As the Community Achieves site manager at Two Rivers Middle School, Valentine works with community partners to help address any barriers to learning while also ensuring that students’ and families’ basic needs are met.
After taking three years of Spanish in high school, Valentine attended Trevecca Nazarene University for her first year of college, majoring in elementary education and minoring in Spanish. She also went on her first mission trip to Puerto Rico while at Trevecca. She eventually transferred to Bethel University and earned her bachelor’s degree, and in 2007 she graduated from Lipscomb University with a master’s in special education.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSBefore joining MNPS, Valentine was an after-school director at YMCA Fun Company while in college. She was the after-school director at when Principal Marsha Dunn offered her a job as a reading tutor. She started English classes for parents and students with the help of translator Rosa Castillo, and more than 50 parents received a completion certificate in two years.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSValentine later accepted a teaching position at a community school in the South Bronx in New York City.
“I loved teaching in NYC for 8 years and enjoyed practicing my Spanish while living a few blocks away from the school I taught at,” she said.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSIn 2015 Valentine returned to Nashville to marry her best friend’s brother, whom she had met at Trevecca, and the new couple decided to make Music City their permanent home. They enjoy kayaking together, and during the pandemic they’ve started a small kayak business for those interested in exploring the experience.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSAt , Valentine manages the largest community pantry in the McGavock cluster. Because of the generous support of community partners, Valentine and her team are able to help families from other MNPS schools with basic needs, clothes, school supplies, dry goods, frozen goods and fresh produce as families in need visit the site’s community room for help.
“The needs of our students vary,” Valentine said. “This is why we started our community pantry to meet as many basic needs as possible. Some students may need a mentor or reading buddy, and I work to partner them with a volunteer community partner. Students know about the available resources, and when they arrive to our school, they’re able to come to our community room if they have needs before going to class. Basic needs and socioemotional learning needs are high on our students’ needs list; this is why we have a girls and boys mentoring program.”
Valentine believes the needs for resources are even more pressing and frequent during this pandemic.
“My husband and his colleague lost their business due to the pandemic. I’ve also witnessed multiple Two Rivers Middle families experience job loss. Thanks to our community partners, school staff and I were able to deliver multiple weekly meals and basic needs to families during the start of the pandemic and throughout the month of June.”
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSValentine’s advice for new staff to build a successful career is to find ways to get involved with community partners and build relationships with students and their families. In addition, they always welcome any collaboration from MNPS staff and community stakeholders.
“My work is centered on involving community members to fill in the academic, financial or socioemotional learning gaps that our school has. Every school has a need. As a Community Achieves school, our needs and volunteer opportunities are listed in our strategic plan document at the MNPS Community Achieves website,” she said.
One of the things Valentine enjoys the most is finding ways to help families in need, both locally and abroad.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS“I am a part of a team of teachers and volunteers that visit Honduras every year at the start of their school year in Travesía. We work with Garífuna families and help them with basic needs for their children to be successful in school,” she said, adding that she has participated in this volunteer work for 10 years and visited Honduras five times.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS“I hope to continue to work with MNPS, as I believe in our school district and I enjoy working with others to empower our youth and their families. Since age 5, MNPS has helped shape me to become the woman I am today. I am a better person because of my experience in MNPS as a student and an educator.”