Governor gives high praise to Hickory Hollow

Academy Principal Billy Fellman, Gov. Bill Haslam, Mayor Karl Dean & Dr. Jesse Register

  It’s not every day your school gets a visit from the governor, but when it happened recently at Simon Youth Academy at Hickory Hollow, teachers, staff and students were eager to show off this very special place.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam along with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, Dr. Jesse Register recently toured The Academy at Hickory Hollow. They visited with students and teachers who began the new school year just a few weeks ago. Governor Haslam told Academy Principal Billy Fellman, that he was impressed with the Academy. “You’ve got a good thing going here,” said Haslam.

This is the fifth year for the academy, but it is the first school year for students in the academy’s new location inside the Southeast Campus of Nashville State Community College. Metro Nashville Schools, along with a grant from SYF, retrofit 6,600 square feet of the old Dillard’s department store, now owned by Nashville State. Fellman says the new location is a natural flow for the students who will finish at The Academy and walk literally across the hall to Nashville State to start classes.

Teachers at The Academy at Hickory Hollow are guiding more than 70 high school seniors this year through the unique partnership between SYF and Metro Nashville Public Schools. Fellman says it is great to receive an endorsement from Governor Haslam, but also from Nashville Mayor, Karl Dean. “The mayor is a big supporter of what we do here,” said Fellman. Hickory Hollow is starting off the new school year in an exciting way with dedicated teachers, a new space and a new sense of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

This year, SYF is pleased to celebrate our 15th Anniversary with our Academies – a celebration that includes graduating our 10,000th student and awarding more than $10 million in scholarships. Last year alone, with significant support from 50+ school district partners nationwide, our 23 Simon Youth Academies in 13 states graduated more than 1,300 students. We hope for even more in 2014.

The Academy at Hickory Hollow is located inside of the Southeast Campus of Nashville State Community College, and is one of three Simon Youth Academies in partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools.

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