District 9 is a large district that covers primarily west Franklin, Leiper’s Fork, Cottonwood and Thompson’s Station north of Thompson Station Road and west of Highway 31. If you vote at Walnut Grove Elementary, Benton Hall, Westhaven, Grace Chapel or Independence, you’re in District 9. Confirm your district by entering your address here.
Incumbent Rick Wimberly
Facebook page: Liked by District 3 WCSB candidate Christy Coleman, District 3 WCSB candidate Eliot Mitchell, District 4 WCSB member Anne McGraw, District 5 WSCB chairman Gary Anderson, District 6 WCSB member Jay Galbreath, District 7 WCSB member Bobby Hullett, District 11 WCSB candidate KC Haugh
Current school engagement: Four grown children attended WCS, wife a librarian at Walnut Grove Elementary; 30-year WCS volunteer, has held local, state, and national volunteer leadership roles for Destination Imagination, current WCSB school board member
Professional: President of Galain Solutions, Inc.
History: Moved to his home in Cottonwood 31 years ago for the schools and church
Politics: Appointed to the WCSB in January 2012
Other groups and associations: Founding chair and on Board of Trustees of the Education Foundation for Williamson County, Boy Scout Troop 444 volunteer
Public social media posts: N/A
“I believe most people in our county, including those who don’t have students in our schools, want the school board to focus on real issues, promote excellence, use good judgment, instill trust, and use resources wisely.”
“We need to support our students, Dr. Looney and other leaders, educators, and staff to achieve greatness then reward and recognize them for doing so. They should be comfortable speaking out, even when they’re offering a different perspective.” “Community engagement should be encouraged at every turn. I believe we as a community can find the right solutions to maintaining excellence as we grow. We should work diligently and wisely. We need to be good stewards of resources, and work closely with the County Commission and Legislature on funding.”
Facebook page: Liked by J. Lee Douglas (founder and president of 912 TN) who endorsed Burgos, Cash, Curlee and Emerson in 2014, County Commissioner Kathy Danner who endorsed Burgos, Curlee and Emerson ($150) 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, Don Beehler who endorsed and provided PR assistance to Burgos, Cash, Curlee and Emerson in 2014, Denise Birnbaum who was Candy Emerson’s campaign treasurer, endorsed Laurie Cardoza-Moore in 2015, and supports Susan Curlee and Barb Sturgeon; Patsy Writesman who ran for WCSB in 2014 before endorsing Dan Cash, WCRP Executive Director Jean Barwick who endorsed Burgos, Cash, Curlee and Emerson in 2014, vocal opponents of Dr. Looney, Raymond Baker and Virginia Walker; District 5 WCSB candidate Julie Mauck, District 7 WCSB candidate Jennifer Luteran; Facebook friends with Glen Casada, Jeremy Durham, Julie West, Mary Ellen Redford, Judson Phillips, Stuart Cooper
Twitter: Followed by Susan Curlee and only 22 others
Current school engagement: Two grown sons graduated from Franklin High
Professional: Realtor for Benchmark Realty
History: Nashville native who has lived in Williamson County for more than 30 years
Politics: Republican Women of Williamson County (RWWC), Williamson County Republican Party
Other groups and associations: Tennessee Firearms Association, Tennessee Right to Life
Endorsements: Williamson County Homeschool Coalition, 912 TN, RWWC, 2014 County Commission candidate and 912 leader Cyndi Miller who endorsed Burgos ($500) and Curlee ($1000) in 2014, James Amundsen who endorsed Bartholomew, Burgos, Cash, Curlee, Emerson and Galbreath in 2014; Debbie Deaver who endorsed Burgos, Cash, Curlee and Emerson in 2014, and 2015 WCSB candidate for District 4 Laurie Cardoza-Moore who endorsed Burgos and Emerson in 2014
Nominating petition signed by County Commissioner Todd Kaestner and his wife
Public social media posts: N/A
“I see a need for a school board that will work with the parents in inspiring our children and helping them develop a sense of accomplishment. I want to find a way, through the school system, to ensure we’re doing more than teaching a lesson or passing a class.” “I’ve seen these kids [who need extra assistance, like those who face drug or alcohol issues, are suicidal or have an Individual Education Program] get disengaged with school. I think there’s more than math and reading and AP scores that need to be discussed.” “I will be a positive voice for teachers, parents, students and the administration, offering a safe and confidential place to share their concerns, while working in partnership with them to achieve long-term success for our schools.”
