USN welcomes first head of school of color in school's 107-year history

Amani Reed formally assumed the Director’s Office at 2000 Edgehill on July 1, 2022.
By Juanita I.C. Traughber, Communications Director

Amani Reed joins University School of Nashville as its 11th Director and the first person of color to lead the K-12 educational institution founded as Peabody Demonstration School in 1915.

He formally assumes the 107-year-old Director’s Office at 2000 Edgehill on July 1, 2022. In a full circle moment, he comes to USN after serving as Head of The School at Columbia University and studying at Teachers College, where PDS Founder Thomas Alexander created a progressive undergraduate experience to shape future educators. Columbia blue is the surviving tie of PDS/USN to the old University of Nashville. 
Reed brings to Nashville strong experience, having worked in academic and administrative roles at highly regarded independent schools across the country — University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Illinois, Lakeside School in Washington, and Sewickley Academy in Pennsylvania. During his decade at The School at Columbia University, he expanded the school’s student enrollment, recruited and supported teachers, led curricular change and innovation, managed the renovation of facilities, and stewarded its relationship with Columbia University. In his career as an educator, Reed has taught history to middle and high school students, led in several administrative capacities, drove 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.

“With his knowledge and experience, Amani will strategically carry our school forward in the work at the core of our mission,” said Board of Trustees Past President Ivanetta Davis Samuels. “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.”

He earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education at University of Portland.

“University School of Nashville’s long-standing work to be a national educational leader that reflects the breadth of Nashville while serving a public purpose and honoring a firm commitment to diversity and belonging has never been more important than it is today,” Reed said. “Having learned even more about the history of USN and its deep Demonstration School roots, I understand that the wisdom and courage of the past helped to build a foundation that has supported the school and its academic excellence through other transitions. I am confident that this rich history and the practice of shared communication will help us as we look to our future.”
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 served on the board of the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the International Association of Laboratory Schools, and two independent schools in the northeast.

He succeeds USN's longest-serving Director, Vince Durnan, who closed a remarkable 22-year career at USN.

About University School of Nashville 
USN is a K-12, independent, all-gender, nonsectarian day school established in 1975 as the successor to Peabody Demonstration School. The Edgehill Campus in midtown is home to academic buildings, some 1,080 students, and more than 200 faculty; athletic fields and wetlands are located at the 80-acre River Campus in North Nashville. 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.
    • The historical marker at 2000 Edgehill Ave. traces USN's roots back to Peabody Demonstration School and University of Nashville.

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