Alice Pieschel, a languages teacher at LEAD Academy, was recently named one of only 50 Blue Ribbon Teachers by the Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF). This award is a partnership between NPEF and Metro Nashville Public Schools, and it reinforces Nashville’s agenda to recognize excellent educators in the city.
The Blue Ribbon Teacher designation is awarded as part of a rigorous selection process that includes a community panel, and Blue Ribbon Teachers are marked by their exceptional dedication to ensuring all students thrive in their classrooms each day.
“Ms. Pieschel seeks to understand her students – their strengths, their interests, and the ways they want to grow,” said Maggie Sneed, principal at LEAD Academy. “As a language teacher, she creates a classroom culture of safety and comfort where students know they are celebrated and belong. She works hard to create learning experiences where students see themselves and their experiences in the books they read and conversations they have. She’s an irreplaceable part of our school culture.”
Alice is in her ninth year at LEAD Academy, and each year she has exhibited the LEAD Ethos tenet of courage by taking on new challenges – including teaching new courses, leading teams, leading school initiatives – in the name of what’s best for students.
“The thing I love most about my job is building relationships with students and having the privilege of being a trusted adult in many kids’ lives,” said Pieschel. “We have such an amazing and diverse group of students at LEAD and I love seeing their faces light up when they get to talk about their cultures.”
This year’s Blue Ribbon Teacher awards highlighted teaching excellence in the categories of equity, leadership, and instruction. Pieschel was highlighted as a standout for the equity category.
“My biggest hope for my students is that they feel safe and empowered in this country,” said Pieschel. “I want them to find their voices and be able to advocate for themselves and their communities. Most of all I just want them to lead lives that are filled with joy, curiosity and passion.”
Pieschel formally accepted the Blue Ribbon Teacher award, which included a $1,000 cash prize, last week at a ceremony at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. For more information about the Blue Ribbon Teacher designation, click here.