Election 2016: District One dad wants seat after lifetime in Williamson

Election 2016: District One dad wants seat after lifetime in Williamson

Leiper’s Fork dad and county worker Richard Davis said he would now like to have a say on the Williamson school board after his family has been invested in the county for decades.

Leiper’s Fork dad and county worker Richard Davis said he would now like to have a say on the Williamson school board after his family has been invested in the county for decades.

Davis said his family has been in Williamson since 1790, though Davis didn’t start living in what he joked as the suburbs of Kingfield until he was five. His dad’s career in the Navy shuffled them around before then.

He currently has two children in the system – a son at Independence High School and a daughter at Hillsboro.

“I feel like I am heavily invested in the county,” he said. “I would like to put my two cents worth in. There’s always room for improvement.”

Davis said his family has been involved in their children’s education with his wife Julie pitching in to help the PTO. Davis said he’s served on the board for the Leiper’s Fork Recreation Association. He’s also helped with Hillsboro’s bands.

In his day job, Davis works for the Williamson County Solid Waste Department. He’s certified from the state as a landfill operator. Davis went to Middle Tennessee State University for his degree in aerospace.

“We try to provide the best service for people with our tax dollars,” Davis said. “They already do a good job of that. One thing is when work for government, you have to be equal across the board with everything. That goes to the schools all the way down to what I do.”

Rezoning is one of the first issues the new board will deal with together as the Nolensville schools open and Thompson’s Station on the horizon, what’s your philosophy on school rezoning, grandfathering and the anticipation of future growth for rezoning.

When it comes to rezoning, the first thing you look at is the transportation times down. I don’t want them spending a lot of time getting to school. I want them to spend more quality time inside the building. That’s the big thing about rezoning.

I agree with letting a child stay where they are when it comes to grandfathering. Continuity is a big thing for me. I was lucky to have the same second-grade teacher as my father. The same teachers I had in high school my younger brother had. I think Fairview is very lucky. They’ve not been touched by the explosive growth. In District One, we reach all the way down to Thompson’s Station and Spring Hill. That’s where the growth spot is. Thompson’s Station is unrecognizable to me compared to when I was young. I’ve seen it all grow. It was all farm land when I was in school.

What is your position on standardized testing – is there too much, too little?

Standardized testing is something you have to have a certain amount of. I would like to see a good mixture of standardized and individual testing. Not everyone fits in one box. But I think overall it’s been fairly good for my kids.

What is your position on Common Core?

I am not a fan of Common Core for the same reason. It seems like a one size fits all. I am curious to see what comes in after, and I am looking forward to it.

My son is in the gifted program, and he looks at things different. He had to go through every little step, and for him it was tedious. It was a different experience with my daughter. They are two different people, and so they do things different. That’s why I don’t think one size fits all works.

What do you think of current state education standards?

I think it’s all relative to your frame of reference. We’ve done excellent on the state level, and we are starting to make in roads on the national level. I would like to see us make in roads on the world level.

Do you think world religions should be part of history or social studies curricula?

I think it goes back to what I said – everything should be equal across the board. It’s a touchy subject for a lot of people. But I think to be fair, you have to be fair across the board with everything, and I don’t know how else better to say that.

What is your opinion of the current state of WCS and the current leadership?

Obviously, they’ve done a pretty good job. As someone who went through the school system and graduated in 1981, it’s greatly improved.

I say kudos to everyone that’s put their two cents worth into everything, but there is always room for improvement. My personal life and business are two separate things. And when you’re on the school board, you’re simply there to take care of the kids and the tax payer money. The way anyone else feels about anyone else doesn’t matter. You’re there for those two simple things.

What is the best thing about WCS?

I think they are doing a good job of preparing my kids for the future. One of the greatest assists is there is so much community involvement from parents to the employees.

Everyone involved seems to strive to give my kids the best education they can get, and I fully appreciate that.

What needs attention and what aspect of it could need adjustment?

One thing, and I am little biased on some things, but it amazed me this year that my son left before I went to work. The transportation department has had their hands tied with a shortage of drivers. I would like to see that get fixed. Instead of it being a long bus ride I would rather them come to school fresh.

I also want to see more options for gifted and special education students.

But I would like to say thank you to everyone who’s helped my kids to where they are now. I don’t want to make anything worse. I just want to make things better.

Emily West covers Franklin and Williamson County government and schools for Home Page Media Group. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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