An Interview with Jill Speering

Jill Speering is a retired educator and former Nashville School Board member. Her book, Rubies in the Rubble, tells the story of her life – from a challenging childhood to a career in the classroom to her time on the school board.

Below is an interview with Speering about her book and her education career.

1) Let’s start with the basics – writing a book is a significant undertaking – what inspired you to start this project and what helped you push through to completion?

In February 2020,  I flew to New Zealand–the birthplace of Reading Recovery®– to visit a country with a literacy rate of 99%. In New Zealand, I visited 19 schools to closely observe their teaching and learning. I wanted to continue using my position on the board as a platform to improve literacy instruction in Nashville; however, because of COVID-19, I couldn’t share my New Zealand experiences from the board floor. This provided the impetus for me to keep writing.

During my 35-year teaching career, I taught children to read through the reciprocal process of writing, so I used the same methods in the writing of my own book.  One of those techniques is to share drafts with peers for feedback.  During one early draft, I shared my manuscript with Dr. Tammy Lipsey who told me that she wanted to hear more about my father.  This surprised me because my dad had been a topic I didn’t discuss with anyone except my family. I had five notebooks filled with letters Dad had written to my mother when he was overseas before, during, and after WWII.  Although I had previously perused the letters, I now delved into them much more deeply.

The more I wrote, the more I realized my father’s impact on me–especially on my teaching career. I believe that I would not have developed a passion for working with low-performing, high-need students if not for the influence of my dad. I didn’t want any child to feel the way I felt growing up. The book flowed out of me–I had to write it.  It completely overtook my life.  I sat at the computer daily for endless hours—writing, thinking, researching, revising, and editing.  

2) You write openly about a harrowing childhood – can you talk more about what skills you called upon to survive in that difficult environment? What did you learn/takeaway from those formative experiences?

I loved my mother.  Even at the tender age of four, I became fearless when I saw my father abuse her. I didn’t think about the consequences; I just jumped in to help her. Mother believed in me. She was my salvation, my rock, my support.  She was the most important person in the world to me.  At a very early age, I made it my responsibility to protect my mother. That responsibility followed me through my teaching career and service on the school board.  I took responsibility for every child’s success and failure in my classroom knowing it was up to me to find the right way to teach each student. When a child was falling behind in my classroom, I felt it was my failure as an educator to adequately teach him and to genuinely demonstrate my belief in the student’s ability to succeed. The blame did not rest on the student but on me. This deep-seated philosophy is rooted in my own failure in elementary school. It wasn’t that I was stupid, as my father had proclaimed, but I had not experienced an environment where I was invited to grow without fear of failure or ridicule. When given opportunities to learn with loving, caring, patient (like my mother), and supportive teachers who knew how to build on my strengths, I flourished.  
While serving on the school board, friends asked me where I had learned to stand up so firmly for my convictions even when I was aware of the possible repercussions.  As I wrote Rubies in the Rubble, I began to make connections between the way I stood up to my father, my passion for teaching and advocating for children who had endured similar home environments, and for educators whose voices were omitted from decision-making processes. 

I think it’s imperative that educators follow their students’ interests and allow their curiosity to help lead instruction. When I was in third grade, I took piano lessons.  After several months, I heard a cousin play a particular waltz.  I loved the piece and asked my piano teachers to help me learn to play it.  She told me that it was too difficult for me.  She dismissed my ambition and was not willing to teach me how to play the song. As a result, I quit piano lessons. My mother bought the piece of music for me, and I learned to play it all by myself.  I still play that same waltz 50 years later when I sit down at the piano and it still brings me joy. I believe when students are motivated to learn, we must support them in those efforts. The human spirit can overcome what may appear to be impossible obstacles. My mother and several great teachers were the impetus for me to believe in myself and find the motivation to learn. 

3) You had quite a journey to become an educator – what force or forces propelled you forward as you persistently pursued teaching?

When I first applied for a teaching position in Metro Schools in 1974, the field was saturated with educators pursuing a teaching position.  The vigilance/passion I had developed from attempting to care for my mom during childhood did not serve me well when I attempted to join the ranks of Metro teachers.  Dr. Wittington, Director of Elementary Personnel, saw my persistent calling as pestering rather than the passion of a young teacher. I eventually gave up on Metro Schools and taught for six years in Sumner County where I achieved Career Ladder III status as a Master Teacher before accepting a position with Metro School six years later while Dr. Whittington was on vacation. 

Continuously seeking to improve my teaching led me on a path to receiving a Master’s Degree in reading.  Yet, I still needed to know more in order to effectively teach my most at-risk students.  Although I was awarded Career Ladder III status in 1985, I still needed additional, high-quality professional development. With the extra money provided from summer work with the Career Ladder program, I funded a three-week seminar at the University of New Hampshire to study the writing process with experts in the field.  Still, I needed more!  In 1995, MNPS invited me to attend the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader year-long professional development training at The Ohio State University.  Finally, I was able to successfully teach all children to read, and I became a trainer to support educators become effective literacy leaders for emergent readers and writers. 

4) What do you think your early experiences brought to your students when you were teaching? 

My fifth-grade teacher in Sumner County schools did not like me.  She made her disdain for me clear to the entire class.  Each morning as I was dropped off in front of Guild Elementary, I lost my breakfast as I exited the car.  It didn’t matter if I threw up right there in front of the car line, I was still expected to go through those doors and spend another day with a teacher who thought as highly of me as my own father. 

From that atrocious year, I learned that what a teacher thinks of her students is communicated in word, deed, and action. I never wanted a child to feel that I didn’t like them or have 100% faith and belief in their abilities. I had experienced the dichotomy of failure at the hands of a wounded father and inpatient teachers, but also the uplifting exposure of success from a loving mother and patient, caring teachers.  As an educator, I learned from both extremes. Because I had experienced failure in the fifth grade, I wanted to save children from the pain and embarrassment of defeat. Rather than telling kindergarten and first-grade students what they were doing wrong, I showed them what they were doing right.  Accepting students’ near attempts at literacy approximations provided the impetus for them to continue their efforts, and I witnessed the students’ motivation increase.

5) What would you say to the young teacher facing today’s challenging school climate?

Be careful about following a curriculum verbatim.  If the curriculum is boring to you, it’s boring to your students. Interweave the prescribed curriculum into the lives of your students.  Build your instruction on students’ interests, prior knowledge, and previous experiences.  Make learning fun. Create a community of learners where everyone works together. Community is established when students have a voice and an opportunity to write and share their feedback with you about their own learning processes. Build your instruction on what students already know. This simple procedure makes learning new information easier and more expedient.  

Have faith in your students’ abilities even before they have demonstrated those skills. Take one step at a time–one teaching point at a time–always given after you’ve shared what your students have done well. Enjoy your teaching and your students will love school. 

6) You served on the School Board during a tumultuous political time in Nashville – what were your biggest challenges and what do you see as the Board’s greatest accomplishments?

I was so proud of the board’s unanimous decision to hire Dr. Shawn Joseph who brought the Arbinger principles to Metro Schools.  Arbinger is a behavioral approach for the improvement of organizations by helping individuals think about others-–rather than just themselves. The Arbinger principles helped to bring the board together in a new way; however, the board and NewsChannel 5 soon discovered that Dr. Joseph’s message to us was often different from his message to teachers and principals. Although I spoke with Dr. Joseph privately about this discrepancy, little changed.  Retaliation appeared to be his modus operandi as he was involved in several retaliation lawsuits by district employees.  Eventually, I found myself at the whim of his frustration when the day before the board presented the MNPS budget to the mayor, Dr. Joseph recommended that 85 Reading Recovery teaching positions be terminated even after he touted that Reading Recovery was one of the best reading interventions in the country. Although I had previously seen him as a leader who was passionate about low-performing, at-risk minority students, his behavior cemented my belief that he was not who he had presented himself to be. Problems continued to mount, and eventually, five members of the board agreed that his tenure needed to end. Continuing his retaliation efforts, Dr. Joseph appeared to push the narrative that I was a racist, but my long-standing commitment to successfully teaching inner-city students in poverty stood the test of time. I was well-known in the district.  People who knew me were aware that Dr. Joseph’s attempts to discredit me were a stretch and a way to circumvent the negative press surrounding him.

Hiring Dr. Adrienne Battle is the board’s greatest accomplishment. Her calm presence and genuine caring for students and educators have been widely applauded. Dr. Battle’s experience in elementary, middle, and high school is foundational to making the best decisions for all students.

7) How has the school board changed since you’ve left?  What do you see as the biggest challenge in education policy today?

With Dr. Battle at the helm, the board is working together better than I remember in recent history.  She has led MNPS through the last few years of a pandemic as she has successfully kept students and educators safe while continuing to provide the best choices for learning opportunities.

