2016 WCSB Election Calendar

Calendar

Odd-numbered districts and District 4 are up for election to the Williamson County School Board on Thursday, August 4, 2016. Confirm your district by entering your address here.

Important Dates

Friday, January 8 – Candidates may pick up a petition to run

This document provides qualifications and considerations for seeking a position on the Williamson County School Board.

Thursday, April 7, noon – Candidate qualifying deadline

Tuesday, July 5 – Voter registration deadline

Are you registered to vote? You can confirm here. (FYI, your County District is your school board district.) If you aren’t registered to vote, here’s the application that you can mail or hand deliver to the Williamson County Election Commission at the Administrative Complex at 1320 West Main in Franklin.

Friday, July 15 – Saturday, July 30 – Early voting

Thursday, August 4 – Election Day

Voter turnout for the August 2014 election was 20.22% and only 13.27% in August 2012 for the last odd-district school board election.

Incumbents

District 1 – Ken Peterson (1/14/16 – plans to run, 3/28/16 – will not run)

1/14/16 – “I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve everyone in District 1 and have really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in our schools. I believe I have worked hard to serve our students first and have built quality relationships with our teachers and administrators. I have listened to what they believe needs to happen to make our schools successful and have made those issues my priority.”

 

3/28/16 – Peterson announced at the school board meeting that he will not seek re-election as his family is relocating to Hawaii on May 1.

District 3 – PJ Mezera (1/14/16 – plans to run, 3/9/16 – will not run)

1/14/16 – “After much prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided to seek another term on the Williamson County School Board to serve the people of Spring Hill. My original reasons for running for school board, to honor God and faithfully represent Spring Hill and our needs, has not changed at all.

 

“I have tried very hard to do what I said I would do over these past four years and that’s my plan for the next four years, if I am re-elected. I love Spring Hill and I want all of our kids to have the same educational opportunities that the rest of Williamson County enjoys. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us in this county, but I’m excited about the possibilities and I’m excited about building on the success we’ve already achieved in our schools.”

 

3/9/16 – “Up until a couple of months ago, I had every intention of serving another four years. Part of that decision to run again included input from my children, as to their wishes. Although none were ‘excited’ about the idea, there were no negatives. However, about a month ago my twelve year old daughter asked me not to serve another term. She said she missed me and I was gone too much. Although I have treasured the time I have served Williamson County these past four years, at this point I need to serve my children and be more present in their lives.”

District 4 – Anne McGraw (plans to run)

“Being on the school board is such a privilege and one I take very seriously on behalf of my two young daughters and all the kids in WCS. District 4 is already on its second board member in as many years, and I strongly believe providing stability and consistency with an informed and engaged board member is in the best interest of our students, parents, teachers and administrators. I’m running because our kids deserve someone who fosters open dialogue and is personally invested in the success of our public schools.”

District 5 – Gary Anderson (plans to run)

“I am extremely proud to be a board member of the best Pre-K through 12 school district in the State of Tennessee and look forward to potentially continuing to serve the residents of this great county. I made my decision to run based on the fact that my heart continues to be focused on doing what is in the best interest of all of our students to ensure their success and I feel that I have the desire, will and knowledge to be a positive contributor to that success.”

District 7 – Bobby Hullett (plans to run)

“I have a very unique perspective because I’m a product of the schools. I went to school here. I taught in the schools. My wife is a teacher in the schools. I’m now a school board member so I have that experience, but also my kids go to school here.”

 

“Businesses come because of a lot of different reasons, but the primary reason businesses come to Williamson County is education. They want their kids to have a solid foundation growing up. So they come here to put their kids into our schools, and they entrust us with the care of their kids.”

District 9 – Rick Wimberly (plans to run)

“I believe most people in our county, including those who don’t have students in our schools, want the school board to focus on real issues, promote excellence, use good judgment, instill trust, and use resources wisely.”

