Outstanding Student

By Sadie Meaher

Harold Woods has been nominated for our student spotlight by our long time oil painting instructor Norma Nidiffer.  Harold has limited sight, but you would never know  that by looking at his paintings. He started taking the oil painting class this summer, and already his talents have grown. After seeing others try painting and hearing about the Nidiffer’s, he decided it was time for him to try his hand. Harold is halfway through his second semester of painting, and it is clear by watching him paint he has a true talent. Harold particularly enjoys painting landscapes, sunsets and water scenes. While Harold is a true artist you might be surprised to learn he has other hobbies such as bowling and fishing for catfish. Norma describes Harold in just one word, outstanding. I think we can all agree on that!

Harold 1                                                                                                                                   harold 2








These are the first two paintings Harold completed

Getting to Know Ashley

By Ashley Cathey

My name is Ashley Cathey. I am fourteen and attend Big Picture High School as a freshman. I intern at Nashville Community Education on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At Big Picture, all grades 9-12 are required to have at least five hours each Tuesday and Thursday at the internship of choice. I decided on Nashville Community Education because after researching it I could see myself here. Nashville Community Education fits who I am and actually makes sense to me. I’m going to love learning about new things that go on here.


Instructor Corner by Marissa Mitchell

In truth, the opportunity to teach beginning French with the Nashville Community Education Commission fell in my lap. My French professor at Belmont informed me of the opening; I contacted Philip and haven’t looked back! It has been an initially terrifying, sometimes humbling, incredible learning experience for which I am immensely grateful. Not only am I able to share my knowledge of the French language with others, but I also have the opportunity to form relationships with students whom I never would have met otherwise.

My first class at NCEC was the first time I taught adults, and I was nervous. I envisioned stepping into the classroom at the top of the hour and immediately forgetting all but how to say, “Bonjour!” Fortunately, that did not occur, and I had the most wonderful group of students a first-timer could ever ask for! My students were excited to learn, which gave me the confidence I needed to really challenge them.

Over the course of our six weeks together, classes French I and II work on conversational skills through building vocabulary, understanding grammar skills, and practicing fearlessly! I love introducing new concepts with music and games. We often begin class with a song, then practice what was learned the week prior. Repetition is key in truly internalizing new concepts; this is especially true when learning a foreign language. I try to create and maintain an open and “safe” environment. No matter how many times we mess up, it’s important to keep practicing together to increase comfort level.

One of my favorite moments is the last class of the six-week course. In celebration of all the progress everyone has made, we have a grand Francophone party! Everyone who is able brings a French-themed food item, we decorate the room, and we socialize en français using the skills we have learned and enjoying each other’s company! I hope whatever class you are taking at NCEC you dive into wholeheartedly! That is the best way to pick up new skills – and make new friends!


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