Metro School Director Shawn Joseph to Give Fall Commencement Keynote Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Shawn Joseph, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, will give the commencement address when Tennessee State University holds its fall graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 8.

More than 600 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees in various disciplines, according to university officials. The commencement will be in the Howard C. Gentry Complex at 9 a.m.

Dr. Shawn Joseph

Among those receiving degrees will be the 23 members of the inaugural class of the TSU Executive MBA program.

Joseph, a Long Island, New York, native and longtime educator and authorhas served as a teacher, principal, district administrator, deputy superintendent and superintendent. His work has garnered national recognition, and other districts have sought his expertise during transitional periods.

He has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work and service, including Ambassador Andrew Young Certificate of Distinguished Services, American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Dissertation Award, and the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals Middle Level Principal of the Year Award.

Joseph, who came to his current job in 2016, has researched and published articles in top peer-review journals on topics like strategic planning and principal development. In 2012, he published the book, “The Principal’s Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum.”

Before joining MNPS, Joseph was the deputy superintendent for teaching and learning in the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Public Schools. He also served as superintendent of schools for the Seaford School District in Delaware, and principal of Roberto Clemente Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, among others.

A lifelong learner, Joseph holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Lincoln University, a master’s degree in reading education from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate of Education from George Washington University. He and his wife, Ocheze Joseph, also a public school educator, have two school-aged children.

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at