 

“We need to support our students, Dr. Looney and other leaders, educators, and staff to achieve greatness then reward and recognize them for doing so. They should be comfortable speaking out, even when they’re offering a different perspective.”

 

“Community engagement should be encouraged at every turn. I believe we as a community can find the right solutions to maintaining excellence as we grow. We should work diligently and wisely. We need to be good stewards of resources, and work closely with the County Commission and Legislature on funding.”

District 11 – Mark Gregory (will not run)

“I began my service on the Williamson County School Board in September of 2004 when my children were in elementary school. My youngest child graduated from high school last year, and I believe it’s time for someone else to have the opportunity to serve the students of WCS.

 

“While I was elected to represent District 11, I have always felt that I have worked for all of the families of Williamson County Schools. I am proud of the achievements we’ve seen in the district over the past decade, and I look forward to watching the district continue to grow in academics, athletics and the arts.”

Potential Challengers

912 TN President J. Lee Douglas indicated in a December 18 Tennessean article that he plans to be involved with supporting and opposing school board candidates again in 2016. Douglas endorsed all six of the even-district board members elected in 2014.

“The people who I’m like-minded with, they’re not yet in the majority. They didn’t have many accomplishments.”

 

“I think you haven’t seen anything yet. I think they’ll [sic] be even more competition than we’ve seen before.”

 

“Seeing what took place last election, those people that opposed my viewpoints — they’re going to be out.”

Recall that when Douglas endorsed his slate of school board candidates in 2014, he stated:

“We have a chance for the first time since we have been in existence to take our Williamson County School Board with 912ers and conservatives.”

 

“If we take the Board this time, we’ll know that our work has been worth it.”

 

District 1 – Eddie Creech (did not submit paperwork by the 4/7 filing deadline)

“What I hear coming out of the schools is so disheartening. Not just from the teachers, but from the kids.”

 

“There are a lot of different agendas that are driving educational decisions that aren’t necessarily in the best interests of our kids.”

District 1 – Richard Davis

“I think I’m going in it for the right reasons. I just want to help. I’m a people person.”

 

“Those are our top-end students, and I don’t feel they’re getting nearly enough support that they should. I think we need to do more for them.”

 

“When I asked my son what he got out of it, he couldn’t think of anything. I thought that was kind of sad.”

 

“I think we need to catch kids at a younger age to get the biggest impact. In middle school, my son saw a gifted teacher for 30 minutes once a month if that.”

 

“I think I can help gain a consensus on different items. I work well with others. I may not agree with everything you say, but I’m not going to beat you up over your views.”

 

“I don’t see how they can get anything done when they get to arguing so bad. It gets so polarized, and I think everyone needs to take a breath and remember why they’re there — they’re there for the kids and that’s it.”

 

“If you’re a public official, you’re supposed to remember you’re representing your constituents and county constantly. You’re not supposed to do things to make them look bad. If I disagree with something you tell me, there’s a right way for me to get something across to you.”

District 1 – Brandy Johnson (did not submit paperwork by the 4/7 filing deadline)

District 1 – Angela Durham

“I don’t really have a stance on anything or an opinion yet. It’s always better to go in with an open mind and not have an agenda. I want to get in there and listen, learn, hear the concerns, the complaints. Try to understand and try to construct reasonable plans to address them.”

 

“I’d like to set up an environment where kids can thrive and learn and be good contributors to society.”

District 3 – Christy Coleman

“I think my business experience gives me the expertise and problem-solving that is needed on the board right now with the growth issues facing the district.”

 

“We don’t have room for outside agendas that should be driving how we’re spending the money.”

 

“We need to get kids out from behind the desk and taking tests and learning the natural way.”

 

“I feel like the last few years there’s been a lack of trust and integrity on the board. I want teachers, parents and children to be able to speak out without being retaliated against. I want them to feel they can share their opinions.”

District 3 – Eliot Mitchell

“The challenge in Williamson County Schools is putting desks where the children are. The system might have empty desk spaces in the county, but they aren’t in the areas of overcrowding. That is the challenge – putting the schools where the growth is coming.”

 

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of research to recognize why Nissan comes and other firms come for their headquarters as opposed to surrounding counties. Our property values and the reputation of the county is based on the quality of the school system.”

 

“There’s probably no greater asset within the public school system when it comes to quality of life, property values and recruiting businesses to the county. I’m not running to effect change with the school board as much as I’m running to ensure that the quality of the school system is maintained.”

 

“I don’t agree with [Williamson County Director of Schools Mike Looney] 100 percent on everything. I would come on as somebody who would be a friendly ear to his guidance and vision.”

 

“The past year the board spent too much time in the weeds. The board’s responsibility is to leave the running of the school system to the paid experts. We should help ensure elected officials aren’t meddling. The board should be fiscally concerned and good managers of the budget.”

District 3 – Kim Little

“Speaking with educators daily [as a curriculum advisor for Brentwood-based Ramsey Solutions] gives me the inside connection to not only hear what they have to say, but listen to their needs and desires for their classrooms. Their love for the students is very obvious, and I am convinced that teachers are the key to our children being successful. Children have to discover their passion at an early age and become the best they can be. When a child works passionately within their areas of interest, success follows.”

 

“[As a foster parent] I have seen firsthand children who have experienced things that no human should ever have to endure, as well as those with learning issues that go unaddressed. My desire is to do everything possible to meet their needs so that every child in our county will love to go to school and love being successful.”

District 4 – Joey Czarneski

“I’m working with my constituents in District 4 — talking to them, meeting with them.”

District 5 – Julie Mauck

“Growing up, I was blessed to have had the opportunity to move around and experience some very diverse cultures and learning experiences, but ever since first moving to Middle Tennessee in 1985, I have referred to it as ‘home’.”

 

“With the opening of three new schools in our district this fall and the continued residential growth in Williamson County, I will advocate for our district and try to make any transitions comfortable for families.”

 

“Growing pains are inevitable with any school district that is seeing as much success as ours, but I will work diligently to promote the interests of the District Five community.”

 

“In this time of burgeoning government and controversial reforms, it’s more important than ever to be in touch with the community, the teachers and the constant changes in education legislation and funding requirement. I have 19-plus years of parenting my public-school-educated children and of working with educators to be pro-active for my children with learning disabilities.”

 

“I have always had a huge heart for children and would be honored to serve this district.”

District 7 – Christopher Richards

“I would like to think if elected, if anyone in Williamson County weren’t successful with the local school administration, they could come to me.”

 

“I feel from [Bobby Hullett’s] actions on the board, he’s much more an advocate for the administration for the school, which is not his role. I’m not sure if he’s ever been against the administration at the school, not a single time.”

 

“On a school board, as an individual, you have absolutely no power so you have to gain a consensus. If you’re criticizing everyone’s opinions constantly, it makes it difficult to have a consensus. I think a lot of the contention on the board has been because of Mr. Hullett.”

 

“In our school system, I mentioned my kids are what Williamson County Schools refer to as ‘high achieving.’ They were bored, especially in math. At the elementary school level, we found very little access to classes like advanced math. We got our son tutored because we wanted more math.”

 

“That notably changed when they went into middle school. … I would like to see opportunities for accelerated learning increased dramatically the same way they are at the middle and high school level.”

 

“Despite my criticisms, I’ve been very happy in the school system as a whole.”

 

“I feel like Williamson County School is doing the best that they can. I met a parent that was upset that they were in upscale Brentwood and had their kid going to school in a trailer at Scales Elementary School. Some parents get mad. But quite simply put, the district is doing the best that they can. It just takes awhile to catch up. There is no simple solution other than the trailers right now.”