The biggest challenge in education today is the assault on our democracy by demonizing educators and public schools through the use of high-stakes testing, the proliferation of charter schools, and now vouchers. Safety is a primary concern for students and educators. Although our state constitution protects students’ rights to public education, the state commissioner of education and the state board have made the teaching profession so inhospitable and underpaid that the pipeline for new teachers has virtually dried up. 

8) If you had to distill “Rubies in the Rubble” down to two or three key lessons, what would they be?

–Everyone has suffered some type of trauma in their life. Over time, we can give a different meaning to our adverse life experiences to help others avoid the pitfalls we endured. 

–Looking back over our lives, we can discover that there is a divine presence that is guiding us along the many paths life has to offer.  As we listen to and follow that inner guidance, we find that all of life is a miracle. 
–Knowing our truth and having the courage to speak that truth–no matter the consequences–is one of life’s greatest accomplishments of self-actualization.

Rubies in the Rubble was published in October, 2021.

Photo by Emily on

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Pinkston Talks Partisan School Board Races

Former MNPS School Board member Will Pinkston talks about what partisan school board races could mean in Davidson County in a compelling Twitter thread:

As a former reporter, I’ve been patiently waiting to see if any vestiges of local media would explain to voters what partisan local school board elections could actually mean. Seeing no explanatory journalism, I’ll unpack it on this thread. 1/ cc @TheAndySpears @TNRepParkinson

Because the Davidson County Democratic and Republican parties decided to opt-in to the legislature’s plan for partisan school boards, they’re now responsible for policing candidates to ensure that they’re bonafide — in the same way they vet legislative races. This means … 2/

… ensuring that candidates subscribe to the county parties’ “platforms” — which mirror the national parties’ platforms. While the GOP didn’t adopt a platform in 2020, the education plank in their 2016 platform is a love letter to vouchers and their kissing cousin — charters. 3/

Meanwhile, the edu-plank in the Democrats’ platform includes language that won’t sit well with all the local charter zealots who masquerade as Democrats but who, under the party’s platform, would be easily disqualified from running as Democrats. For example … 4/

… the Democrats’ platform rightly calls for increased accountability for charters, which are not public schools but rather taxpayer-funded private schools. Specifically, they call for the same standards as “traditional public schools” in areas like admissions and discipline. 5/

Back in 2015, the Nashville School Board — in a move foreshadowing the Democrats’ platform — adopted charter accountability rules that have since been relaxed but now almost certainly will be revisited during partisan local school board elections. 6/

Setting aside the Democrats’ official platform, major constituencies go farther. For example, the National Education Association wants elected officials to fight efforts to strip local control — something Nashville School Board members gripe about but don’t do anything about. 7/

Meanwhile, the nation’s leading civil-rights organizations have demanded a moratorium on new charter schools, due to the now-undisputed failure of the charter movement and negative fiscal impact that unabated charter growth has on public schools. 8/

Bottom line: The 2022 Nashville School Board elections will be a fascinating case study in whether the Davidson County Democratic Party is going to toe the party line and vet candidates — or thumb its nose at the party platform and crawl into the charter bed with Republicans. 9/9

Originally tweeted by Will Pinkston (@WillPinkston) on December 15, 2021.

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Power Grab

Nate Rau in Axios highlights conversations happening at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce regarding moving Nashville from an elected to an appointed School Board.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is considering a push for a major change to Nashville public schools — switching from an elected school board to one where members are appointed.

The chamber has had high-level talks on the topic with key education stakeholders, including the school board chair.

Not surprisingly, some Board members are not at all happy with this move. To be clear, the idea of appointed school board members was also floated by pro-charter former Mayor Karl Dean.

Here’s current board member Abigail Tylor talking about this latest effort to shift power away from the people:

We have to take a minute and think about why any group – be it the state or our own chamber – would want to take away local control from the people and make the school board appointed. Would the outcome be better for students if parents weren’t allowed to vote for who they think best represents their interests? Would it be better for students if the board was no longer required to have a representative from each area of the city? Would it be better for students to only have people able to garner enough attention from the mayor to get appointed? 

