Election 2016: Former Franklin alderman candidate wants unexpired District Four seat


Election 2016: Former Franklin alderman candidate wants unexpired District Four seat

Franklin parent Joey Czarneski said he wants to ensure smooth growth and propel Williamson forward if elected to the unexpired District Four school board seat.

Franklin parent Joey Czarneski said he wants to ensure smooth growth and propel Williamson County Schools forward if elected to the unexpired District Four school board seat.

He will run against incumbent Anne McGraw. His name was previously thrown into consideration during the nomination process last fall when Paul Bartholomew left the term when he announced his resignation last summer. For the last three years, three different people have maintained the District Four seat.

Czarneski was born in Cookeville, but has lived in Franklin for the past decade. His wife is an educator at Scales Elementary, where his son is enrolled. Previously, he ran for an at-large alderman seat for the City of Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman.

The unexpired school board term would last for two years after the August election.

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

This will be an issue with Williamson County Schools for years to come with our current anticipated growth rate. I support the approach that the superintendent has taken in the past to limit large county-wide rezoning to minimum five-year periods. My goal is to keep communities together whenever possible and a goal of no more than 25 percent splinter feeders at the high school level. I fully support grandfathering at this time and believe we should continue this practice.

Rezoning is always a hot topic, and it is important the board work closely with our county and city leaders to project and plan for growth 10, 15 even 20 years out. I am committed to researching and studying ways to build expandable campuses that will accommodate our growth without displacing students unnecessarily or requiring more dollars to purchase ever increasing land.

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

Public education as a whole does too much standardized testing. I want our teachers – so do they – to be able to spend their limited time in the classrooms focused on educating our students.

This quality time should be used to prefect the students’ critical thinking, writing, reading and math skills, so they are prepared for the next step in their life’s journey. The more time focusing on testing is less time focusing on the overall education of our students.

What is your position on Common Core and the state phasing it out?

Common Core is touted as a set of standards, right? Every school system needs and must have a set of standards that the kids are expected to achieve, but it should not come for the federal government.

Williamson County Schools will continue to meet the standards set by the state, but even more importantly, I support Williamson County Schools exceeding those standards and setting our own above and beyond.

I appreciate state Rep. Glen Casada’s stance on giving our state and local systems more control over our education and not have the power at the federal level.

What do you think of current state education standards?

The standards Williamson County Schools have set for themselves are higher than the state standards. Dr. [Mike] Looney has stated this himself, and I support him in assuring that we always have the ability to set additional or higher standards at the local level.

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

The accurate and balanced inclusion of the impact and contributions that world religions have had on western civilization is acceptable as part of our students’ studies.

What is not acceptable is spending unbalanced time on the history of one religion over another or the teaching of particular beliefs and theologies or making judgments in the classroom about the merits of those religions.

Those discussions are for religion class and not social studies. I also believe that there needs to be a discussion if six and seventh grade is the best time to include these discussions. Ninth and 10th grade may be a much better time for this.

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

The state of Williamson County Schools system is very strong.

Our current leadership has demonstrated a strong ability to set the vision of our education system at a high level. If I sit on the board, I will encourage the other members to look more at the details of the implementation of that vision to ensure its success.

What is the best thing about WCS?

The motivated students and the interest our parents take in the education of the children. Other standouts, of course, are the excellent quality of the faculty and staff in the local schools and a superintendent who desires the best education available for children of the community.

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

Fiscal transparency – as a board we need to be more transparent with our finances so that when we approach the county commission with our needs, they trust that we have been good stewards with the money and we are not being wasteful. This would provide a smoother budget process and help us get the money we need.

Relationships with faculty and staff – the survey indicates that everyone is afraid to talk to the board or super. We need to work very hard to remove that impediment. Being afraid does not only quiet those that may dissent, but it also quiets those that may have the innovative solutions that we need to solve issues.

Relationship with board members – I am committed to being a strong but reasonable voice on the board and building a team that can work together in a professional and respectful manner for the good of our students, parents, teachers and community.

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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