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.

  • Director Vince Durnan does the Turkey Trot with the 13 Year Club on the Edgehill stairs.

    At This Point, It Has All Been Said

    Director Vince Durnan shares a reminder of how each decision impacts the USN community and appreciation for those participating in the Vanderbilt COVID-19 study and following guidelines to keep USN's numbers low.
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  • Sprinting to Keep Up

    We've begun saliva testing with Vanderbilt researchers, upgraded our COVID-19 tracker, and are hopeful that families will make responsible decisions during Thanksgiving Break so that students can continue learning on campus through December.
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  • From the Director: Election Reflection

    This election season is a time for the entire family to be civically engaged. Director Vince Durnan shared the following letter with the USN community on Thursday, October 29, offering five tips to control what we can — our response.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    From Without, From Within

    An update from Director Vince Durnan on weighing COVID-19 metrics, our experiences with the virus at USN, and how we can mitigate the spread of the virus at schools.
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  • Before We Take A Break

    Director Vince Durnan sent this letter to USN families, faculty, and staff on Sunday, October 11 regarding the school's first COVID-19 cases, reminders about cleaning and contact tracing protocols, and a plea for a responsible Fall Break.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    A Word (or Several) on Travel

    Director Vince Durnan sent this letter to families, faculty, and staff on Wednesday, October 7 regarding travel and COVID-19 precautions while away from school. University School of Nashville's Fall Break is Thursday, October 15 through Monday, October 19. Grades K-12 will resume learning on Tuesday, October 20 at the Edgehill Campus.
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  • Director Vince Durnan speaks to National Merit commended students on Tuesday, September 29.

    USN and The Bubble

    Let's keep our social circles small so we can keep school doors open and commit to civility during this election cycle.
    Read More
  • Director Vince Durnan speaks with Lower School Administrative Assistant while giving a tour of the Edgehill Campus to parents watching Coffee with the Director.

    Plan the Work, Work the Plan

    USN is coming to know its new normal with all Lower and Middle School students at the Edgehill Campus and student-athletes returning to competition at the River Campus this week. Next week freshmen begin High School's gradual return and familiar routines like After School and the Morning Bus resume.
    Read More
  • Director Vince Durnan

    As the Doors Open

    Director Vince Durnan shares appreciation for families who've eased the gradual return to campus by reporting their students' health screening information as well as reminders about afternoon dismissal, USN's Commitment to Community, and other regular school services we plan to resume in October.
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  • Coffee with the Director concludes with HS tour

    At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 13, Director Vince Durnan and Head of High School Quinton Walker gave a tour of High School, with Grades 9-12 back at the Edgehill Campus. Click here to watch their video. This session was the final Coffee with the Director, a weekly series that began in March to keep families connected with USN while away from school buildings.
    Read More
  • Director Vince Durnan meet with seniors who have been named National Merit Semifinalists on Thursday, September 10.

    Weekly Progress Report, September Version

    In addition to a momentous day in history, today marks the first day each USN kindergarten classroom is full. We welcome back Grades 1 & 2 and Middle Schoolers next week. "Coffee with the Director" at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 15 will be an opportunity to hear from parent volunteers on our Medical Advisory Board with answers to frequently asked health & medical questions.
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  • Director Vince Durnan

    That Labor Day Update

    Sixty-four kindergartners come to campus next week with those families moving to use the Magnus Mobile app to report students' health screening information daily. Read on for an overview of the gradual return to in-person classes over the next few weeks. Division Heads will share details with families as they make plans with faculty.
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  • Director Vince Durnan gives the Shuster family a thumbs up on the first day of school as Lower School families pick-up iPads and school supplies.

    Moving Ahead

    With thoughtful consultation with USN's Medical Advisory Board, Director Vince Durnan and Divison Heads are weighing a gradual start of in-person classes soon. USN students and faculty may opt-in to a saliva test with same-day results. The school will soon roll out a smartphone app for families to share their students' health screening updates before arriving on campus.
    Read More
  • George Bell '30 visits Director Vince Durnan in his office.

    A New Year Message

    Director Vince Durnan shares gratitude for parents, faculty, students, and Operations for a constructive start to the academic year.
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  • Director hosts "Beyond School" parent education session

    During this program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 11, Director Vince Durnan will discuss keeping students healthy and pursuing special interests and activities during remote learning.
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  • USN Starts School Remotely

    Click here to read the letter Director Vince Durnan emailed the USN community on Friday, July 31. School will begin remotely on Tuesday, August 18. Division-specific information sessions are being held.
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  • Sign the Commitment to Community Health

    Director Vince Durnan shared the following letter with USN parents on Wednesday, July 27. Families should acknowledge the school's Commitment to Community Health for each student through an electronic signature in Magnus. Faculty & staff should sign in PayCom.
    Read More
  • Update on Plans for August 18

    Director Vince Durnan shared the following letter with the USN community on Friday, July 24 regarding the school year's gradual start.
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  • Read the entire plan at

    Responsible Restart: USN's Back-to-School Guide

    Director Vince Durnan shared the following letter and reopening plan with the students, parents, faculty, and staff on Friday, July 17. Zoom sessions to discuss this document with the USN community will be held Tuesday, July 21.
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  • 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.
    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