Williamson County Board of Education member Brad Fiscus officially notified the county of his plans to resign this month, and the county mayor’s office has begun the process of filling the soon-to-be-vacant seat.
Fiscus, who represents District 4, told the Herald last month that he and his wife, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, plan to move to Virginia after September, as she intends to pursue public health opportunities there. Fiscus sent an email to the Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson’s office on Friday notifying them that his final day as a school board member will be Sept. 30.
“I’m so proud of the work that we’ve done and the work that you guys will continue to do, and I’m confident that the county commission will appoint someone to carry out that term,” Fiscus said at his final school board meeting Monday night.
Because this is a mid-term exit, instead of holding a special election, the Williamson County Board of Commissioners will be responsible for appointing an applicant to the position. Anderson’s office is currently accepting applications from those who live within District 4 and are interested in the school board position.
District 4 county commissioners Chad Story and Gregg Lawrence will wade through the pile of applications and interview the interested parties. The two commissioners are then expected make a recommendation to the county commission, though other commissioners also have the opportunity to make nominations, which will trigger a vote at the Oct. 11 meeting.
The first nominee to receive a majority vote will be awarded the position. The appointed party will serve on the school board until the term ends in August of 2022.
Fiscus told the Herald last month that he hopes his successor is “willing to do the work” collaboratively with the other 11 school board members. Lawrence shared that this is what he is looking for in an applicant as well.
“I want somebody who has the time and is willing to put in the time to go out and meet with the principals and PTO presidents, find out what the issues are in the district and the school system as a whole and work to address those issues on the school board,” he said.
WCS school board meetings have been highly attended (or viewed during the time they were conducted remotely) throughout 2020 and 2021 due to long, detailed and sometimes contentious conversations about COVID-19 mitigation protocols, diversity and inclusion efforts, critical race theory concerns, worries about the elementary-level English language arts curriculum Wit & Wisdom and more. Williamson County even drew national attention after a particularly heated meeting back in August.
Story said in light of the many hotly debated issues within the schools, he will look for an applicant with a “constructive demeanor.”
“How do you speak to emotion without creating more emotion? That’s kind of what I’d love to see,” he said. “There seems to be two really distinct sides of a lot of the arguments of what’s been going on. Just being able to help tone down the temperature in the community — I think that will go a long way with simmering things down and keeping us out of the national news.”
The office of school board is a nonpartisan role, and while the county commission is partisan, Story shared that he believes that the commission does a good job of putting politics to the side, and that’s what he said he’ll do in making a nomination.
“Coming from someone who enjoys politics, … politics creates issues in constructive decision making because you often can’t do the right thing without making someone angry or upset, and that’s where politics kind of comes in,” he said. “I think the commission has shown historically, at least from what I’ve seen, … politics is put aside for the majority, and it’s about what’s the right thing to do.”
Applications for the school board seat will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 1, at 4:30 p.m. Interested parties may contact the mayor’s office at www.WilliamsonCounty-TN.gov/forms.aspx?fid=57 or at 615-790-5700.