District 3 WCSB Candidates

District 3 is a geographically small district that primarily includes Spring Hill. If you vote at Heritage Elementary, the Longview Rec Center, or Chapman’s Retreat Elementary, you’re in District 3. Confirm your district by entering your address here.


D3Map

Video of District 3 Candidates at the 6/2 WCSB Candidate Forum

Christy Coleman


ColemanCandidate

coleman4wcsb@gmail.com, (615) 668-3682

Facebook page: Liked by District 11 WCSB candidate KC Haugh; Facebook friends with Bobby Hullett, Rick Wimberly

Website

Twitter

Current school engagement: Mother of a rising second grader in WCS

Professional: Tech specialist at Mars Petcare

History: Native Tennessean who moved to Spring Hill in 2012

Politics: N/A

Other groups and associations: N/A

Endorsements: N/A

Public social media posts: N/A

Tennessean announcement

“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.”

Home Page announcement

Home Page candidate profile

Williamson Herald candidate profile

Williamson County Association of Realtors questionnaire

Williamson County Republican Party survey

Tennessean survey

Kim Little


LIttleCandidate

kimlittle4schoolboard@gmail.com

Facebook page: Liked by District 4 County Commissioner Kathy Danner who endorsed Burgos, Curlee and Emerson in 2014 and Laurie Cardoza-Moore in 2015; 2014 County Commission candidate and 912 leader Cyndi Miller who endorsed Burgos ($500) and Curlee ($1000) in 2014; Facebook friends with J. Lee Douglas, Glen Casada, Jeremy Durham, Kathy Danner, Cyndi Miller, Julie West, Richard Davis, Julie Mauck, Jennifer Luteran, Stuart Cooper

Website

Twitter: N/A

Current school engagement: Mother of five, four youngest children graduated from Independence High, oldest graduated from Page High in 2006; did not attend the 5/16 WCSB Candidate Panel on Special Education

Professional: Curriculum advisor for Ramsey Solutions

History: Has lived in District 3 for 14 years

Politics: Has never run for office, was recruited by current District 3 board member PJ Mezera; self-identifies as a Conservative Christian


LittleRecruiting

Other groups and associations: Tennessee state licensed foster parent

Endorsements: Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham, WCSB member PJ Mezera (campaign treasurer), Williamson County Homeschool Coalition912 TN, WCRP Executive Committee

“Kim Little will make a great representative for District Three on the Board. She represents our values and the hard working character of Spring Hill. She represents the sacrificial love we all have for our children. She represents the fiscally and morally conservative government we demand from our representatives. She’s not afraid to fight for good. I want her as my representative. No other candidate currently running can meet all of these qualifications. Thank you for running, Kim!” – PJ Mezera, District 3 WCSB rep and former board chair

LittleSHPolitics

Public social media posts: N/A

Home Page announcement

“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.”

Home Page candidate profile

Williamson Herald candidate profile

Williamson County Association of Realtors questionnaire

Williamson County Republican Party survey

Tennessean survey

Eliot Mitchell


MitchellCandidate2

eliotmit@bellsouth.net, (615) 791-7485

Facebook page: Liked by District 3 WCSB member PJ Mezera, District 4 WCSB member Anne McGraw, District 5 WCSB chairman Gary Anderson, District 6 WCSB member Jay Galbreath, District 7 WCSB member Bobby Hullett, District 11 WCSB candidate KC Haugh; Facebook friends with Mike LooneyBeth Burgos, Rick Wimberly, Kim Little

Website

Twitter

Current school engagement: Three grown children attended WCS K-12, wife a WCS guidance counselor

Professional: Director for OpenText, Inc. for 26 years; BS in Computer Science from MTSU

History: Native Tennessean who moved to Williamson County 23 years ago for the schools

Politics: Spring Hill Alderman 2003-2015, ran for Williamson County Commission in 2014, appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to the State of Tennessee Workforce Development Board 2011-2014

Other groups and associations: Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Spring Hill Parks and Recreation Commission, Spring Hill Library Board of Trustees, President of Spring Hill HarMoniX (a community choral group), Ruling Elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Spring Hill, Co-founder of HCRA (South Williamson Athletic Association)

EndorsementsWillCo Rising PAC, Spring Hill Aldermen Jonathan Duda, Bruce Hull, Amy Wurth and Susan Zemek; District 11 County Commissioner Brian Beathard, former D12 WCSB member Vicki Vogt

Public social media posts: N/A

Home Page announcement

“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.”

