CMT wants naming rights at McGavock High School

Monday, March 12, 2012 at 3:47pm

Country Music Television is the latest corporation prepared to pay for naming rights inside Metro high schools.

CMT, the Nashville-based network, has reached a preliminary agreement with Metro Nashville Public Schools to make significant in-kind contributions for the naming rights of McGavock High School’s Academy of Digital Design and Communication.

The contract, subject to school board approval Tuesday night, requires CMT to make $100,000 worth of in-kind contributions for year one of the naming rights and $50,000 in in-kind contributions for each year after.

Corporate naming rights are part of the district’s high school redesign known as “The Academies of Nashville,” an approach that uses career themes to try to add real world relevance to classroom instruction. Academies, backed by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, rely on the support of outside companies for mentoring, guest speakers, field trips, internships, teacher externships and other resources.

More than 170 area businesses are currently partnering with the Academies of Nashville. Companies that offer the highest level of resources to schools are rewarded with the branding of an academy with their corporate name.

“When you get a naming-rights company, they’re in and out of the school really, really often,” Starr Herrman, director of Metro’s Academies of Nashville, said. “It may be multiple individuals. They get to know the teachers. They get to know the school, the students on a first-name basis. They take ownership of their student achievement.”

If approved, CMT would be the fifth company to purchase naming rights. Others are: Tennessee Credit Union at Antioch High School; US Community Credit Union at McGavock; Ford Motor Company at Glencliff; and Gaylord Opryland at McGavock.

“The CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication” would be the official name of the McGavock academy.

Herrman said CMT has already provided significant contributions to the career academies at McGavock. “CMT has been very involved in big inter-disciplinary projects [at McGavock],” she said, one involving Rocketown and the other Stones River Battle Field.

“They’ve interviewed students, helped them with resumes, job skills, and they’ve actually let some come and job shadow,” she added.