 

“[Bobby Hullett’s] burned all his bridges. I don’t find that acceptable. I find it inappropriate that his wife is a teacher. You have a spouse to whom you’re voting on their full-time salary. It’s a conflict of interest, plus you’re evaluating the superintendent who your wife reports to. That brings up doubt in parents like me. Are you voting because of your spouse or that’s what you personally believe in?”

 

“When my kids were at Lipscomb Elementary, I contacted Mr. Hullett soon after his election in 2013 regarding a laundry list of items I had concern with, and he dismissed practically everything.”

 

“The tipping point [to run for WCBOE] was last summer when [Hullett] received an ethics violation.”

 

“I feel it’s disruptive to the school board. [Hullett’s] efforts to censure Susan Curlee [12th District] appear to be a personal vendetta.”

 

“I would like to be involved in rulemaking, even as a parent. The state of Tennessee requires school districts to reach out to parents for their opinions on rules. … Parents should be involved in the rulemaking process.”

District 7 – Jennifer Luteran

“I have a deep passion for doing everything in my power to ensure that our school system empowers every child to become all that they can be.”

 

“This includes making sure that every single dollar that can go into the classroom makes it to the classroom; that parents and teachers are never afraid to engage with our school board and central office; and to ensure that all activities and decisions surrounding our children made by the school system are done in a highly transparent manner.”

 

“My hope is that decisions relating to growth will be made with community and parental input being taken into account. The need for rezoning is upon us. The process needs to be as open and transparent as possible.”

 

“The Tennessean reported this week that Williamson County saw the largest percentage of job growth in the country from September 2014 to September 2015. It seems that our school system is one of the main reasons that businesses and families move to this area.”

 

“Our local chamber of commerce felt recently that our schools were such an asset that they formed a PAC to help protect the reputation of those schools. I believe these same companies that benefit from the success of our schools could do more to support them, and I look forward to working with the chamber to find innovative win-win solutions for all concerned.”

District 9 – Denise Boothby

“I see a need for a school board that will work with the parents in inspiring our children and helping them develop a sense of accomplishment. I want to find a way, through the school system, to ensure we’re doing more than teaching a lesson or passing a class.”

 

“I’ve seen these kids [who need extra assistance, like those who face drug or alcohol issues, are suicidal or have an Individual Education Program] get disengaged with school. I think there’s more than math and reading and AP scores that need to be discussed.”

 

“I will be a positive voice for teachers, parents, students and the administration, offering a safe and confidential place to share their concerns, while working in partnership with them to achieve long-term success for our schools.”

District 11 – Stuart Cooper

“I believe in parental involvement, personally in my own kids’ lives. I want to continue to see the success of the Williamson County school system.”

 

“I would like a conservative person to jump into the field. I am conservative.”

 

“I would love to delve deeper into [educational issues of concern or importance] later on. I just pulled my papers. I’m looking into all educational issues. I’m currently studying all the options. In a few months as the campaign picks up, I’ll be able to talk about that.”

 

“I’ve watched school board meetings and that type of that thing. I’ve been to one meeting in person and I’ve watched some online.”

 

“I read a book called ‘Going Public‘ that is about how your children can thrive in public schools. That sort of piqued my interest in the school system in general.”

District 11 – KC Haugh

“As a parent, I’m pleased with Williamson County Schools and what they have accomplished. They are not complacent, strive to be the best they can be, and are innovative.”

 

“I want to keep the focus on education, not ideology. Schools are an important factor in the quality of life in a community, regardless of if a person has a child in the schools or not. I also want to look at the value and frequency of standardized testing. While local government doesn’t have as much say in this matter as the state does, I want to be able to give support to teachers and students.”

 

“The need to prepare for growth is important to me. The growth projections for this county are rising. It’s a priority to me to retain and attract top talent. I also want to maintain a good relationship with the community and the county commission.”

 

“I feel I could bring a spirit of collaboration [to the school board]. I am able to disagree in an agreeable manner. I can do so with a sense of levity. I also want to support the teachers and their efforts.”

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