USN announces next Director

Amani Reed will be the first person of color to lead University School of Nashville. He brings to Nashville strong experience, having worked in academic and administrative roles at highly regarded independent schools across the country.
The Board of Trustees and Director Search Committee has named Amani Reed as the incoming Director of University School of Nashville. Reed, who will join USN on July 1, 2022, will be the first person of color to lead the school in its 107-year history.

“With his knowledge and experience, Amani will strategically carry our school forward in the work at the core of our mission,” wrote Board of Trustees President Ivanetta Davis Samuels in the announcement sent to the USN community on Thursday, November 4. “The high academic standards of USN resonate with Amani, who also respects the significance of our deep connection to the Nashville community and values our place as a national leader among independent schools.”

Reed joins University School of Nashville from The School at Columbia University, where he serves as Head of School. During his decade there, he has expanded the school’s student enrollment to 530, recruited and supported teachers, led curricular change and innovation, managed the renovation of facilities, and has stewarded its relationship with Columbia University.

His career as an educator has taken him across the country to University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Lakeside School in Seattle, and Sewickley Academy in Pennsylvania. He has taught history to middle and high school students, led in several administrative capacities, driven equity and justice initiatives, served on accreditation teams, worked as a facilitator at national conferences, and managed an academic enrichment program for middle school students facing limited opportunities. A former Division I athlete, Reed has coached high school varsity soccer and was named Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Coach of the Year. He also has served in a variety of roles for several local, regional, and national independent school associations and on the boards of two independent schools in the northeast.

The 11-member Search Committee was comprised of alumni, parents, parents of alumni, trustees, an administrator, and a faculty member and worked with international search firm RG175 to facilitate the process. USN's open search prioritized transparency and inclusivity. Four finalists and their families visited the Edgehill and River Campuses for 2.5-days each to interact with students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. The USN community offered more than 700 survey responses to share thoughts on the final candidates with the committee.

“The search process provided a clear understanding of the importance of involving the entire PDS/USN community as we think about what comes next. I am eager to begin our work together to better understand the school and consider its strengths & emerging opportunities,” said Reed, who enthusiastically accepted the appointment.

He will succeed USN's longest-serving Director, Vince Durnan, who closes a a remarkable 23-year career at USN on June 30, 2022. His impressive legacy of transformational change includes outreach, campus enhancement, and growth.


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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.