Dr. Amy C. Downey has served the Metro Nashville Public School system since 1986, serving as principal for eleven years, nine at DuPont Hadley Middle School and two at Charlotte Park Elementary School. A natural leader who believes that every student is capable of growth, Downey has helped her school and district adopt standards-based grading, move toward a college-preparatory mindset for the district’s middle schools, and was at the forefront of developing the district’s three-year strategic plan. Downey has focused on nurturing a culture of literacy at Charlotte Park, implementing a simple yet effective “JUST READ” program that encourages students to choose and read books tailored to their independent reading level as daily homework assignments, which has already transformed students’ reading success as well as passion for reading. Downey has diligently worked to promote parent involvement in school culture in this diverse community, utilizing initiatives like student-led parent-teacher conferences as well as home visits from teachers. These have been two powerful tools for opening communication with families as well as building student ownership of their own learning. Downey’s supervisor, Dr. Damon R. Cathey, describes her strengths as “empathy, encouragement, vision, persistence, and conviction,” and Downey continues to embody these traits as she leads Charlotte Park to further success. Dr. Downey holds a B.S. from Freed-Hardeman University, an M.S. from Middle Tennessee University, and an Ed.D. from Trevecca Nazarene University.