A long-revered Metro teacher and former International Baccalaureate coordinator is moving to Nashville’s largest charter school organization.
Mary Catherine Bradshaw, whose 27-year run as teacher and later IB coordinator at Hillsboro ended in 2011, is heading to LEAD Public Schools, a Nashville charter network, where she will serve as dean of instruction of LEAD Academy High School. Bradshaw, who most recently taught at Martin Luther King Academic Magnet High School, will begin her new position Monday.
“Joining the LEAD team represents a seamless extension of a mission that is both personal and professional — ensuring that all students, regardless of socio-economic status or geography, have an opportunity for a college prep education,” Bradshaw said. “I believe LEAD is a perfect fit.”
The move comes 16 months after Bradshaw — who has a large following of students and parents — was transferred from Hillsboro to MLK following a well-publicized disagreement with Hillsboro administrators over the direction of Metro’s zoned high schools through “The Academies of Nashville.”
The chamber-backed ‘Academies’ model seeks to bridge traditional coursework with career themes through business partnerships. Critics call the concept vocational education.
In May, The City Paper reported Bradshaw was considering submitting an application to launch a new IB-oriented charter school dubbed Nashville International. For now, she plans to continue her career at LEAD as dean of instruction at its high school for the next two years.
After two years in that role, Bradshaw plans to launch her originally conceived charter school, which may or may not be connected to LEAD.
“Adding Mary Catherine to our team is a dream come true,” said Jeremy Kane, LEAD’s founder and CEO. “Anyone who’s met her knows that Mary Catherine, like LEAD, does whatever it takes to prepare every student for success in college and beyond.”
LEAD, which opened six years ago in Nashville, has grown to become Nashville’s largest charter organization. Of Metro’s projected 3,000-plus charter students, approximately one-third attend one of LEAD’s four campuses.