Arts at Ensworth
High School

Capstone Spotlight: Caroline Frist on Education and Race

Caroline Frist grew up in a family where education reform was standard dinner table conversation. Her mentor in high school, David Whitfield, introduced her to the idea that the history of Nashville and education are intertwined and gave birth to her Capstone project. She presented it on March 30.
“I was used to my parents inviting teachers over for dinner,” she explains. “I've listened to many conversations about how much Nashville's public schools are suffering and I wanted to look deeper into why that is.”

An Ensworth student since Kindergarten, Caroline found a mentor in David Whitfield, an English, history and Seminar teacher, once she moved to the high school level. He taught her that “race is a critical part of the history of public education in our country, so I felt it was necessary to look at the connection between the two and the progress we've made today.”

Students who take on a Capstone project synthesize knowledge learned in previous courses. In Frist’s case, she used as foundational coursework American Studies, the Civil Rights Movement, AP Government, and AP Comparative Politics.

“It was most interesting to see how Nashville public schools have dramatically resegregated as a result of the end of ‘forced busing’ and the gentrification of many neighborhoods in the last ten to fifteen years,” Caroline recalls. “When Nashville returned to neighborhood schools, the housing patterns in Nashville became extremely relevant in looking at the racial makeup of schools and subsequently evaluating their performance.”
As part of her presentation, Frist assembled a panel of local leaders to offer observations from their personal experiences on race and education in Nashville. Watch the video of the panel below.

Please consider joining us on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for three more Capstone presentations:

  • Corrina Gill: Female Empowerment EP
  • Scottie Koehner: “The World of Music through the Lens of Jimi Hendrix”
  • Julia-Rose Neff: Fashion Photography”
  • Marianna Staff: “Poetry”

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