We actually already have a blueprint of what happens under appointed leadership. The State has the power to appoint who oversees the Achievement School District (ASD) because they claimed they knew the people who could make the best educational decisions for the worst performing schools. Within three years, the appointed superintendent who started the ASD left, admitting they cannot do any better than the locally controlled schools. He wrote, “As a charter school founder, I did my fair share of chest pounding over great results. I’ve learned that getting these same results in a zoned neighborhood school environment is much harder.” He also admitted to underestimating the needs of struggling schools and, in the end, did not provide the gains he was so sure he knew he could produce. Were those students served better under appointed leadership? The answer has been, and continues to be, no. 

That’s the crux of it. Politicians who have never studied educational policy and have no experience working in schools constantly underestimate the true needs of our schools. The people who know what our schools need are the ones living it – the people who work in our schools and see the needs every day and the people whose children are in our schools and know what their children need to succeed. 

Is it that the Nashville Chamber really thinks the mayor would do a better job choosing a school board than the voters, or is it that they want to consolidate power and control over schools regardless of what’s truly best for our students? 

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

Conflict Call

The Tennessee State Board of Education meets on Thursday, December 15th via conference call to discuss the A-F school grading system and to take action on high school policy, specifically as it relates to grading.

The high school policy includes a proposed change to the way End of Course tests are factored in to student grades — which is pretty important, since the semester is ending very soon and high school students on block schedules will be finishing courses in the next few days.

The EOC grade policy is noteworthy as two of the largest school districts in the state (Nashville and Knox County) have passed resolutions asking the state NOT to count any TNReady test in student grades or teacher evaluations for the 2016-17 academic year.

Here’s the language of the proposed policy change as it relates to EOC tests:

Results of individual student performance from all administered End of Course examinations will be provided in a timely fashion to facilitate the inclusion of these results as part of the student’s grade. Each LEA must establish a local board policy that details the methodology used and the required weighting for incorporating student scores on EOC examinations into final course grades. If an LEA does not receive its students’ End of Course examination scores at least five (5) instructional days before the scheduled end of the course, then the LEA may choose not to include its students’ End of Course examination scores in the students’ final course grade. The weight of the EOC examination on the student’s final average shall be ten percent (10%) in the 2016-2017 school year, fifteen percent (15%) in the 2017-2018 school year; and shall be determined by the local board from a range of no less than fifteen (15%) and no more than twenty-five (25%) in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter.


Note, the 2016-17 academic year is happening right now. Students have already taken these EOC exams and their semesters will be ending soon. But, the policy change won’t happen until Thursday, assuming it passes. Alternatively, the State Board of Education could be responsive to the concerns expressed by the school boards in Nashville and Knoxville and prevent this year’s EOC exams from impacting student grades.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport



Elissa Kim Appointed to the State Board of Education

The State Board of Education got a new member today. Elissa Kim, the former Nashville School Board member, has been appointed to the State Board of Education as the 5th congressional district representative. Elissa Kim served one term on the Nashville school board.

Elissa Kim previously worked as the Executive Vice President of Recruitment at Teach for America, and she was a teacher in New Orleans before that. Kim replaces Carolyn Pearre, whose term expired this year after serving on the board since 2002.

Welcome aboard!

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport.


Understanding Amy Frogge

TC Weber talks to animal rescuer and MNPS school board member Amy Frogge about how she got involved in local education policy. The interview explores her two campaigns and her time on the board.

Here’s what she has to say about how she got started:

Well, I had been doing a lot of work at my children’s elementary school. When my daughter started at Gower Elementary, we had a very small PTO. The year after she got there, we were flooded in 2010 [Nashville was the victim of a flood in 2010], and we ended up having an immense amount of help from our neighbors and people throughout the city – and even people from other states – who were willing to come and help us rebuild our house and clean up the mess after the flood. There was just an immense amount of support, and I decided, in that process, that I wanted to give back to people. So I decided to become more involved at the school. The PTO had recently died out, and so essentially two of us parents offered to try to rebuild parent engagement at the school. We started small, but the more we did, the more exciting it became, and the more we were able to accomplish. We ended up building about 15 new community partnerships for Gower over the course of about a year, and we dramatically increased parent engagement through that process. We learned what an impact that had on the school’s performance and the atmosphere and culture of the school. Five years later, that school had a wait list and its performance improved. People in the neighborhood were excited about the school.

So having seen what happened at the local level, I hoped when I ran the first time that I would be able to do that sort of work on a larger level and support the schools in my area and throughout the city. That’s why I ended up running for school board.

The entire conversation is worth a read and provides helpful insight into Frogge’s approach.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport



Holly McCall: Pinkston Told Me He Has a Kill List of MNPS Staff

Update: Will Pinkston has responded to Holly McCall’s accusations by tweeting that McCall “is a known sleeze and unfit to serve in public office.”

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Many Tennesseans do not believe that, though. In her legislative race, McCall recently raised $54,000 in one of the most conservative districts in the state.

Who is funding her campaign? The top democratic leaders in the state:

Franklin Mayor Lillian Stewart ($200) and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean ($500); state Rep. John Ray Clemmons ($250) and state Sens. Lee Harris ($150) and Sara Kyle ($150); Nashville Metro Council members Bob Mendes ($350) and John Cooper, and his wife Laura ($1,500 each, for both the primary and general, for a total of $6,000); attorneys Charles Bone ($1,000), James Yokley ($1,500), Bob Tuke ($250), Leigh Walton ($250), Aubrey Harwell ($250), David Garrison ($250) and Chase Cole ($250).

Others backing McCall include Planned Parenthood’s Jeff Teague ($250), and local business leaders Wayne Smith of Community Health Systems ($1,000; CHS also donated $1,000), developer Bert Mathews ($250), former AT&T president Marty Dickens ($1,000), Christopher Hopkins of the developer-friendly Saint Consulting ($1,250) for which McCall has worked, Medalogix CEO Dan Hogan ($700) and Elizabeth Schatzlein, the wife of the former CEO of Saint Thomas Health ($1,500).

Looks like they don’t believe she is unfit for public office.

Original story below:

Holly McCall, who is currently a Democratic candidate for TN House District 65, has responded to the Tennessean story on Will Pinkston by saying that Will Pinkston allegedly told her that he had a kill list of MNPS employees while pointing at his forehead.


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Below are other tweets Holly McCall has sent out today about being threatened, scared, and how she feels like she is hurting her chances for office by taking on a candidate backed by the Democratic Party. As you will see below, she doesn’t live in Nashville or support charter schools.


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Holly McCall has uploaded a screen shot from the latest texts from Pinkston. She also says that Pinkston has been threatening her for six months.

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Timing of Amy Frogge’s Town Hall Questioned

Questions have arisen about the timing of an official town hall hosted by Amy Frogge. With early voting already starting, Amy Frogge will host an official MNPS town hall about bringing a new high school to Bellevue.

The discussion of a new high school has been a campaign platform for both Amy Frogge and Thom Druffel, and her support for a new school is listed on a campaign direct mail piece that also invites people out for her town hall.

While allowed under law, Amy Frogge has invited people to this town hall through her campaign email account and through direct mail paid with campaign funds. By holding an official town hall event during early voting, is this event more of a campaign event to help Amy Frogge in the upcoming election?



It’s similar to what State Senator Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) is doing by using over $30,000 dollars in state money to send out constituent mail over the past few months. While both Frogge and Dickerson are allowed to use government funds in this way, it does not look good from the outside.

Bellevue residents who have been to many of these high school proposal events in the past were never contacted about this event, even though they have left their contact information at each event they attended.

The invite states that the Mayor’s Office, Metro Schools, Metro Parks, Metro Planning, and MTA will be in attendance at the event.

Metro Nashville Public Schools will have representatives from the Student Assignment & Planning Department and the Construction Department at the town hall. MTA will be sending sending staffers to the event.

When reached, the Mayor’s Office stated they were invited a few weeks ago by Councilmember Sheri Weiner, but that they do not believe anyone will be available for the event. The Metro Planning department will also not be at the event after a special meeting was called for the Planning Commission.

From the outside, this looks shady.

Update: 7/20: Metro Parks will not be attending the event. 

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport.


Jackson Miller’s Ex-Wife Speaks Out and Endorses Miller

The race for the District 7 school board seat is one of the toughest fought races in Nashville.

It has included the Tennessean saying that Will Pinkston will use his power to “bully, demean and intimidate critics and adversaries” while they also said that Jackson Miller’s “court filings on child support stemming from a messy divorce, and past crass, sometimes hostile tweets” played a role in their endorsement process.

Social media is full of reports on Jackson Miller’s divorce. The screen shots of his divorce proceeding have been happily spread by Miller’s opponents on social media.  

Miller’s campaign has released a video endorsement from Miller’s ex-wife, Sabrina, who is a District 7 resident.

In the video, Sabrina discusses how these attacks have hurt their kids.

