Bradley Academy and Erma Siegel Elementary Earn Designated STEM School Status


Bradley Academy and Erma Siegel Elementary have been named Tennessee Designated STEM Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education in partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. The Tennessee STEM School Designation denotes that a school meets the highest standards of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) instruction and is a model for schools across the state.

“We are thrilled to receive this designation,” says Emily Spencer, Erma Siegel Principal. “This designation took the vision, leadership and hard work of a dedicated group of teachers. I am privileged to work with this outstanding faculty and staff.”

STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. STEM is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analytical skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.

“As an Arts Integrated School, I am extremely proud of our team embracing the STEM model while keeping arts in the forefront,” says Raeshon Torres, Bradley Academy Principal. “This designation is the result of years of hard work. We truly are a STEAM team working tirelessly for the Bradley students.”

Bradley Academy STEM
photo Bradley Academy STEM left to right, standing: Ginger Hazelbaker, Abbey Sanders, Evelyn Burnett
seated middle row: Taylor Witsaman, Billie Jo Thompson, Dana Stem, Regan Clark
seated forefront: Principal Raeshon Torres, Vice Principal Kennye Holt

STEM designated schools integrate STEM curriculum with project-based learning across all subject areas and programs both inside and outside the classroom. To receive this momentous designation, Bradley and Erma Siegel successfully completed the designation rubric including five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and post-secondary partnerships. As a part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. From this process, a total of twenty-two schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation.

This is the fourth STEM designation received by Murfreesboro City Schools including Overall Creek in 2018 and Discovery School in 2019. Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities. It is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum where activities in one class complement those in other classes.

The Erma Siegel team is led by Principal Emily Spencer, Assistant Principal Crystal Farris, and teacher leaders Emily Clark, Kim Taylor, Devontae Kelley, Jenifer Scott, Amberly Sandberg, Brandy Cheatham, Rachel Pepper, Leigh Ann Weaver, and Gretchen Campbell.

The Bradley team is led by Principal Raeshon Torres, Assistant Principal Kennye Holt, Dana Stem, Abbey Sanders, Ginger Hazelbaker, Billie Jo Thompson, Taylor Witsaman, Regan Clark, and Evelyn Burnett.

“I am delighted that Bradley and Erma Siegel are receiving this well-deserved recognition. The schools are engaged in experiential, real-world learning, linking today’s STEM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools. “Both schools have worked tirelessly to expand the teaching and learning of STEM in their classrooms.”

The Tennessee STEM School Designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. The Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee STEM Innovation Network developed tools and resources to define the attributes of a comprehensive STEM learning environment for students.

Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of thirteen schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.