Posted September 3, 2014
Eakin Family! Having grown up in middle Tennessee all my life, I consider it a privilege and an honor to partner with the great Eakin community of parents, students, and teachers by serving as Principal of Eakin Elementary School! I am a native Nashvillian, born and raised in Music City, and I graduated from John Overton High School in 1998. After high school graduation, I went on to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga on a Division I wrestling scholarship and completed my degree in the School of Education with a focus in Secondary Education and a specific concentration in the Social Sciences. After completing my undergraduate degree, my hometown of Nashville was calling me back, so it did not take me long to move, to begin my teaching career at Gra-Mar Middle School. At Gra-Mar, I served at-risk students in inner-city Nashville while teaching World Geography and Literature to seventh graders. Being a consummate and lifelong learner, I set out to complete a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership during my time in Metro-Nashville Public Schools. I graduated with that degree in 2006 from Trevecca Nazarene University. Upon completion of my Masters Degree, I was recruited to Williamson County Schools to assist in opening Sunset Middle School in 2006. I taught seventh grade World Geography and eighth grade U.S. History as well as Teen Leadership while at Sunset Middle. In addition to teaching and facilitating content, you could find me coaching soccer, coaching wrestling, serving on various leadership teams, and assisting with numerous community service activities during my tenure as a classroom educator. After seven years as an educator in the classroom, I was then recruited once again to assist a different Williamson County middle school when it opened its inaugural doors. I served Spring Station Middle School for four years as their Assistant Principal, from 2010-2014. During my time as a Williamson County school leader, I obtained a doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University in the year 2013. Now, at this present time, I am humbled call myself Eakin's principal. I find myself here at Eakin to lead this community so that Each and Every Student at Eakin Elementary School has the very best education and learning experiences in the city, state, and country. When I am not assisting with the teaching and learning experience at Eakin, I like to participate in reading, watching sporting events live and on television, traveling, running marathons, serving at my local church, hanging out with my wife, Kaydee, our two children, Kyan and Tegan, and our long-haired dachshund, Edgar. Once you get to know me, it will not be long before you recognize that I bleed black and gold, and I'm an avid fan of the Vanderbilt Commodores! Even more than my beloved Commodores, I view my time with students, teachers, parents, and the overall school community to be one of utmost importance and significance. With a caring disposition and energetic and enthusiastic demeanor, I am always available for a conversation. I can be reached via email at Timothy.Drinkwine@mnps.org, or by phone at 615-298-8076.
This is our second year at Eakin and we couldn't be happier. It is a diverse school both in its student body and in its offerings. The curriculum includes Chinese language instruction and ample time in art, music, technology, and physical education, as well as solid foundations in literacy and math. There are countless clubs ranging from chess to gardening and math to soccer. Parents actively participate, which leads to a strong sense of community. And, perhaps more than anything, the school has an amazing faculty and staff. Dr. Drinkwine has been a great leader in his short tenure; I've been particularly impressed by his ability and willingness to communicate with parents and always show enthusiasm. The teachers our son has had have been dedicated, creative, and nurturing. Eakin offers an unparalleled opportunity for children to be exposed to a variety of individuals, ideas, and experiences to cultivate a global perspective. We feel lucky that our son can attend.
Eakin has been a wonderful experience for our family. The teachers are excellent and the diversity that our children have been exposed to has helped them to be more balanced and excepting of all individuals. My son was able to qualify to lottery for an academic magnet middle school and he has be excellng. I thank Eakin for helping to lay that foundation!
My family has been an Eakin family for the past 5 yrs. We have had an amazing experience and are so glad that we chose to send our children to our neighborhood school. The teachers are wonderful and supportive of the children and of each other. Class sizes are small enough that teachers really know their students and their strengths and weaknesses. The administration and PTO work to connect the teachers and the parents and foster a sense community. Eakin has a very diverse student body, which we love. Every day I walk my kids to class. Today I heard a father specking French to his child. I watched my son hug his teacher good morning. I saw children greeting their Chinese teacher in the hall. I walked my daughter down to her kindergarten class from last year, so she could see the new smart board. I saw a mother offer to come in and help a teacher with workbooks. Eakin truly "gives students the world."
We love Eakin Elementary. My son is in third grade and is thriving. The teachers are excellent and we love the new principal Dr. Drinkwine. A terrific experience since day one!
2014-2015 PTO president is knowledgeable and funny. She makes volunteering for the school a fun event. It's truly a pleasure to work with passionate parents who go over and beyond the call of duty to ensure Eakin is THE BEST school in Nashville. Dr. Drinkwine (principal) is pretty awesome as well, bringing technology to inform, engage and empower staff, students and parents. I love seeing all the tweets and facebook posts about all the amazing things going on at Eakin. It takes a village to raise kids and our village is OUTSTANDING. Happy Parent!
My son is in third grade at Eakin, having attended since kindergarten, and I cannot speak highly enough of the teachers, the PTO and the community at Eakin. When I learned that this year our school has families representing over **30** different countries, speaking over 11 different languages, I felt so grateful. I love that my child gets to learn not only from top-notch teachers, many with advanced degrees and specializations, but also from kids of so many different backgrounds. Every teacher we've had (four now) has been 100% open to communicating about our son's needs, and open to working with us on helping provide the best environment for him not only to succeed, but to thrive. I am thankful to be at Eakin and we are thrilled with our new principal. We're looking forward to another great year. Go Eagles!
My experience as an Eakin father over the past few years has been tremendous. From my son's kindergarten class with 8 languages to the well attended school functions, I appreciate the international and engaged nature of the school. I have always felt heard as a parent and despite any gripes I may have about district level mandated testing, I believe my son's teachers have done the very best within the structure. A true neighborhood school!
Right on to the poster who posted on August 19th. You coulldn't have said it or broken it down any better. So True the way narrow-minded individuals constantly labeled children/people according to their race. It's interesting how the same behavior is identified differently according to a person race or social status.
My son is in first grade now, so we've only been here a bit over a year. But based on the experience so far, I would be hard pressed to design a much better school for our goals for our kids. The school is unbelievably diverse, both racially and economically -- highly unusual for any school, let alone a school in Nashville. The demographic mix is both healthy in theory and successful and harmonious in practice. The teachers have been responsive and supportive. The parents are VERY involved in the school. We had a very good principal last year and were concerned when a new one came on board this year, but so far he seems first rate - very positive, supportive, responsive, and super-energetic. The kids take Chinese and music courses as part of the curriculum, and my son takes after-school tennis lessons, after-school soccer, cub scouts, onsite Encore program, you-name-it. Very happy parents.
Enough of the ranting. Eakin is a great public school. We've been there for 6 years now. It is the true definition of diversity and education for all. Eakin represents 25 countries and a wide range of socio-economic levels. What I love about Eakin is how there is no "right" way to be, no "right" clothes to wear, and no "right" person to be friends with. At many schools the cliques are starting younger and younger, not at Eakin. I'll admit that we have had some behavior issues in the past few years, but the administration heard the voices of concerned parents and started out this year with new staff, a school-wide behavior system, and renewed effort to make a safe, learning environment for all students. I like Eakin and so do my kids. Check it out!
To the August 11th poster...so all kids who qualify for free meals, have behavioral issues?...appears as if you're equating socioeconomic status with the the way a child will behave...what an ignorant, biased way to judge children. As a matter of fact, some of the worst behavior that I have witnessed comes from the upper middle class kid whose passive, coddling, enabling parents, allow them to run the gamut with unacceptable behavior, then want to excuse it as "being active", or "just being a kid"...but when a child of a lesser socioeconomic status, or of a different race displays identical behavior, they are labeled as children with "behavioral problems" or "undisciplined" and are often unfairly targeted for disciplinary action by teachers with equally ignorant views..."free lunch" and "behavioral problems", are code phrases for children of color...some insecure, narrow-minded parents of predominantly white schools, don't like the idea of "their" schools becoming balanced racially/socioeconomically...if they are not the majority, they perceive the school to be "declining" or begin name-calling and labeling the children of color/different socioeconomic status.
Eakin use to be a neighborhood school but now half the children are on the free lunch program and dominate the teachers' time with behavioral problems.
We have two children in Eakin and we have been very impressed with the caring teachers and staff at Eakin. The walkable neighborhood in which the school resides, nearby Dragon Park, is as welcoming as the school is to parental involvement. My only complaint is that too much time is being spent teaching toward the bottom. While my kids have both learned a lot, "average" kids in private schools like USN are already doing the same types of work I have to give my kid separately at home (e.g. multiplication in 2nd grade, etc.) On balance, Eakin--along with Glendale, Julia Green, and Sylvan Park--is one of the few public schools in Nashville where you will be happy to send your kids. The rich and diverse experience we've had there has been positively wonderful.
Having been an Eakin parent for the last few years,our overall experience has been a positive one. But there are some negatives. A school can't stand and thrive alone on its reputation. Sadly,l believe this is what is happening. A definite plus is the diversity. I don't think its matched in many public or private school. The numerous offerings rival those of the the private world. But the quality of classroom instruction is shifting and not in a positive way. An IB denotation for a school is tremendous and IB preparation exceeds AP at the higher levels, but ask your kid what they are truly learning that reflects IB standards and I think you'd be hard pressed to walk away with understanding. While there are "some" teachers at each grade level who are OUTSTANDING educators, that number is only 2 or 3 (if you are lucky) per grade level which means if you land in one of the less than outstanding classrooms, GOOD LUCK to you. A walk around the hallways will provide you with more than enough insight as to whom displays quality instruction. We are making a move to private school. Not simply b/c the downward slope of Eakin but the MNPS district as a whole is on a significant decline.
What do you base this on? Do you still feel this way? I have been impressed so far and would like to know if you are still at Eakin.
My son just "graduated" from Eakin after having attended it since kindergarten. We were very impressed with his progress and have to give Eakin a lot of the credit. The Encore program was wonderful and he will be going to Head Academic Magnet School as a result of his education there.
It was an amazing school until the new principal took over. I don't think she is comfortable with Eakin's parents level of involvement . She is not very objective when dealing with issues at school, either. Despite all of that, most of the teachers are amazing and well prepared, with a couple of exceptions.
It is amazing how much this school has to offer for being a public school. I feel very thankful that my child attends Eakin. The highly qualified staff are kind and caring.
Eakin is a very good school. Although I don't think that the new principal is the best match for a school like Eakin where the level of involvement of the parents is very high (she tried to implement a new policy at the beginning of the year to stop parents from walking their children to their classes every morning).
Eakin is located in a vibrant, downtown Nashville neighborhood. The parents are involved. The community is involved. The $10 mill. state-of-the-art facility was completed in 2006. Our first grader is doing quite well, learning reading and addition. The diversity at Eakin is a rarity in Nashville and a wonderful asset. We chose Eakin in order for our son to learn much more than academics in elementary school. He is experiencing a broader vision of the world, culturally, socio-economically, racially. He is learning how to be a good citizen in the world.
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