Tennessean announcement

“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.”

Williamson Herald announcement

“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.”

Home Page candidate profile

Williamson Herald candidate profile

Williamson County Association of Realtors questionnaire

Williamson County Republican Party survey

Tennessean survey

District 3 Home Page Candidate Survey Responses

Christy ColemanKim Little

Eliot Mitchellwhat’s your philosophy on school rezoning, grandfathering and the anticipation of future growth for rezoning?It’s obviously going to be a massive undertaking the next 10 years. My philosophy is to be on top of it and ahead of it through work with developers and city planners.When a developer is building an area, they know what demographic they are going for. In Spring Hill, it’s a lot of single family homes. I think the administration already does a good job, but let’s do a five, seven and 10 year plan.Another big thing is working with developers and board of mayor and aldermen. It needs to be that partnership. If developers are building properties where we can’t keep up with growth, new residents may not want to live here.But if a kid has to be rezoned more than once, that is too much. Is that reasonable? Probably not. But it’s doing that planning and making sure we aren’t rezoning kids too much, so they can keep social circles and be in schools with their siblings. If a kid is already attending a school, we should have provisions for them to stay, but for the siblings to follow behind them when their sibling is moving on to middle, it should be a case-by-case basis.When you start rezoning, you have neighborhoods split. From a transportation standpoint, that is not the best option.You can’t fit any more kids in District Three, so they probably won’t be touched much. But if we have a new middle school built, kids will be touched by its construction. There’s a ton of building, but not in District Three. But it will obviously impact things in this district.Rezoning is a necessary evil. No one wants to uproot their kids, especially where they are established.We all have to endure it. I just want to make it as painless as possible for the children. If they have one more year within that school and the siblings of those students are already there, it would be great to extend that grandfathering.I am a big advocate on stability, and if you uproot them so many times, you are eliminating the stability.As far as District Three, we are built out, and they are building a new school. But I don’t know that we will be shifting those children around. There’s just not room. I could be completely wrong, but that’s just thinking of where they going to put another school.It needs to be seldom. It needs to be avoided at all costs. But over time, the school system has been building a classroom a week. What comes down to is the challenge of putting the empty desk where the students are.My children over their career were rezoned at least seven times. All three of them went to new schools. My children now 23, 25, 27 went to three new schools between the three of them. I can relate to the challenges from a parental standpoint.I think that my philosophy is the school system needs to synchronize with the municipalities on where the growth is occurring, so they can help project and improve their projections of where they need to plan schools.Open zoning needs to be done as much as possible so it’s more of a parental choice rather than a board edict. We took advantage of grandfathering and open zoning. My daughter opened up at Independence and moved to Page.The reality of rezoning is the friends remain friends. They don’t quit being friends because they are at different schools. By the time they got to be students in college, their roommates in college were the friends they had in elementary and not necessarily high school. So the side effect is that the children create a network of friends across all the schools.What is your position on standardized testing – is there too much, too little?Right now, my child is in first grade, so he doesn’t do TNReady.There should be a solid intention, and testing has become testing for testing’s sake. I’ve worked in data for a long time, and you can have too many metrics pulled, plus you’ve worn out students and some of them start to hate school.I want to get kids outdoors more. I know there are some studies in Texas of kids who have three or four recesses today of about 15 minutes so they could stop and burn off energy.When it comes to testing, just from a fallout of my friends who have kids in that range, it’s way too much.I think it’s too much and too much pressure. I don’t know the answer, but there needs to be options when they don’t do well.Maybe it’s oral or cumulative grading – that’s going to be a trial to see what works. There’s too much and too much pressure put on teachers.I have two students who are seniors. My son is a great test taker, and my daughter is a horrible test taker. I think there needs to be happy medium.There is too much of it, and it