Explore! Team

Executive Principal

Mr. Gish comes to us after 11 years in Williamson County Schools where he served as a teacher, assistant principal, and for the last three years, a building level principal. His entire career has been serving elementary and middle school students and he has experience starting a new school (Mill Creek Middle) and leading a K-8 school (Hillsboro Elementary/Middle).  Mr. Gish lives in Nashville, and said, “Leading a diverse school community in the same neighborhood where I live is a great honor and incredible opportunity. I feel blessed to part of the Explore! community."

Mr. Gish has a degree in Music Education from Murray State and a Master of Educational Leadership from Lipscomb University.  He understands the importance of multiple measures of student success, and under his leadership, has led schools that have demonstrated strong performance on TCAP/TN-Ready exams (earning Reward Status for both achievement and growth in 2018).

Middle School Principal

Mrs. Barbis is a Nashville native with fifteen years of educational experience.  Most recently, she served as the founder and school leader of Templeton Academy, a small independent school in downtown Nashville with a focus on Project-Based Learning.  Templeton’s founding class just graduated with $2.3 million in scholarships and an ACT average of 26.  Educated at the University of Tennessee, Lipscomb, and Vanderbilt Universities, Kalee is deeply committed to personalized, experiential education.  She has a strong track record in developing relationships with students and teachers, and cultivating a student-centered classroom.  Mrs. Barbis spent three years in Washington DC, as the founding Assistant Principal at Washington Leadership Academy, an XQ Super School focused on reimagining high school.  Prior to that, she taught for six years in both MNPS and at another charter school in Nashville.  Mrs. Barbis looks forward to combining her private and public school experiences to create meaningful learning moments for Explorers and staff!