District 9 Home Page Candidate Survey Responses
Rick Wimberly…what’s your philosophy on school rezoning, grandfathering and the anticipation of future growth for rezoning?It would be ideal for children to attend the school where they are closest to geographically. Rezoning is a natural occurrence to be expected with the county’s growth. Students travel time should be as limited as possible. I am in agreement for grandfathering.It was stressful for me as a parent knowing it might occur. When my kids were in school, everyone across the street went to Independence. On our side of the street, everyone stayed at Franklin High School.It’s a fact of life in Williamson County, and it will continue to be. It’s complex, controversial and it’s difficult for families.What we have to do is be as sensitive as possible, but at the same time, it’s doing what’s best for the county. Rezoning will continue as long as there is growth.We don’t have a strong record of anticipating growth in the long term, but we know it’s coming based on population projections. There are 52 schools in the county including the Franklin Special School District. We cannot build 53 more schools – it simply will not happen. That means we will have to move people around.This is a community problem, so we need full community engagement from not only local officials, but the community as a whole, even for people who don’t have kids in the schools. Everyone will be affected significantly, and the communities need to help us find a solution on how we are going to handle this.What is your position on standardized testing – is there too much, too little?The Tennessee Department of Education assigned a task force to determine the effectiveness of standardized testing. It is state controlled so as a board member my input would have little influence. Parents are telling me that the benchmark testing is in excess. Testing measures your ability to test well. It is not always a measure of a student’s knowledge, so I don’t give it a lot of credibility.We are currently doing too much, but there is a fine balancing act of what is too much for teachers to get sufficient input on their ability to teach properly.What is your position on Common Core?I believe in exceptionalism. So, the idea of something being common is never appealing. It seems to serve as a baseline standard, which we should have a minimum expectation, but ideally set exceptions high for our students. Again, Common Core is state mandated and not controlled by our local board. I don’t know that the county spoke clearly regarding their opinion of Common Core in the 2014 elections, so it would be wise to listen to the parents of our county who are mostly opposed from what I can tell.I supported the resolution that we passed. It said in effect that certain standards are necessary. However, the local districts need to have the ability to adapt to standards in a way that they are feel most appropriate for their communities.What do you think of current state education standards?The local board members do not have the ability nor is it their duty set the state standards. My position for education is that we need to have available curriculum for students to qualify for admission in the university of their choice as well as multiple vocational training programs for those not seeking higher education to be prepared to enter the work force. I also believe we need to be equipped to meet the needs of students’ individual learning styles.First, I think it’s important to understand what a standard really is. It’s a guideline, and from that is a scope and sequence and lesson plans.We have to rely on our educators to develop the proper scope and sequence and for the teacher to develop those plans tied to them. We have historically exceeded standards in our scope and sequence.I’m proud of that and hope it continues.Do you think world religions should be part of history or social studies curricula?Not at the middle school level. I see this as a world history course, which if taught factually and historically accurate, would be part of that curriculum. If further religious studies courses were desired by students and parents, I can see us offering a religious studies course that incorporates studies of all religions. If the curriculum is required to be taught in the middle school and parents do not want their children exposed to these studies, then I believe they should have the opportunity to pull out and have an alternative curriculum available.Of course, they are a part of history.What is your opinion of the current state of WCS and the current leadership?We are blessed to have the best schools in the state; I believe with our growth, (schools) face enormous challenges. Our current leadership seems to have stirred up a lot of interest in the community, which is a good thing to have people paying attention and engaged.I think our schools are in excellent shape. We can obviously do better and clearly the leadership of the schools from our superintendent on down are constantly striving to make them stronger.That’s something I am proud of, and the community is as well. There’s a fellow named Tony Waggoner. He’s an education guru, and he did a study on what survival skills do young people need to be effective in what’s down the road for them.He came up with seven skills, but what that includes is helping prepare our students to be good thinkers and good doers through things such as critical thinking and creative problem solving and communication skills. We have a tremendous set of offerings of extracurriculars that work toward teaching skills.After we renewed Dr. Looney’s contract, I asked, “What’s next?” That’s when he started telling me about his six big ideas, and those are tied in nicely to those seven concepts. Whatever is ahead, you have to start young. I think your typical educator is helping students with them, but there are so many pressures through excessive testing. What we do in a day, sometimes those pressures interfere with helping students develop these survival skills.We, as a community, are aware and working toward solutions and must continue to do so.What is the best thing about WCS?The best thing is the quality teachers, involvement of parental support and impact on the community.The community involvement, without a doubt. We spend less per pupil on almost every school district in the nation, yet our results are superior. The reasons that is a fact is because of parents who are deeply engaged on a daily basis, and the quality of our professional staff which starts with Dr. Looney and permeates throughout the system. They are connected. People like to get engaged because they know they are working with top-notch educators.What needs attention and what aspect of it could need adjustment?I believe there is too much focus on scores. I would like to see a focus on outcomes. Focus on the needs of the individual students and the individual learning styles of students. I would also like more counseling available for students’ future preparedness in their studies and help them to understand the reward and consequence of choice today and how they will impact tomorrow. To me, the real measure of our schools is to look over the past five to 10 years see where our students are now. We will see a lot of success but not enough for the internationally competitive world we live. We need a bigger focus.Within the school system, it depends on what level you are talking about.I am comfortable with Dr. Looney and his team, and what they are doing and their awareness to getting them done.I am concerned that we as a school board have lost focus. I would like to see that change.We need to focus on what really matters to the system and to the students. We need to avoid getting sidetracked. How do you deal with it? You acknowledge you need it, set a good example, and keep talking about it.