creates stress on everyone involved from the administrators to the teachers to the children.What is your position on Common Core?I think if anyone is talking about it, it’s pure political pandering. We want to watch what’s being phased in and make sure it’s state controlled. The bigger issue is testing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t stop watching as a state. We want teachers to have the opportunity to teach and not teach to the test. It’s a thing of the past, but you have to learn from those mistakes and make sure things don’t become worse following it.I think there are some really good elements about Common Core, but for the younger students, it’s frustrating.You’re taking the long way. But older students, you have that critical thinking and that competitiveness within themselves and in their schools.It’s going to have to be something they do all of their lives and figure out what to do instead of running to Google or mom or dad. I feel that element of Common Core is a good thing.I am fine with the state phasing it out because it’s become so controversial. The concept of standardized teaching and curriculum makes perfect sense. You want to ensure that graduates in Memphis are every much learning something as high school graduates in Knoxville and Spring Hill.What do you think of current state education standards?I would say, from a state standpoint, I think they are great. Are they perfect? No. But we will exceed them anyway. I don’t have an issue with them.I think they are fine, but I want to make sure they are reviewed. I want us to compare our state to other states. That would be something that would need to be studied. As long as it’s reviewed annually or bi-annually to make sure we are on tasks with other state.I am not a teacher, or a trained educator. So I don’t profess to be an expert on education. We all think we are experts because we went to school. But my caveat is we need to leave the teachers to be the experts we’ve hired.That said, my personal opinion is the standards of teaching are so tight and specific that teachers aren’t empowered to deviate from it at all. You have 45 minutes to teach these specific points, and when you have a moment in the classroom where children show engagement in a subject, the teacher doesn’t have the flexibility to take that passion to run with it because he or she has to stay on schedule. So the standardization – we have to find a balance – we have to find balance to give teachers the flexibility to explore the passions of the children.Do you think world religions should be part of history or social studies curricula?On the subject of religion in schools from a historical standpoint, you have to. You can’t pretend it didn’t exist. The basics of beliefs I am OK with being taught.I think it’s a fuzzy line, and that’s what people get upset about – at what point are we teaching about and teaching religion?It’s hard for teachers to be unbiased when teaching. I hate the term “separation of church and state” because it diminishes what people believe. It tells a kid their faith doesn’t matter or belong in school, but it’s still important. It matters to me as a parent.There has to be a line. I think what happened in Maury County – I can’t speak to that county – but I do feel like someone took it, and basically used it as a political platform without thinking how it will affect children.There are proper channels to get things resolved before blowing it out of portion. I don’t think our teachers are indoctrinating our children. Kids should always feel free to express their religion.I am cool with it being a part of history, but not cool with it being proselytizing. I am a Christian, but if you open it up for proselytizing, you have to open it up for all it.My sons would have told me if they didn’t like it. They have had good educators. It was presented historically, and had they had an issue, they would have told me. It’s all in the presentation.Yes. I think you need to teach about religion but not teach religion in schools. The world business community values diversity. I lead a team of computer experts that includes Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Christians, gay and lesbians, Hindus.So the reality is and I work with them every day and I have to be respectful of them every day and if you are wanting to be successful in the world and business you have to be knowledgeable about cultures. Religion is key to culture. If you want to be successful in business, you have to embrace diversity.What is your opinion of the current state of WCS and the current leadership?I definitely support Dr. [Mike] Looney. He’s doing a great job, and I’ve been impressed with him in the past few years with the drama being spun up by members in the community and school board. He’s graceful in those situations.When it comes to administration, they are doing a great job. There is always room for improvement.When it comes to the board itself, it needs a little more conclusiveness and more bridge building. You are going to get everyone sitting on there right now