Misty Ayres-Miranda is one of the most dedicated and beloved instructors at Nashville School of the Arts (NSA). She teaches grades 9-12 students English, Honors English, and AP English Literature, and also chairs the department. But Ayres-Miranda also leads her students beyond this—they blossom via several rich arts and performance-based programs that she directs.
Ayres-Miranda created and directs the school's new Literary Arts Conservatory, designed to provide students with opportunities to perform, write and produce plays and films. Teens learn to express themselves in a large variety of ways. They perform at the poetry slams and spoken word events that Ayres-Miranda organizes at the school, as well as in poetry competitions around Nashville. The students also perform with several local arts organizations, such as the Country Music Association and the Nashville Symphony.
Graduation and literacy rates have increased at the school, thanks in part to Ayres-Miranda’s skillfully planned project-based learning, lessons rooted in academic standards and Socratic seminars. Her exceptional instruction and the progress of her students have consistently earned her the highest possible ratings in both growth and achievement on the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) for the past seven years. This work has helped to drive school English scores well above the state averages.
Ayres-Miranda devotes countless hours during and after school to help students grasp concepts and complete projects, often tutoring them during her lunch hour. As a result of her impact, many have continued post-secondary studies in literature and educational instruction.
Outside of class, Ayres-Miranda is a Student Council advisor, leads School Spirit week, serves on the school executive leadership team, and often mentors current and new teachers. A talented performer in her own right, she is a vocalist for NSA jazz ensemble, and serves as a bilingual Spanish interpreter for family and community members from South America.
Ayres-Miranda earned a 2007 bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University, and a Master of Fine Arts from Belmont University in 2014.