Have you previously run for or held a position in public office? Currently on the Williamson County School Board
ADDRESS: 322 Springhouse Circle, Franklin
OCCUPATION: Senior Manager, Global Digital Marketing; Nissan North America
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
FAMILY: Married to Ryan for 10 years; two daughters
COMMUNITY/CIVIC AFFILIATIONS: Trinity Elementary PTO Volunteer and website manager, WCS SACC Coding Club Instructor, WCS CTE Advisory Council member, Make-A-Wish Middle TN volunteer/wish granter, Georgia Tech Nashville Alumni Network treasurer
1) Why did you decide to run for this office?
I actively followed and attended School Board meetings after the 2014 election because I started seeing negative headlines pop up in the news. I spoke at public comment in early 2015, pleading with the Board members to please focus on our kids and not their own personal agendas, and when my representative suddenly resigned last summer, I felt I should walk the walk and be a part of the solution. Out of the seven applicants for the seat, I was voted in by our County Commissioners and am happy to fulfill my promise to them to run in this election in order to provide continuity for our district. I’ve been learning on the job ever since, building solid relationships along the way with parents, teachers, administrators and our WCS staff. The feedback from the community has been extraordinarily positive, especially from parents who feel they have a representative voice at the table. I firmly believe I’m the candidate who will always put WCS students’ needs first and foremost during any topic or decision.
2) Are your children currently, or have they previously, been students in the Williamson County School district?
Yes, our daughters attend Trinity Elementary here in District 4. We just built a new home and will be here for the long haul in Williamson County Schools.
3) What do you believe are the top three issues that need to be addressed in Williamson County Schools?
1. Student population growth and the associated capacity and zoning challenges
2. Inadequate funding to provide needed services, maintenance and differentiated curriculum opportunities
3. Minimizing the impact and intensity surrounding standardized testing on our students and teachers
4) What do you believe will be your greatest asset to the enhancement of public education in Williamson County?
I’m an incredibly quick study and comfortable making informed, high-impact decisions as a function of my corporate management experience. I’ve learned how to be an excellent listener, ask the right questions, trust the subject matter experts, and go with my gut based on what information I have at hand. Pairing those skills with the best intentions of a mother who wants to see her kids’ schools be the best they can be is proving to be a really great combination.
5) As part of the Williamson County Board of Education Code of Ethics, board members sign an oath as follows: “I will refrain from using my position on the school board for personal or partisan gain.” How will you make decisions that are best for the school district as a whole in this nonpartisan position, while balancing the current political landscape around public education and continuing to listen to the concerns of a diverse group of constituents?
I’m not seeking or accepting political party endorsements for just this reason. This is the only local election that’s non-partisan and the logic behind that should be respected. I try very, very hard to not live in an echo chamber and make sure I’m talking to people who see things differently so I can understand all viewpoints before gauging what our residents as a whole truly want to see happen in our public schools. It all comes back to maintaining open lines of communication. I’ll never refuse to talk or listen to someone because they disagree with me or challenge my position on a topic. There’s value in respectful disagreement, knowing we’re hopefully all going at this with the schools’ best interest at heart.
6.) What do you think is the greatest success in WCS and what do you think is the greatest challenge facing WCS? How will you continue that success, and how will you contribute to the solution of that challenge?
WCS has been able to attract the absolute best teachers and administrators to our schools and the kids benefit every day from their passion and expertise. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs in our country. Our challenge is to keep them here and keep them happy as we work through this tremendous period of growth together. To do that we must ensure they feel valued, trusted, and appreciated. I’ll continue to work hard to make sure they are heard and represented, and seen as a source of expert information as we navigate each new challenge together.