Central Magnet School

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Mr. Nichols is entering his 17th year in the teaching profession. He has taught a variety of social studies courses in middle and high school. In May 2011, his AP World History freshmen and sophomores had a pass rate of 46.3% when the national pass rate was 48.3% on the AP exam that is traditionally offered to juniors and seniors. In May 2012, his AP Human Geography students had a pass rate of 78.2% when the national average pass rate on the AP exam was 52.2%. Mr. Nichols taught AP World History again the following year. On that exam in May 2013, 92.3% of his students passed with an average score of 4.077 when the national average pass rate was 48.6%. His Honors US History students scored an average 99.4 for their End of Course exam report card grade. In May 2014, his Honors US History students again averaged 99.4 on their End of Course exams. He taught AP Human Geography again during the 2014-2015 school year, during which 95% of his students passed the national exam with an average of 4.00. For the 2015-2016 year, he once again taught AP Human Geography with a 93% pass rate and a student average of 3.91. He will be the advisory coordinator and college advisor for the 2017-2018 school year.


Outside of the classroom, Mr. Nichols has a variety of interests. At Central, he co-sponsors National Honor Society and high school Student Council.  He also organizes our school's mentoring program and the Faculty Talent Show during Senior Week for Central's graduating students. He served as Student Council sponsor while at McFadden and also coached the school winner of the Geography Bee, leading five students to the state level competition. He served as baseball and middle school cross country coach at McFadden. He currently serves as the high school cross country coach at Central. He has also done a variety of duties with the basketball teams at McFadden and Central.


When asked about his greatest achievement as an educator, Mr. Nichols proclaims, "Surviving the early mornings! Honestly, though, simply having the opportunity to work with the best students and being surrounded by incredibly inspiring teammates has been a wonderful gift." When asked about something that might be interesting to his students and their parents, Mr. Nichols shared, "In my younger years, I contemplated being a meteorologist, politician, or an actor. I eventually realized being a teacher gave me the opportunity to do them all."


In his personal time, you may find Mr. Nichols participating in a variety of outdoor activities. He enjoys walking and bicycling in his neighborhood and on the Greenway. He also likes goofing off with his nephews and niece and fishing with his dad. One of his biggest loves in life is the joy of an autumn day with lots of college football to watch. He enjoys reading and is a political junkie. Finally, Mr. Nichols loves spending time at the beach and traveling as much as possible.


Educational Background

  • MTSU -- Master of Education in Administration and Supervision, August 2010
  • MTSU -- Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education, May 2001
  • Oakland High School -- Honors Diploma, May 1997


Teaching Employment History

  • Central Magnet School -- high school social studies, fall 2010-present
  • McFadden School of Excellence -- 7th and 8th grade social studies, fall 2002-spring 2010
  • Central Middle School -- 7th grade social studies, spring 2002
  • Cedar Grove Elementary -- 7th grade social studies, fall 2001


Workshops, Presentations, and Professional Leadership

  • Selected to present session on "Visible Learning" to CMS Faculty, 2017
  • Chosen to teach US History for RCSOnline, 2015-2016
  • Selected to present DBQs and FRQs to CMS Faculty, 2014
  • Chosen to teach Contemporary Issues for RCSOnline, 2013-2016
  • Selected to the World History and World Geography State of Tennessee Review Panel of Expert Teachers for the State Textbook Commission, 2013-2014
  • Elected to the TEA Executive Committee, 2012-2013
  • Elected as REA Secretary, 2012-2014
  • Selected to present at the RCS "It All Adds Up" conference, August 2011
  • Appointed as CMS Social Studies Department Chair, 2010-present
  • Selected to attend NCSS Conference in Atlanta, 2009
  • Appointed to 7th grade social studies Scope and Sequence Committee, 2009
  • Appointed to 7th grade social studies Scope and Sequence Committee, 2008
  • Chosen by Shelby County Schools to present TCCL in Shelby County, May 2008
  • Chosen by the TN DOE to assist Project Citizen lesson preparation, Spring 2008
  • Selected to attend NCSS Conference in San Diego, 2007
  • Chosen as 7th grade Textbook Adoption Committee Chair, 2007
  • Chosen by the TN DOE to prepare and present TCCL, Spring 2007
  • Elected to the TEA Board of Directors, 2005-2007 and 2012-2013
  • Elected as REA President, 2005-2006
  • Selected to Gateway Leadership Institute, English Gateway Phase II, July 2004
  • Elected as a delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly, 2004-2008 and 2010-2017
  • Selected to Writer’s Academy, Phase I, July 2003
  • Elected as a delegate to the TEA Representative Assembly, 2003-2017
  • Selected to Gateway Leadership Institute, English Gateway Phase I, July 2003


Professional and Educational Memberships

  • Tennessee Council for the Social Studies, 2016-2017
  • Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2010-present
  • The History Channel Club, 2008-2016
  • National Geographic Society, 2006-2016
  • Tennessee Association of Middle Schools, 2006-2011
  • National Council for the Social Studies, 2002-2016
  • Tennessee Geographic Alliance, 2002-2016
  • Rutherford Education Association, 2002-present
  • Tennessee Education Association, 2002-present
  • National Education Association, 2002-present
Professional Awards and Honors
  • The Tennessean Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year, December 2016
  • Mid State Cross Country Association Girls A/AA Coach of the Year, November 2016 
  • Tennessee Council for Social Studies, Outstanding Teacher of the Year, March 2016
  • REA Achievement Award, May 2014
  • Central Magnet School Teacher of the Year, 2012-2013
  • TEA Distinguished Educator Award, May 2012
  • REA Al Wilkerson Human Relations Award, May 2011
  • McFadden School of Excellence Teacher of the Year, 2009-2010
  • BEP Grant for “Exploring the Civil Rights Movement,” December 2007
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, June 2007
  • National League of Junior Cotillions Best-Mannered Teacher, March 2005
  • BEP Grant for “Exploring World Cultures and Structures,” December 2004
  • McFadden Teacher of the Month for Promoting Respect, October 2004
  • BEP Grant for “Exploring Our World Cultures,” May 2004