From the Director

At University School of Nashville, teaching and learning come first.

Everything we do is rooted in a commitment to celebrate the potential of each day in a community of learners, to explore the remarkable dimensions of a K-12 school in an educational setting unlike any other. Our students and faculty can count on being asked for their very best and on being encouraged at every step along the way.

In our Lower School, each classroom provides a world of possibilities and a teacher who guides a child's day with great care. In Middle School, grade-level teams of dedicated teachers help students develop skills and habits of mind to promote greater academic independence and social maturity. Led by inspiring teachers, High School students pursue deeper understanding as they find their own voices in preparation for the challenges of a college curriculum.

Our families represent an inspiring breadth of cultural experience, united in their wish for young people to learn from one another as they come to know themselves. We may find those opportunities in weekly town meetings, on our River Campus playing fields, in vibrant art studios, in lunchtime conversation, or in a neighborhood tutorial program.

We're glad you visited our web site. USN is a school community that challenges intellect in pursuit of independent thinking, that strengthens character by encouraging personal responsibility, that sees arts and athletics as fundamentally complementary to academics, and that actively seeks to find its place in the wider world. My hope is that, whether you're an alumnus, a potential student, or a friend, you'll come to see us here on campus, to learn more than the web site can tell you. We'd be delighted to welcome you in person.

Vince Durnan's Newsletter Columns

List of 20 news stories.

  • Staying Current, Planning for August

    Following the news of Nashville's return to Phase 2 of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville, Director Vince Durnan shared the following letter with K-12 families, faculty & staff. Locker cleanouts have been postponed, and campus has again closed its doors.
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  • Complete annual survey by July 10

    Please share your perspective on your USN experience during the 2019-2020 school year by completing this Annual Parent Survey.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: History Before Our Eyes

    This time and the issues at hand call out for a review of every choice we make, every resource we allocate, and every message we send. We’ve been speaking with members of the USN community in recent days, and here is what we are working on with renewed purpose this summer.
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  • We are sorry. And we are working.

    Director Vince Durnan shared the folllowing letter with the USN community on Thursday, June 4 regarding recent social media posts and assuring the school's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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  • Our Times

    Director Vince Durnan shared the folllowing letter with the USN community on Sunday, May 31 following nationwide unrest and protests over racism and police violence.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: What You Can Count on From Us This Summer

    Read on for faculty & staff summer plans to prepare for the next academic year. Expect to continue to receive regular email updates, read about future protocols on a safe return to Edgehill Avenue, and learn about virtual summer programming in the coming weeks. Please aid us by responding to surveys and participating in Coffee with the Director on Tuesdays.
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  • From the Director: Lessons Learned Yet?

    Three observations on the remote learning experience that we consider as we move closer to summer break and prepare for school in August.
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  • Director Vince Durnan during the Class of 2020 Parade on May 24, 2020.

    Coffee with the Director continues during summer

    Director Vince Durnan will continue to host Zoom conversations for the USN community at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays through July.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: The Work Continues

    Despite the weather-related challenges this week, we've forged ahead with remote learning and celebrating seniors as we continue to look forward to brighter days and returning to in-person classes.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: Rounding the Turn with Summer in View

    Given Nashville's extended Safer at Home Order and USN landing in phase three of the city's resumption of activity plan, USN Summer Camps will not take place on campus in June. We are considering virtual summer offerings instead and continue to prepare for the months ahead.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: Our Financial Realities—Simple, Not Easy

    What is USN considering as it faces the possible economic consequences of COVID-19?
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: The New Familiar

    Remote learning will continue to be our routine through the end of the school year, and Commencement will likely take place mid-summer.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: Design Thinking in Real Time

    As faculty combine synchronous and asynchronous elements, define daily schedules, set mutual expectations for communication, and provide some vehicles for assessment — our transition to remote learning seems like a large scale design thinking project.
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  • Like students and faculty, Director Vince Durnan has spent time learning how to navigate Zoom.

    From the Director: Two Questions … Of Many

    When will we return to face-to-face classes on campus? How long will major school events be postponed? How long will the community disruption last? What are students learning? What are administrators and faculty learning about what school is and what school could be?
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  • Tuesday mornings are for coffee with the director

    Director Vince Durnan will host Zoom conversations with parents at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays during remote learning.
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  • Thoughtful seniors

    Join Director Durnan for morning joe

    Director Vince Durnan welcomes USN parents to use their phones, laptops, and desktops to catch up with him at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 31. He'll be drinking decaffeinated coffee. Bring your orange juice, tea, or other caffeinated beverage of your choice.
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  • A Day We Didn't Expect

    Director Vince Durnan shared the following letter on Thursday, March 26 to update alumni, parents of alumni, parents, faculty, and staff on how the school is functioning during the first week of remote learning.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From the Director: Checking in during Spring Break

    Given the dynamically changing situation, we are more motivated than ever to stay connected as the USN community. Here is what is on our minds. Director Vince Durnan shared the following column in the USN Newsletter sent Wednesday, March 18.
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  • Remote Learning as a Coordinated Effort

    The following letter was shared with K-12 parents, faculty, and staff at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 14 regarding conversations among heads of schools as well as between USN and local public health leaders.
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  • Calendar Changes

    The following letter was shared with K-12 parents, faculty, and staff at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, March 12 regarding changes to Spring Break and a move to remote learning.
    Read More

The Director's Office

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Vincent Durnan

    Vincent Durnan 

    (615) 327-3877
    Williams College - BA
    Harvard University - M.Ed.
    Vanderbilt University - Ed.D.
    Started at USN: 2000
  • Photo of Susan Pearlman

    Susan Pearlman 

    Administrative Assistant to the Director
    Penn State University - BA
    Started at USN: 2010

So Now What?

University School of Nashville

2000 Edgehill Avenue   Nashville, TN 37212     615/321-8000     Contact Us