View the video and transcript below.

My ex-husband, Jackson Miller, is running for District 7 school board, and my kids are extremely proud of him — and I think they should be. I didn’t really intend to get involved in this race, but what started to happen is that personal and private details of our divorce — things that I don’t think have any bearing on this election — have been publicized and so it’s really impacted my kids. It’s really hurt them.

And so I felt like I needed to say something: and that is that I support Jackson. I think that throughout this campaign, he’s stayed positive and he’s shown the things that he can do and will do for the community, and for the kids, and for the schools. And I think that integrity is what we need in office. I, like many voters, think that how somebody runs their campaign really reflects their character, whether they win or lose.

So when someone decides to drag another person’s family through the mud in order to win, I just question their integrity. I’m a District 7 mom who wants the best for my kids, and I think the best choice here is Jackson.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport.


Tennessean Endorses in Nashville School Board Race

Today, the Tennessean released their endorsements for the upcoming Nashville school board race. The endorsements bridge the gap between those who are viewed on different sides of the education debate in Nashville. 

The endorsed candidates included both incumbents and challengers. 

Early voting starts July 15 and Election Day is August 4.

District 1: Sharon Gentry:

The first search for a new director under her chairmanship failed to yield a new CEO. However, she showed wisdom, prudence and humility by pivoting and embracing the help of new Mayor Megan Barry and the Nashville Public Education Foundation the second time around to invest in a monthslong community-focused search that led to the hiring of Shawn Joseph in May.

As public officials become more experienced, they should show growth, and Gentry has done so and helped move the board in the right direction.

She deserves another term.

District 3: Jill Speering:

Jill Speering has served on the school board for a term and has made literacy her key priority. Her passion comes through.

An opportunity for growth is to work on ensuring that she is not beholden to the Metro Nashville Education Association and that she can be a voice for all students and parents.

She has occasionally aligned herself with other board members who have taken a hard line on charter school growth in the county. However, she has shown restraint by not engaging in social media verbal sparring and staying focused as an advocate for the educator’s point of view.

District 5: Miranda Christy:

The candidates show passion and a commitment to unifying the board and advocating for children’s interests, but attorney Miranda Christy showed the greatest promise as a future school board member.

Her combination of experiences serving on boards, advocating for quality education and being willing to engage in public discussion clearly and in productive ways make her candidacy stand out.

District 7: Will Pinkston:

Incumbent Will Pinkston brings a profound intellect and sharp political skills to the school board.

His passion for prekindergarten, English language learners and greater funding for schools has helped move the needle on these important issues.

However, this endorsement came reluctantly and painstakingly because of Pinkston’s behavior on social media, where he has used his platform to bully, demean and intimidate critics and adversaries, real or perceived.

The Tennessean expects much more of elected officials, especially those who are advocating for the children of our community.

So do the residents of Nashville, whose children probably would be tossed out of classrooms if they displayed some of the behavior we have seen.

District 9: Thom Druffel:

Aside from extensive business experience, he has been a volunteer in Big Brothers Big Sisters and with the innovative Academies program at Nashville high schools, which gives students vocational training in addition to a liberal arts education.

He also has served on several nonprofit boards, which gives him deep insight into how to operate on a board. His temperament is such that he will show respect and discipline to fellow board members, MNPS staff and the public.

It should be noted that The Tennessean walked through the reasoning behind not endorsing Amy Frogge, the only incumbent in the race not endorsed by the Tennessean.

A passionate parent and attorney, Frogge also has served as a disruptive force unwilling to step outside her box and has shown a pattern of being responsive and respectful only when constituents agree with her.

Whether it involves social media behavior like writing acerbic posts and deleting comments that are critical of her, this behavior is not conducive to productive community engagement.

During the 2015 Project RESET initiative by the Nashville Public Education Foundation to restart the conversation on public education priorities, Frogge refused to review the research regarding proposed improvements to MNPS and questioning the firm The Parthenon Group’s credibility.

By not reviewing the material before leveling the public criticism, she missed an opportunity to show that she was open to being engaged by ideas that might challenge her viewpoint.

During the 2016 MNPS director search, her motion to add a candidate after six finalists had already been interviewed threatened to torpedo the delicate process for a school district reeling from one failed search. One finalist dropped out.

To her credit, she agreed to support the final outcome that led to Shawn Joseph’s hiring.

For more on education policy and politics in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport.