Curriculum

High School

Grades 9-12High School & Beyond

USN's High School provides a dynamic college-preparatory curriculum in the tradition of the liberal arts, emphasizing breadth and depth of study across a range of disciplines and providing unique opportunities for advanced courses and independent study. 

By creating a challenging and supportive learning environment, we empower students to think critically and engage actively by taking ownership of their educational pursuits. While preparation for college is central, we aim to lead students to become thoughtful citizens who are responsible and respectful of themselves and others.

A Student-Led Education

"We, members of the University School [of Nashville] community, value intellectual integrity, respect personal rights, and accept the responsibility for our freedom."

– Student Declaration of Values, adopted 1986

List of 4 items.

  • ~30

    Student-Designed Independent Studies Each Semester
  • 4

    Grade Level Retreats Every August
  • 55+

    Student-Led Clubs & Organizations
  • 75

    Unique College Choices by the Class of 2023

What Guides Our HS Program?Education for the Individual

Blending a respect for tradition with a commitment to educate young people for a rapidly changing world, our students leave 2000 Edgehill able to write clearly, read analytically, think critically and creatively, and speak articulately in a range of settings. We honor a guiding philosophy focused on student-centered instruction and active learning, collaboration, inclusion of diverse perspectives, promotion of active citizenship and service, and building a foundation for a lifetime of learning.

We meet the needs of a diverse student body through a series of rigorous yet fulfilling course requirements coupled with innovative research-based and experience-based methods in all disciplines: English, mathematics, science, social science, foreign languages, and the arts. An extensive Advanced Placement program, a wealth of independent study opportunities, and a vast array of electives highlight our commitment to student choice. Students may also be approved to take courses at Vanderbilt University, which is across the street from USN.

HS Curriculum Course Details

USN High School LifePrograms & Opportunities

Building CommunityClass Retreats

High School students and faculty step away from their daily routines to experience an educational adventure beyond the traditional classroom.

Each class retreat held in late August takes place in a different setting as students gain life skills and strengthen their relationships with their peers and teachers.

High School Leadership

List of 13 members.

  • Photo of Quinton Walker

    Quinton Walker 

    Assistant Head of School
    (615) 321-8012
    Vanderbilt University - Ed.D.
    University of Michigan - M.A.
    Duke University - B.A.
    At USN since: 2016
  • Photo of Jeff Edmonds

    Jeff Edmonds 

    Assistant Head of HS for Academic Affairs / Physics & Philosophy Teacher
    615-321-8007
    Vanderbilt - PhD
    Williams College - BA
    At USN since: 2013
  • Photo of Nicole Jules

    Nicole Jules 

    Assistant Head of HS for Student Affairs, HS Psychology Teacher
    (615) 321-8024
    Belmont University - M.S.A.
    Vanderbilt University - B.A.
    At USN since: 2006
  • Photo of Laura Snow

    Laura Snow 

    Admin. Assistant, High School
    Belmont University - MA
    Lambuth University - BA
    At USN since: 2021
  • Photo of Justin Karpinos

    Justin Karpinos 

    HS Dean of Student Life & English Teacher
    615-642-6135
    Kenyon College - B.A.
    At USN since: 2007
  • Photo of Debbie Van Slyke

    Debbie Van Slyke 

    High School Learning Specialist
    (615) 277-1120
    Vanderbilt University - PhD
    Franklin & Marshall College - B.A.
    At USN since: 2013
  • Photo of Latricia Watkins

    Latricia Watkins 

    High School Counselor
    University of Tennessee, Chattanooga - MEd, BS
    At USN since: 2022
  • Photo of Aaron Fulk

    Aaron Fulk 

    Director of College Counseling
    615-277-7461
    Stanford University - MA
    Washington & Lee University - BA
    At USN since: 2021
  • Photo of Beth Eberl

    Beth Eberl 

    Director of Counseling
    (615) 321-8005
    Cambridge College - C.A.G.S.
    Boston College - MA
    University of Vermont - BA
    At USN since: 2013
  • Photo of Josh Scouten

    Josh Scouten 

    Athletic Director, Boys' Lacrosse Coach
    (615) 321-8000
    Middle Tennessee State University - MS
    Messiah College - BA
    At USN since: 2007
  • Photo of Roderick White

    Roderick White 

    Director, Office of Diversity and Community Life
    615 277-7480
    Trevecca Nazarene University - BA
    Nashville School of Law - J.D.
    At USN since: 2015
  • Photo of Tamara Berthel

    Tamara Berthel 

    High School Science, 9th & 10th Grade Class Dean
    (615) 321-8000
    MTSU - B.S.
    MTSU - M.S.
    At USN since: 2005
  • Photo of Matthew Haber

    Matthew Haber 98

    Dean of 11th and 12th Grades & HS History Teacher
    615-321-8012
    Washington University - M.A.
    Washington University - B.A.
    At USN since: 2005
USN Mission: 
University School of Nashville models the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of Metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student’s intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence.