Skip to main content
A teacher walks up to her students' desks

Season 2, Episode 2: Homegrown Leaders

Developing leaders within the school and community.

Air Date: January 17, 2023

Host Jonathan Santos Silva speaks with leaders and educators from Nashville Teacher Residency (NTR). NTR is a one-year program focused on rebuilding the teacher pipeline using Tennessee’s “Grow Your Own” model. By sourcing teacher candidates already working within local schools, the program provides financial resources to help residents transition into the education field and earn their teaching licenses. With support from highly effective mentor teachers, NTR positions passionate teachers with diverse professional experiences to become high-performing full-time educators who enrich the lives of the students they are already committed to. 


Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to our podcast insider newsletter.

The monthly ‘One Day Today’ newsletter features our top stories, delivered straight to your in-box.

About The Show

Host Jonathan Santos Silva (South Dakota ‘10) will sit down with innovative nonprofits from across the country that are committed to attracting, training, and retaining BIPOC educators. Each episode will feature thoughtful conversations about how organizations are investing in and providing careers where BIPOC staff can flourish.

Meet The Host
Jonathan santos silva square

Jonathan Santos Silva (South Dakota ‘10)

Jonathan Santos Silva is the Founding Executive Director of The Liber Institute and creator and host of The Bored of Ed, a podcast that amplifies the voices of inspiring BIPOC educators who are changing the face of education. He has provided technical support to South Dakota’s Native American Achievement Schools and has served as a school founder and principal, instructional coach, and education consultant.

Featured In This Episode
Matt Cheek

Matt Cheek, Executive Director of the Nashville Teacher Residency (South Carolina ‘14)

As Executive Director, Matt is primarily responsible for managing the organization and quality of the residency program, emphasizing strategic planning, vision-setting, organizational management, operations, external partnerships, and fundraising. He approaches the work with creativity and joy, using these passions to bring together a coalition of supporters to NTR.

Matt began his career as a Teach for America corps member in Lake City, SC, where he taught middle school social studies. After leaving Lake City, Matt (and his wife, also a TFA corps member) transitioned to Knoxville, TN, where he worked as a Gifted and Talented Instructional Coach for Knox County Schools, supporting teachers to meet the diverse needs of gifted students. During this time, Matt advocated for increased access to gifted programming for students of color and other historically underrepresented groups.

Yolanda Bivins

Yolanda Bivins, Manager of Resident Development for Nashville Teacher Residency

As a Manager of Resident Development for Nashville Teacher Residency, Yolanda coaches and trains aspiring Teacher Residents and Mentor Teachers on campuses across Middle Tennessee. Prior to this position, Yolanda worked for Houston Independent School District, where she served as a Teacher Development Specialist transforming historically low-performing Title I Campuses. Yolanda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, TX, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. In her spare time, Yolanda serves as President of the Board for Excel Retreat Ministries and enjoys traveling with her wife.

Nate Hunter

Nate Hunter, Nashville native, educator, martial artist, and performer

A graduate of Hume-Fogg Academic HS, he began his undergraduate journey at Florida A&M University and finished the long and winding road to his bachelor's degree in English Literature at Tennessee State University. After over a decade of teaching martial arts and fitness, Nate recently studied with Nashville Teacher Residency and reached his dream of becoming a certified English teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Sign up to receive articles like this in your inbox!

Thanks for signing up!