Our Team

Meet the team of educators that works to make Inglewood Elementary a welcoming environment for students, parents, and teachers alike.

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Leadership Team

Meet the team of educators who work to make Inglewood Elementary a welcoming environment for students, parents, and teachers alike.

Ashley Croft

Principal

Ashley Croft

Principal

Ashley’s first experience at Inglewood Elementary was as a student teacher in 2008, and this school community has held a special place in her heart since then. She started her career as a middle school teacher in East Nashville, where her promise, passion, and results led her to being recognized by the Tennessee Education Association as their Distinguished New Middle School Educator in 2013. Before returning to her dream job at Inglewood as principal in 2019, Ashley served as an intern with Boston Public Schools, an administrator in DC Public Schools, and as an instructional coach and school director with Teach for America.

Ashley holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Human & Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University and an Ed.M. in School Leadership from Harvard University. When she’s not hugging kids in the halls of Inglewood, you can find Ashley hiking, running, kayaking, or just generally spending time with her husband Tim and furbabies Jasper and Jolene.

“I believe that our role as teachers is to make children feel empowered by their education, to enable them to lead lives full of choice and meaning.”

Kamilah Mathews

Assistant Principal

Kamilah Mathews

Assistant Principal

Mrs. Mathews is very excited to be an Inglewood Eagle! She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Evansville and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University-Portland. She is now pursuing an Education Specialist degree in Accountability and Instructional Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.

In her 15 years of experience, Mrs. Mathews has served as an elementary and middle school English Language Arts teacher, mentor for teachers of English Language Learners, Literacy Coach, and Dean of Instruction. As the Assistant Principal, she looks forward to partnering with Principal Croft, our staff, and our families to provide a joyful educational experience at Inglewood Elementary.

In her spare time, Mrs. Mathews enjoys spending time with her husband, Hiram, and son, Tyson. She also enjoys learning new skills, spending time outdoors, and quality time with family and friends.

Sara Grady

MSAP Curriculum Specialist

Sara Grady

MSAP Curriculum Specialist

Sara believes that fostering curiosity is the key to growing a child’s love of learning. After receiving a B.A. in International Studies from Virginia Tech, Sara moved overseas to teach English and found her passion for early childhood and elementary education. After four years in South Korea and Turkey, she moved to Nashville and received her M.A. in Teaching from Belmont University. Now in her 5th year at Inglewood Elementary, Sara has seen the school’s evolution first-hand and is incredibly proud to be working alongside teachers and staff dedicated to serving the Inglewood students, families, and community.

“It is my hope that every Inglewood student will leave more equipped with the knowledge and skills that will prepare them to lead lives of opportunity, and with the courage to make a positive impact on their world.”

Michelle Hendricks

Literacy Coach

Michelle Hendricks

Literacy Coach

Dr. Michelle Hendricks is a long-time resident of Inglewood and has been an educator with MNPS for 20+ years. Michelle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Reading Specialist endorsement from Tennessee State University, and a Doctor of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Tennessee State University. During her tenure with MNPS, she has been an elementary and middle school classroom teacher; a literacy coach at the elementary, middle, and high school tiers; and an elementary and middle school administrator. Michelle’s greatest accomplishment is being the mother of three amazing children, Adriana, Noah and Grace. Together, they spend their free time living out their family motto “Experiences over things.” Michelle loves reading books and spending time outside in the sunshine and near the water (the lake, the ocean, the pool).

“I have the perfect job as literacy coach at Inglewood! Our students and families are the best. Our staff is exceptional. Our community is amazing, and being able to support teachers helping students learn to read at Inglewood is a dream come true!”

Cherifa McDowell

Grant Manager

Cherifa McDowell

Grant Manager

Cherifa is a passionate educator that is dedicated to creating and supporting a positive culture and learning environment for all students and educators. She joined the Inglewood family in 2018, as the Magnet Schools Assistance Program Site Coordinator, after 8 years of teaching and coaching. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and French from UW-Stevens Point, a Master of Education degree in Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools at Vanderbilt University, and most recently an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership at Lipscomb University. Cherifa continues to pursue her love for education with the important magnet work of diversity, theme integration, academic excellence, and family and community partnerships.

“It takes a village to ensure every single student grows, learns, and feels safe and loved daily. I am fortunate to be a part of one of those strong and supportive villages of students, families, educators, leaders, and community partners at Inglewood Elementary!”

