MNPS Voices: Beth Wilson

MNPS Voices: Beth Wilson, College & Career Readiness Coach, John Overton High School
Posted on 05/08/2024
Beth Wilson with student in hallway

Beth Wilson with student in hallway

Beth Wilson's transition from nursing and laboratory work to classroom teaching has led to a flourishing career as an educator in Metro Schools. Now serving as the College & Career Readiness coach at John Overton High School, Wilson has dedicated nine years of her professional life to shaping the futures of students, whose accomplishments never fail to inspire her.

Wilson embraced a new educational challenge in 2021, transitioning out of the classroom to become a CCR coach at Overton. In this pivotal role, she engages students in one-on-one or group settings, guiding discussions of their goals, the attributes of outstanding employees, and the necessary steps to achieve their aspirations. Ensuring seamless transitions for those bound for post-secondary institutions, Wilson meticulously oversees the application process and documentation submission. Beth Wilson

A cornerstone of Wilson's success lies in the transformative impact of the New Skills Ready (NSR) grant, a $75 million investment by JPMorgan Chase & Co. spanning six cities, including Nashville. This five-year endeavor enables the development of equitable, demand-driven career pathways and related policy solutions that give underserved students access to higher education and real-world experiences that lead to high-wage, in-demand jobs.

Four MNPS high schools were selected to participate in the grant: Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, Whites Creek and Overton. Wilson underscores the grant's significance in exposing students to post-secondary opportunities: "Through generous funding, I provide students with ample opportunity to attend university campus tours, assist with gaining access to financial aid and scholarships, and eliminate barriers for our students to matriculate seamlessly to their program."

For students venturing directly into the workforce, Wilson fosters engagement with employers through various avenues, including lunch visits, Career-Based Learning and job fairs.

"Some of our partners work directly with me to get connected with students on an individual basis," she said.

Commitment to Student Success

Since the inception of the grant, Overton has witnessed tangible progress, including increased community college enrollment and retention rates at Nashville State Community College; streamlined transitions to post-secondary institutions, including Nashville State, Middle Tennessee State University, and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville, and expanded dual enrollment options at TCAT Nashville for Overton’s HVAC and Networking IT pathways.

Overton has helped to build programs that give staff easy access to information about students’ post-secondary plans, Wilson proudly notes.

The NSR network has facilitated meaningful collaborations between MNPS, local post-secondary institutions, businesses, and community partners, fostering enhanced access to early post-secondary opportunities and bolstering career pathways. Reflecting on Overton's achievements, Wilson highlights the school's robust Career-Based Learning program, which counted almost 60 student placements in the 2023-2024 academic year.

Wilson draws inspiration from her students' successes, both past and present. Their achievements fuel her determination to forge new connections with business partners and post-secondary institutions, driving positive change in the lives of Overton students.

In essence, Wilson embodies a philosophy rooted in proactive problem-solving, resilience, and unwavering dedication to student success. As she continues to help shape the future of Overton High School, her commitment to excellence remains unwavering.

Health Care Career Leads to Education

Wilson started her professional journey on a different path. Her academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in health administration from Keiser University in Florida and a master's in educational leadership from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She started her education career in 2015, stepping into the role of a classroom teacher in the Health Science Pathway at Overton.

In that role, she taught the Medical Assisting and EKG Tech courses, laying the foundation for her future endeavors. Reflecting on her early years, she recalls, "I ensured our teachers taught through the lens of our Academy and assisted with fostering business partner relationships."

Progressing within the district, Wilson assumed leadership roles, including the position of Overton Health Science Academy lead, where she orchestrated student interventions, nurturing a smaller learning community. Transitioning to the role of MNPS Health Science cluster lead in 2018, she facilitated the onboarding and mentorship of new health science teachers while spearheading professional development initiatives.

Outside of her busy work schedule, Wilson spends most of her time at baseball fields with her three sons (who all play ball) and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.

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