Celebrating McGavock High School

McGavock HS graduation 2020
Celebrating McGavock, the District's Largest High School
Posted on 11/12/2021
McGavock softball players high-fiving

McGavock High School has been serving the Donelson-Two Rivers area for 50 years. The school opened in September 1971 and was named after the prominent McGavock family, who resided near the school. 

McGavock was designed for the unique nature of learning with open classrooms and individualized learning plans.  It maintains its original outlined structure with small schools within the school – north, south, east, and west in the beginning and now five academies.   McGavock HS teachers

McGavock initially offered programs that were not available in other Nashville schools, including an exceptional vocational education program with offerings such as commercial foods preparation, commercial art, aircraft mechanics, cosmetology, refrigeration, electrical engineering, and automotive mechanics. They still use the open theater auditorium, a horticulture area with greenhouse, advanced science labs, learning centers specially designed for exceptional students, a planetarium, and multiple skills laboratories as part of their current curriculum.  

For the last 50 years, McGavock has grown and developed based on the needs of the community and student body. The high school has five academies, three of which are branded through strong business partnerships: Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Life Science and Law; Gaylord Opryland Academy of Hospitality & US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance, and CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication. Many career pathways stem from the initial vision set forth at McGavock years ago. 

The school is the largest in MNPS, but small classroom settings provide individualized student focus instruction that is the premise for learning. McGavock is making Every Student Known through relationship-building between students and their small community support systems. Navigators meet with students daily during personalized learning time. 

Also, each student is assigned to a small learning community through the academy structure with an academy principal, dean, counselor, and secretary. Academy teams meet weekly to discuss the specific needs of students and identify those who may need additional support.

“Every McGavock High School student has a story with a beginning already in place when they come to the school,” says Principal Angela Bailey. “Each of them has hopes for what will be the middle and the ending of their high school stories. It is every teacher, principal, faculty and staff member’s responsibility to help them see those dreams and realize what is needed to make them come true.” 


Did you know: 

  • McGavock was the first high school to have a student-run bank through its partnership with US Community Credit Union and the Academy of Business and Finance.
  • McGavock once offered evening community education classes that attracted more than 2,000 adults. 
  • It’s the first high school with four accredited academies with National “MODEL” status from the National Career Academy Coalition.
  • The high school has seven industry certification offerings for students.
  • Actor and former World Wrestling Federation wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attended McGavock.  

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