Lily Leffler

  • Lily Moreno Leffler brings more than 25 years of education experience with her to her new appointment as the principal of Casa Azafrán Early Learning Center. Leffler served Metro Nashville Public Schools for seven years as a teacher, before accepting a position in neighboring Williamson county, where she served as an assistant principal and principal in three different Williamson county high schools. Leffler returned to Metro Schools in 2016 and, for the last four years, has served as an executive director of student support and instruction.

Cumberland Elementary School - Jeresther Thorpe-Page

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Jeresther D. Thorpe-Page joined Metro Schools last summer as the interim principal of Cumberland Elementary School. Over the last 19 years, she has served in rural, suburban, and urban school districts across the country as an elementary school teacher, ESOL district coordinator, special education district coordinator, assistant principal, and principal.

Eagle View Elementary School - Amy Via 

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Amy Via brings more than 16 years of education experience with her to his new appointment as the principal of Eagle View Elementary School. Via has served MNPS since 2004 and has served in many capacities in her tenure with the district including as a teacher, central office program facilitator, and, most recently, as an assistant principal at Glencliff Elementary for the last five years. While at Glencliff, she was selected by the Tennessee Principals Association as the 2020 National Outstanding Assistant Principal from Tennessee.  Via earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her doctorate degree from Lipscomb University.

Granbery Elementary School - Emily Kajihara

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Emily Kajihara has been named the principal of Granbery Elementary School.  Kajihara brings 19 years of education experience to her new appointment. Kajihara has served Metro Nashville Public Schools since 2001 and has served in many capacities within the district, including as a teacher, Title I facilitator, and, most recently, as an assistant principal at Harpeth Valley Elementary for the last five years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University and has a master’s degree in reading and literacy from Walden University and a second master’s in educational leadership from Bethel University.  

Haywood Elementary School - Damon Cathey

  • Damon Cathey began his teaching career in MNPS as a math and science teacher  and served in many roles, most recently as an associate superintendent overseeing elementary schools. Previously, Cathey also served as the assistant superintendent for Kingsport City Schools, where he supervised K-12 curriculum implementation. Cathey earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Memphis and his doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University. Cathey has also served on several education boards and commissions, including: the State Board of Education Leadership Commission, the State Board of Education RAMP-Up Task Force, and the State Board of Education Advisory Council on Teacher Education and Certification. He is a 2010 graduate of the Tennessee School Board Association’s Prospective Superintendents Academy.

Jones Paideia Elementary School - Myra Taylor

  • Myra Taylor has 20 years of classroom and administrative experience. She taught middle and high school English and advanced placement English and served as a high school administrator at Hillsboro, Whites Creek, and East Nashville Magnet high schools. She is currently a doctoral student at MTSU.

Percy Priest Elementary School - Russell Young

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Russell Young’s educational career began as a classroom teacher and coach in Massachusetts before he moved to Nashville in 2012. During his time in Nashville, he has served as a teacher at The Cohn Learning Center, an assistant principal at Hunters Lane High School, and most recently as the principal at West End Middle School for the past three years.

Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School - Kendra Chapman, previously interim

  • Kendra Chapman joined MNPS in January 2020 as the interim principal of Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School. Prior to joining Churchwell, Chapman served as an administrator in Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia. Her background includes 22 years of service in education, including six years as an exceptional education teacher, six years supporting school administrators in district and state testing, two years as an instructional coach and eight years as a school administrator.  Chapman received her bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University, a master’s degree in special education from Old Dominion University and her certification in educational supervision and administration from the University of Virginia.   

Shwab Elementary School - Cheryl Bowman, previously interim

  • Cheryl Bowman has been named the principal of Shwab Elementary School, after serving as the interim principal since July 2019. Bowman earned her undergraduate degree from Auburn University and a graduate degree, doctoral degree and other education certifications from Alabama A&M University. Throughout her eight years of service in MNPS. Bowman has served as an assistant principal, a dean of instruction and an interim principal.

Stanford Montessori Elementary School - Olivia Travis

  • Olivia Travis is a native Nashvillian and a graduate of McGavock High School. She obtained her master’s degree in elementary education at Trevecca University and her doctorate degree in education from Lipscomb University. Travis has worked in the field of education for the past 14 years, with 11 years in Metro Schools as a classroom teacher, and the last three years as an assistant principal in Columbia, Tenn. 

Waverly Belmont Elementary School - Robin Shumate

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Dr. Robin Shumate has worked in MNPS for the past 24 years, beginning as a classroom teacher. She served as assistant principal of Thomas Edison Elementary School prior to serving as principal at Lakeview Design Center Elementary School for nine years. Most recently, Dr. Shumate worked as the executive director of school support for elementary schools.

middle schools


Antioch Middle School - Bryan Seay

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Bryan Seay has 18 years of experience in Tennessee public schools, serving MNPS for the last 13 years. In addition to teaching at the elementary and middle school levels, he has served as a Title I coordinator, teacher leader, and assistant principal, most recently at Antioch Middle. Seay holds a Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Education in Educational Administration, and Doctor of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice. 

Haynes Middle School - Roderick Webb

  • Dr. Roderick Webb earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tennessee State University and his doctoral degree from Lipscomb University. For the first six years of Dr. Webb's career with MNPS, he served as a math teacher at Bailey Middle. Next, he served 12 years as the assistant principal and principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle School. Most recently, he served as the principal of Joelton Middle School.

Madison Middle School - Polly Cauthen

  • Polly Cauthen is a long-time educator and administrator in MNPS, with 22 years of experience working exclusively in our middle schools. Cauthen attended MNPS as a student and is an educator with more than 23 years of experience in MNPS.  She served as a middle school teacher for 5th, 6th and 7th grade for 13 years and taught all subjects. She also served eight years as an assistant principal at Bailey Middle School, Neely's Bend Middle School and Moses McKissack Middle School.  Most recently, she was the principal at Robert E. Lillard Elementary School.  She holds a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a master's degree from Cumberland University.  

Jere Baxter Middle School - Kisha Stinson-Cox

  • Prior to assuming the role of executive principal at Jere Baxter last year, Kisha Cox served as executive principal of Margaret Allen Middle School beginning in 2014. She was also recognized as MNPS’ Middle School Principal of the Year in 2019. Cox has been with MNPS since 1997 and has served as a teacher, Title I coordinator, and assistant principal.

Oliver Middle School - Hawaya Wilson

  • Hawaya Wilson brings 17 years of educational experience as teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and interim principal. She holds an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Union University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education from Tennessee State University.

West End Middle School - Trey Stephens

  • Trey Stephens brings more than 15 years of education experience with him to his new appointment as the principal of West End Middle School. Stephens has served MNPS since 2013, most recently as an academy principal at John Overton Comprehensive High School. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, a teaching certificate from the University of West Georgia, a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a doctorate degree from Lipscomb University. 

high schools


McGavock High School - Angela Bailey

  • 新皇冠体育盘口Angela Bailey has served MNPS since beginning her career as a teacher at McGavock High School in 1992 and was most recently the principal at Stanford Montessori School. Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, her master’s degree from Cumberland University and her school leadership and administration license from Trevecca Nazarene College. She has served in a variety of roles in her more than 20-year career with MNPS, including as a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, a curriculum principal, an academy principal, as well as a professional development lead and trainer for the district.

MNPS Virtual School - Kelby Garner, previously interim

  • Kelby Garner has been serving as the interim principal of MNPS Virtual School since last summer and has been a valued leader at MNPS Virtual School since 2014. Garner earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tennessee State University and her doctorate degree and other education certifications from Carson-Newman University. Throughout her seven years of  service to MNPS, Garner has served as a literacy tutor, counselor, dean of instruction and an assistant principal. 

Whites Creek High School - Brian J. Mells

  • Dr. Brian Mells was most recently the principal of Madison Middle School, which was recognized as a 2018-19 National Model Middle School. He has served in Metro Schools since 2006 as a math teacher and an assistant principal. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, a Master of Education degree in educational leadership, an Educational Specialist degree in curriculum & instruction, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction.