LETTER TO THE EDITOR: My experience with WCS


To the Editor:

During this election season, I have seen a lot of negative attacks on current Williamson County School board members and the WCS administration. As a WCS parent, I want to share my experience.

To the Editor:

During this election season, I have seen a lot of negative attacks on current Williamson County School board members and the WCS administration. As a WCS parent, I want to share my experience.

In 2010, our neighborhood was rezoned from Grassland Middle to Hillsboro Elementary Middle, a K-8 school in Leipers Fork.We loved Grassland and were upset by the rezoning.We were also zoned out of Franklin High a school less than 5 miles from home to Independence High, 11 miles away in a different town. On top of that, in 2010 our new elementary school opened in our community was committed to building up a new school at the same time.We were not fans of the recently-hired Dr. Looney at this point.

But once we realized rezoning was going to happen, my husband and I decided to work as hard as we could for Hillsboro as we did not have children attending Franklin HS presently.At the time, Hillsboro was the only middle school without a band program.The sports were under-funded and the test scores were well below those of Grassland.

So we and lots of newly zoned families and current Hillsboro parents worked hard to bolster the school.Parents and the community (including Hillsboro Tomorrow) raised over $300,000 to support the schools technology, arts, sports and educational needs. A (spectacular) band program was added.Teachers worked tirelessly, and parents logged thousands of volunteer hours.

Throughout this process, the WCS board and administration pushed and supported excellence in a way that impressed me and continues to impress me.This included hiring a new principal (Kari Miller) in November 2010 specifically to move Hillsboro toward a new level of academic achievement.

I am proud to say that Hillsboro was one of three WCS schools nominated this year as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. In three short years, this little school in Leipers Fork of 500 students in grades K-8 has gone from being one of the under-performing, under-funded schools in Williamson County to one that has received many district accolades and awards for achievement and growth. In November, I will be in Washington DC to watch Mrs. Miller and her team accept the Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence for Hillsboro and I couldnt be more thrilled!

I know other families and other schools have similar stories.This is what happens when district leadership, educators, and engaged parents and community members all invest and work together to make something great for our kids. I want to support the strong work of WCS and make sure we elect candidates for school board who want the same.

Did you know that in the election last May, less than 10% of our county voting-age population actually voted?

Those of us who care about strong public schools need to make sure we are educated and vote on August 7th.This is the time to be informed. This is the time to be engaged. This is the time to get out and VOTE.

Jennifer Smith

Franklin, TN.

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