Academy Spotlight: Hillwood High School

Students at Hillwood High School will soon enter a beautiful new facility with a new high school name, but the school’s academy offerings will remain rich, rigorous and engaging as they prepare students to prepare for the college and career. student holding a wooden model he made

Hillwood offers three career-themed academy programs as well as a freshman academy for ninth-graders. Career academies include the Academy of Arts, Design and Communication; the Academy of Business and Hospitality and the Academy of Health Sciences, while the Freshman Academy introduces students to the academy model and helps them transition into their sophomore career path.

Each academy explores career paths that provide students with specific areas of interest with high levels of support and direction from teachers and community partners. No one knows the benefits of Hillwood Academy programs better than students.

Academy of Health Sciences senior Samira Makhkamjonova encourages freshmen to choose their academies wisely and take advantage of what they offer.

“Look at the academy where you can see a career, be open to career options and take advantage of the programs, because there are a lot of opportunities there,” says Makhkamjonova.

Hillwood partners with several local businesses and organizations to offer more than 10 industry certifications for students, including OSHA, Adobe Photoshop, EKG Technician, and Clinical Physician Assistant, to name a few.

“We have strong programs in health sciences, engineering, culinary arts, and the workplace at Hillwood,” says Academy Coach Mary York.

York believes that students benefit immensely from work-based learning programs, as they can network with partners and discover careers to which they would otherwise not be exposed. Additionally, students have the opportunity to job shadow and work at local businesses such as Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria and Bongo Java.

What students seem to enjoy most about the academies is receiving dual credit through partnerships with Nashville State Community College and Nossi College of Art, opportunities for industry certifications, and learning experiences. hands-on learning with partners such as ASD Sky, Holiday Inn Vanderbilt and Hospital Corporation. from America.

foundation for the future

Cameron Wilson has always wanted to own his own business, so he immediately knew that the Academy of Business and Hospitality was the path that would help him lay the foundation for his future.

“We learned what a business is and the internals it takes to run it,” says Wilson, who is taking part in a work-based learning program at a local hotel that is preparing him to create business events. start to finish and solve any problem. potential problems.

student and teacher in cooking class

Each Hillwood Academy program is accredited by the National Career Academy Coalition. The Academy of Arts, Design and Communications is accredited with distinction, as is the Academy of Health Sciences. The Academy of Business and Hospitality is accredited with model status.

Steven Ligon, a student at the Academy of Art, Design, and Communication with a design and digital engineering track, holds several certifications, including OSHA-10, OSHA-30, and Adobe Photoshop. Ligon, who plans to become an aerospace engineer, appreciates the teachers and hands-on learning opportunities he gets at Hillwood.

“It’s more hands-on learning rather than sitting down and taking notes,” he says. “One of the first things we did was build bridges. During this process, we learned about how to build a bridge through software, but mostly by building it ourselves. »

Hillwood High School is being transformed into a new state-of-the-art facility renamed James Lawson High School – in honor of the legend of the civil rights movement – in Bellevue. The new building, officially named Lawson High School, will house 1,600 students and put more emphasis on the academy’s programs.

“We are excited to move into our new building as everything will be centered around our academy programs,” York said.

The Academy of Health Sciences is one of the most popular choices among students, including seniors Joey Zhu, Suoz Tovi and Sarah Daniels, who have internships under the Clinical Science and Diagnostics pathways .

“We’re going to do an internship with HCA, where we’ve chosen the kind of programs we want to go into and rotate staff,” said Zhu, who aspires to become a nurse practitioner.

Practical experience

While some students, like Tovi, are still undecided about their future career goals, the hands-on experience gives them several options to consider.

three students in white medical coats working on an infant doll

“I see the healthcare field as broad and have considered becoming a pharmacist, but I like the hands-on things we do in the classroom and in the labs, so I’m undecided,” Tovi said.

The Academy of Health Sciences offers two tracks – Diagnostic Services and Medical Therapeutics. Each of them offers students multiple areas in which they can specialize.

Daniels is clear that she wants to become a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, or OB/GYN, and encourages students following her not to be afraid to try different paths.

“I think being on the health sciences path can prepare you, whether you want to be in pre-med or studying nursing,” she says.

Whatever field of study students choose at Hillwood, the common thread is to take a chance and not be afraid to try different experiences within the different academies.

Student in the back of an ambulance during nursing class

To learn more about Hillwood High School’s Academy programs and offerings, visit the school’s website.

Hillwood High School Academy Programs

freshman academy
Academy of Arts, Design and Communication
  • digital design
  • Audio/visual technology
  • Engineering
Academy of Business and Hospitality
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Culinary arts
Academy of Health Sciences
  • Diagnostic services
  • Medical therapeutics

Nashville Academies

Learn more about Nashville District Academies programs and partnerships.

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