Leigh Patton

Community Achieves Site Manager

Leigh Patton

Community Achieves Site Manager

Now in her sixth year as our Community Achieves Site Manager, Leigh draws on nearly three decades’ experience in partnerships, advocacy, nonprofits, marketing, event management, and public relations. She greatly enjoys activating her extensive network to promote equity in access to social, cultural and educational opportunities. A native Tennessean, Leigh is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and the University of Evansville, and studied at Belmont’s graduate English program. Leigh has lived in Inglewood for 20 years.

“My work at Inglewood Elementary is not just a job – it has become a lifestyle for me and my family. I am honored and delighted to help connect our school with the abundant resources in our beautiful, diverse community.”

Ashley Croft

Principal

READ BIO

Ashley’s first experience at Inglewood Elementary was as a student teacher in 2008, and this school community has held a special place in her heart since then. She started her career as a middle school teacher in East Nashville, where her promise, passion, and results led her to being recognized by the Tennessee Education Association as their Distinguished New Middle School Educator in 2013. Before returning to her dream job at Inglewood as principal in 2019, Ashley served as an intern with Boston Public Schools, an administrator in DC Public Schools, and as an instructional coach and school director with Teach for America.

Ashley holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Human & Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University and an Ed.M. in School Leadership from Harvard University. When she’s not hugging kids in the halls of Inglewood, you can find Ashley hiking, running, kayaking, or just generally spending time with her husband Tim and furbabies Jasper and Jolene.

“I believe that our role as teachers is to make children feel empowered by their education, to enable them to lead lives full of choice and meaning.”

Kamilah Mathews

Assistant Principal

READ BIO

Mrs. Mathews is very excited to be an Inglewood Eagle! She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Evansville and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University-Portland. She is now pursuing an Education Specialist degree in Accountability and Instructional Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.

In her 15 years of experience, Mrs. Mathews has served as an elementary and middle school English Language Arts teacher, mentor for teachers of English Language Learners, Literacy Coach, and Dean of Instruction. As the Assistant Principal, she looks forward to partnering with Principal Croft, our staff, and our families to provide a joyful educational experience at Inglewood Elementary.

In her spare time, Mrs. Mathews enjoys spending time with her husband, Hiram, and son, Tyson. She also enjoys learning new skills, spending time outdoors, and quality time with family and friends.

Sara Grady

MSAP Curriculum Specialist

READ BIO

Sara believes that fostering curiosity is the key to growing a child’s love of learning. After receiving a B.A. in International Studies from Virginia Tech, Sara moved overseas to teach English and found her passion for early childhood and elementary education. After four years in South Korea and Turkey, she moved to Nashville and received her M.A. in Teaching from Belmont University. Now in her 5th year at Inglewood Elementary, Sara has seen the school’s evolution first-hand and is incredibly proud to be working alongside teachers and staff dedicated to serving the Inglewood students, families, and community.

“It is my hope that every Inglewood student will leave more equipped with the knowledge and skills that will prepare them to lead lives of opportunity, and with the courage to make a positive impact on their world.”

Michelle Hendricks

Literacy Coach

READ BIO

Dr. Michelle Hendricks is a long-time resident of Inglewood and has been an educator with MNPS for 20+ years. Michelle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Reading Specialist endorsement from Tennessee State University, and a Doctor of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Tennessee State University. During her tenure with MNPS, she has been an elementary and middle school classroom teacher; a literacy coach at the elementary, middle, and high school tiers; and an elementary and middle school administrator. Michelle’s greatest accomplishment is being the mother of three amazing children, Adriana, Noah and Grace. Together, they spend their free time living out their family motto “Experiences over things.” Michelle loves reading books and spending time outside in the sunshine and near the water (the lake, the ocean, the pool).

“I have the perfect job as literacy coach at Inglewood! Our students and families are the best. Our staff is exceptional. Our community is amazing, and being able to support teachers helping students learn to read at Inglewood is a dream come true!”

Cherifa McDowell

Grant Manager

READ BIO

Cherifa is a passionate educator that is dedicated to creating and supporting a positive culture and learning environment for all students and educators. She joined the Inglewood family in 2018, as the Magnet Schools Assistance Program Site Coordinator, after 8 years of teaching and coaching. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and French from UW-Stevens Point, a Master of Education degree in Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools at Vanderbilt University, and most recently an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership at Lipscomb University. Cherifa continues to pursue her love for education with the important magnet work of diversity, theme integration, academic excellence, and family and community partnerships.

