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NEA President Eskelsen García Kicks Off AEW 2014 in Nashville

NEA President Eskelsen Garcia leads a lesson at Shwab Elementary School. Photo credit: Kevin Lock 

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García kicked off American Education Week today at Shwab Elementary in Nashville, Tenn. "This is the first day of American Education Week, started in 1921 by NEA and the American Legion," said Eskelsen García. "They purposely put it during the week before Thanksgiving to show gratitude, and to celebrate American public education."

Eskelsen García joined Tennessee Education Association President Barbara Gray, Metropolitan Nashville Education Association President Stephen Henry and 10 "Educators For a Day," including school board members, the director of Metropolitan Nashville Schools, state elected leaders and local media.

It may be American Education Week, but at Shwab Elementary in Nashville, it's just another day and this is what public education really looks like. Principal Natalyn Gibbs and her "dream team" improved students' scores in the last three years, but she is even more proud of the things a test score can't measure. Shwab has an award-winning debate team, a "kids with character" program, a rocket club, art, a cooking club, a choir and more. "We believe it's important to provide our young students with these enrichment opportunities."

"When people think about what makes a 'good' school, all too often these days people just want to hear about the test scores," said Eskelsen García. "We know students are more than test scores and the only way to get an accurate picture of how students are doing is to see it for yourself. We chose Shwab Elementary because of the amazing things you are doing in this school each and every day. This is what public education really looks like."

The American Education Week Tour continues Tuesday with NEA Vice President Becky Pringle in Nashville for "Parents Day" at Bailey STEM Middle School.

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Now through the end of the year, Chevrolet proudly offers special pricing for educators. Visit or visit your local Chevy dealer as we celebrate those who shape the minds of every generation.