to participate, but it would be great if they could just sit down and put the tensions aside. The last few months, they’ve started to gel and work better together.It’s great to have polar opposite viewpoints on the board. Everyone on the board loves children, but there’s too much tension for them to work together. We can’t grow as a community until we get that working well.I personally don’t know Dr. [Mike] Looney. But I do know he does put the right people in the right positions. I don’t envy him with his job, and I look forward to getting to know him better and working as a team.I can’t really say anything about him. With the principals and administration I’ve dealt with I’ve always had good experiences. I’ve always been pleased with who I’ve developed relationships with.The school board has one employee and that’s Dr. Looney.That’s who we need to manage. I am fine with the leadership Dr. Looney has given. I won’t be a rubber stamp, and I will challenge and ask questions. It’s what I do. I don’t have a problem understanding concepts and principles, and asking questions to get to my understanding of it.I am a detailed type of person. If I get enough details, I will determine whether the recommendation is consistent with my best judgement.What is the best thing about WCS?Honestly, when I think about the school system, I am going to throw out the word passion. We have teachers passionate about education. I see that with my own son’s teachers. I see that with those trying to be involved with the school board, even though they are getting a hand to the face. You’ve seen the parents really come alive in the past two years with them wanting to protect what we have here. I see a lot of excellence coming out of every facet.It is No. 1 in the state, and I do like that. I feel like we have an exceptional education system here. I love the open door policy and sit down environment. You can have conversations with anyone at any time, and I want to be a part of keeping it that way.I think it’s probably the culture of expectations on the students. The fact that it has an expectation of high achievement and success all over the county is a culture and key quality driver.I don’t think you can identify a single item that is the best thing. I think the dedication of the teachers and the staff is phenomenal. I think quality of our facilities is world class. I think our parental involvement is excellent and should continue to be embraced.What needs attention and what aspect of it could need adjustment?I would say the No. 1 thing that needs to be fixed – it’s nothing about policy – it’s that trust between teachers and the board and administration.One thing I want to do is bring that old school concept of town halls. Yes, you have public comment at the board meetings, but there are so many meeting spaces. For example, I would say ‘hey, we are going to come talk about the new social standards.But the biggest thing is that trust and integrity, and until they can trust each other, it doesn’t matter what we try to do. If there is no trust, it’s doomed to fail. The biggest thing that needs to be done first is tap the breaks. It’s come to that point with how we are operating right now overall. I think the administration and teachers are doing a bang up job.There needs to be this refocus on loving children, and not seeing the other as not caring.I think there is a lot of rivalry between education and sports. I would rather see them become collaborative.I think there is room for improvement every single day. I don’t have an issue as far as educating my children, but I want to be progressing always doing better.I want to be always challenging educators and administrators. I want to get up every morning and ask what can I do better.I think there is some communication, and we do get newsletters on a weekly basis, but I would like to see teachers sending individualized newsletter and more communications between educators and individual parents. I understand they have a lot on their plate, and it would be nice to know what they are doing weekly in class.I think we need to consider if we are over testing because of the stress that it puts on the children.I’ve heard some concerns from parents and administrators on the allocation of special needs resources. I don’t have a solution to that, but I think that’s one of the things as I’ve talked to parents. That’s a comment that’s come up multiple times.I think the transportation system and strategy seems to be under pressure. We don’t have enough bus drivers, and you have them running multiple routes. So here’s an example. You’ve got busses running multiple routes for Summit and Spring station. So you have a group of kids every day in middle school that have to be managed and waiting for the bus to come back and get them. It creates a challenge of the administrator for the middle school they have 40 or 50 kids keep under control for an extra class period basically.I also think the teachers need to be able to have the freedom to break standards to take advantage of student engagement when it occurs.