“It takes a village to ensure every single student grows, learns, and feels safe and loved daily. I am fortunate to be a part of one of those strong and supportive villages of students, families, educators, leaders, and community partners at Inglewood Elementary!”

Leigh Patton

Community Achieves Site Manager

READ BIO

Now in her sixth year as our Community Achieves Site Manager, Leigh draws on nearly three decades’ experience in partnerships, advocacy, nonprofits, marketing, event management, and public relations. She greatly enjoys activating her extensive network to promote equity in access to social, cultural and educational opportunities. A native Tennessean, Leigh is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and the University of Evansville, and studied at Belmont’s graduate English program. Leigh has lived in Inglewood for 20 years.

“My work at Inglewood Elementary is not just a job – it has become a lifestyle for me and my family. I am honored and delighted to help connect our school with the abundant resources in our beautiful, diverse community.”

Careers at Inglewood

Our staff views each other as a family. The work we do is difficult, rewarding, and incredibly important. We celebrate our diverse community, work tirelessly to create a thriving school, and never stop in our quest to create empowered students who are inspired to change the world.

We value learning and growth above everything else–for ourselves, our students, and our families. This is reflected in our supportive culture and the way we deliver on our promises.

Values

 

Relationship-Oriented

Equity

Diversity

Instructional Expertise

Collaboration

Commitment to Growth

Resilience

Innovative Thinking

Working at Inglewood Elementary

Joining Inglewood is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Every day, I hope to teach students that art is for everyone and that everyone has a little creativity inside them. I push students to always keep trying no matter how hard or how much they want to give up. I want them to always know that they are AWESOME and to always be themselves; we are all unique and different and that is what makes each and every one of us special. I hope to help make our school community accepting and welcoming to everyone!

- Jianna Shafer, Art Teacher

Inglewood Elementary School has a very strong sense of community and teamwork that makes everyone feel welcomed and loved. The teachers work really hard to invest in their students and to make learning engaging and fun, while encouraging students to grow on a holistic level. It has been a joy teaching at Inglewood and a joy getting to watch our students soar!

- Alyssa Gorman, 4th Grade Teacher

I live in the community and I wanted to be a part of making it the best it can be. Since joining Inglewood Elementary, I wake up everyday with the purpose of helping students realize their full potential and bright futures. Inglewood’s staff and culture help me fulfill my purpose every day. I feel blessed to be a part of this school’s journey.

- Natalie Shaw, 3rd Grade Teacher

I chose Inglewood because I could tell immediately that the staff was so passionate about the students! I also thought Inglewood was such a good fit for me because it was an environmental sciences magnet, and I am passionate about helping our planet and teaching kids about how fun STEAM education can be. Inglewood is a place of joyous learning, and I’m so thankful to get to be a part of that! I hope to make an impact on the kids by matching them with books they’ll LOVE so they can become lifelong readers.

- Lauren Allgood, Librarian

I joined Inglewood Elementary School because of its focus on environmental sciences and the dedication to SEL work. I find that the outdoors and investing in student’s social emotional health work together to help students improve their overall wellbeing. At Inglewood, I provide guidance lessons, assist with our Move This World SEL program, and with mental health support for the students. The kids know that if they need to talk to someone, my door is open, and a smile is waiting for them on the other side.

- Jessica Steixner, School Counselor

“Making the decision to work at Inglewood Elementary was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This is my fourth year as a paraprofessional and my son’s fifth year as a student at Inglewood Elementary. Our school is an amazing place and we have a wonderful staff that genuinely cares for every student. I am so thankful to work with such an amazing staff and to also work with some great students.”

- Angela Downs, Paraprofessional

“Joining Inglewood Elementary School many years ago was a blessing. Becoming one of the first Pre-K teachers in this school allowed me to pursue my passion. Being able to work with the youngest children and watch them grow is the most amazing thing in the world. When you watch their little minds at work and their imaginations go wild, it makes you realize that there is so much more to life. They are so innocent, and they just want to learn how to do anything and everything. Having the opportunity to help them realize their potential is the most rewarding part of it all. By being a part of this school community I have grown and watched the school grow over the years. It has been a joy to see students reach their highest potential during their time at Inglewood and in their futures.”

- Jureeka Cousin, Pre-K Teacher

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