Strong Schools asked individuals running for Sumner County Commission for their responses to the following questions. The responses for those that replied are below. (The primary is May 1 2018, with early voting currently underway.)
1. How long have you lived in Sumner County?
2. Do you (or did you) have children or grandchildren in Sumner County Schools?
3. What is the best way to increase school security, and if additional funding was needed, how would you provide the funding?
“By request and design I’ve been on educational committee for 10-plus years. We started aggressively many years ago adding Sumner County officers to every school. We have continued that pattern ever since and to date have funded each school board request for added security including as part of a $73-million dollar renovation program that we’re wrapping up soon we have added security doors and more protection to each school. We must continue listening to our Director of schools, the board, the experts and keep doing everything possible to protect of kids and employees."
4. Why should someone vote for you? What unique strengths would you bring to the commission?
“Being the creator and catalyst to Educate & Grow Sumner County, a program that’s now state wide I’ve been working to improve Sumner County students and education here for over a decade. Also, for well over a decades my experience including at every level of government and business. Mostly, I let my actions, my voice and especially my votes speak to that and thankfully, Hendersonville and the Sumner County citizens and elected and re-elected me to represent them overwhelming time and time again for well over a decade."
5. What’s the best way to address long-term population growth in Sumner County?
“Keep doing what we’re doing. The current commission 3-4 years ago started planning proactively looking decades forward instead of band-aids as needed like the county use to do. By planning ahead the current commission has recently funded a $73M program touching and improving the overwhelming majority of schools county wide and, we are planning a brand new K-12 $100M campus in the middle of all the biggest growth in the county. Keep the same commission and keep looking decades ahead."
6. Regarding funding education, are any options “on” or “off the table” to meet budgetary needs? Why?
“No, not really ~ however, we have certain avenues that we can use and some we can’t and that’s primarily all by start law."
7. Do you agree or disagree that Sumner County School teachers are compensated appropriately? Why?
“The current director of schools and board have proposed pay raises across the board for the past 5-6 years. I have be in favor of each one and voted that way. Also, the current commission has overwhelmingly supported those plans and will continue to do everything possible to get our employees the most possible and most competitive in the state."
8. Do you agree or disagree that Sumner County School staff are compensated appropriately? Why?
“Same as #7 our approach for both especially the past 4-5 years at the request and direction of our director of schools and board."
9. Do Sumner County schools have adequate facilities to meet the educational needs of students? Why?
“No, we’ll always be catching up and doing everything possible to maintain all the needs of the ever changing world especially around technology. However, again the current commission (past 4-years) at the request of our director of schools & board have added more funding to every school class room(s) being updated, I.T. everything, county wide and more per-pupil money in the class room than ever before and we’ve kept adding more every year."
10. What are the three greatest needs, if any, do you see in our schools? How can the Sumner County Commission help address those needs?
“VOTE! Keep the current commission as much as possible that gets along and works with the director of schools and school board better than anytime in the history of Sumner County. Assuring that we keep looking ahead, planning for the future growth, when possible adding as much as possible to compensate teacher and employees."