What Is High Hopes?


Over 33 years ago, five families living in the Greater Nashville area realized that the type of education and intervention they dreamed of for their children with special needs simply wasn’t available through conventional options. Their children required a level of attention and adaptive care that just couldn’t be met by most daycares and preschools in Middle Tennessee. What’s more, even with quality care, these parents had to constantly leave work and pull their children out of school in order to drive them to multiple therapy sessions, sessions which were necessary to significantly improve their abilities and quality of life. At the time, inclusive education was simply not at the forefront of educational interests. A truly inclusive model of education, like the one these families dreamed of, was an almost radical idea, and anyone who attempted to undertake it became a pioneer. Not wanting to sacrifice the quality of care and educational opportunities for their children regardless of ability, these five families and one speech therapist got together and conceived an environment that would be equipped to provide complete education and daily care for children of all levels of abilities and needs. A place where children with special needs could attend preschool in a classroom alongside their typically-developing peers, and also receive their necessary therapies, be that in a classroom setting or one-on-one. With nothing but that basic model in mind, High Hopes was born. Administration High Hopes is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This means that any funds received during the year are funneled directly back into the business, and donations of all amounts help us meet our mission of serving the community.

We have four major departments within the organization: the preschool, the clinic, administration, and development. There are directors over every department. Melanie Anderson heads up the preschool and Kristin Garner the clinic, while Cheryl Dean runs the development side of things. Over it all is Gail Powell, our Executive Director. Behind it all is our governing Board of Directors. Comprised of 16 members, meeting once every other month, the Board is responsible for the mission and governance of the organization. They set long-term goals and objectives, make sure that all decisions are true to our mission, and ensure that High Hopes stays organizationally sound and fiscally responsible. An Advisory Board of 19 people appointed by the Board of Directors serves to advise, provide feedback, and make suggestions and recommendations to the Board it