Interim superintendent for Williamson County Schools Jason Golden wrapped up his series of “Let’s Meet” sessions on Facebook Live Thursday morning, recapping some of the discussion from Tuesday’s session in the WCS Training Center and introducing a few new topics.
WCS Communications Director Carol Birdsong mentioned, as the Williamson County Board of Education prepares to officially sign Golden into the role this month, they wanted to give Williamson County families the opportunity to get to know their new superintendent and ask questions about his vision and goals.
Golden addressed several questions and topics over the four meetings since May 22, including financial and technological help for schools in areas of increased poverty, raising teachers’ starting wages to $40,500, the shortage of bus drivers and opportunities for special education and gifted students. In his final talk on Facebook Live, he also spoke about cyberbullying as a growing problem in the digital age.
“Social media has made both good behaviors and bad behaviors easier, quicker,” Golden.
“So, one of the things we’ve been working on is, number one, educating teachers on how to identify things, and number two, principals. And a big emphasis that we’ve had with our faculty and with our staff is to make sure that more than just one person is involved in helping students.”
Golden also said that the schools are initiating software this year that will identify words on WCS devices that could indicate a child in need of help. To coincide with this, he said the schools will be giving students a WCS device to use during school to eliminate the need for children to bring their own technology and allow the school to catch potentially harmful situations early.
However, Golden explained that this issue takes a community effort.
“We need to work with parents. It’s an all-day thing, middle-of-the-night thing with students, and so we’re hoping that, through our process of communication with our students, that we can empower them to share when they have a friend who’s upset about something,” Golden said.
Golden’s common thread through these meet and greet sessions has been “students first” and parental input. He shared again that he has a 90-day plan to listen to parents and get their input in light of WCS’s 7-year strategic plan, stressing that the service of students is the driver of building renovations, school openings and operational improvements.
“There is nothing more important than the people — the children we’re serving, the students we’re serving, plus the individuals who serve them, the teachers and administration,” Golden said.
The school board is currently in contract negotiations with Golden to appoint him as WCS superintendent. The board will discuss Golden’s contract at its meeting Monday, June 17.