Election 2016: Franklin dad wants board to refocus, concentrate on smooth rezoning


Election 2016: Franklin dad wants board to refocus, concentrate on smooth rezoning

Franklin’s KC Haugh said his focus if elected to the District 11 school board seat would revolve around smoothing the transition of rezoning his top priority.

Voting district 11, Franklin area.

Franklin’s KC Haugh said his focus if elected to the District 11 school board seat would revolve around smoothing the transition of rezoning his top priority.

He will be on the Aug. 4 ballot. Early voting runs July 15 to July 30.

A Wisconsin native, Haugh and his wife have two children who go to Centennial and Page Middle School. They found their way to Williamson when Haugh’s job offered him the opportunity to transfer with part of the pitch involving the school system.

Haugh works in information technology, and is currently the vice president of Information Technology at Store Opening Solutions. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s volunteered at his children’s schools throughout the last eight years, and started his PTO involvement at Winstead Elementary School.

He will face Stuart Cooper for the open seat, with incumbent Mark Gregory choosing not to run again for re-election.

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.

It’s going to take a lot of listening and analysis. We should go for the goal of minimal disruption. I was really involved in the last rezoning discussion in 2010. We didn’t feel there was a lot of good communication. I started a Facebook group to facilitate that and pull different perspectives together.

That’s going to be needed in this discussion too. Thinking about the growth challenges they are huge. District 11 is going to be impacted. With the growth happening in the south, I think we need to make sure we plan appropriately so people aren’t rezoned multiple times.

So it takes into account a quality of life that considers traffic, facilities, parental involvement. Goals would be minimal rezoning in the future. We should attempt for as close to a clean feeder patten as possible. I know it’s almost impossible, but having that drive the discussion is helpful in making sure the parents aren’t driving past a school to attend another school. That’s the challenge.

The challenges arise out of growth, which is good. No one likes change, and I can appreciate that. But all of the schools are excellent, and I think the district has done a good job to make sure there is a quality education at each of our schools, versus just a few schools.

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

I think there is too much, and there is too much emphasis on it. The school board doesn’t have a lot of say nor does this district. But I think Williamson County is in a position to advocate for testing that is appropriate and not overly onerous on the students.

Measuring achievement is important. I think the district does a good job of that in measuring across the board. The testing with TNReady is a debacle. I wasn’t wild about TCAP. The emphasis on that was a little much and puts the stress on the kids I wish wasn’t there.

I think the district can help push back on some of that. TNReady was beta testing and it’s irresponsible to make people take a test that hasn’t been validated. The district and administration does a great job of accepting the challenge and taking the high road. It would be easy for everyone to complain and throw up their hands. [Superintendent Mike] Looney is confident that they will do their best through adversity and that’s good leadership.

What is your position on Common Core and the state working to phase it out?

I don’t see the district having much of a position. I think you have to do with what the state says and as long as we have standards that exceed them, I see it as a non-factor. We can apply our own local standards to maybe do a better job of keeping the education challenging and appropriate.

What do you think of current state education standards?

I think that Williamson County schools exceed the standards and I think that the education is rigorous enough. It’s adequately challenging. I haven’t seen any I thought were lacking. I think they are well developed, and I think what my kids are learning is appropriate and challenging.

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

To the extent that it covers history, absolutely. There is no separating religion and history. My daughter is seventh grade this year. When this came up, I asked to look at the textbook. I read it, and I saw that it was covering the basics, and I think that’s appropriate.

It gives them a good base understanding of other cultures without proselytizing or advocating one or the other. I think the material is fine. It covers the subject in an innocuous manner. But it has become an opportunity to create some divisiveness in an issue that takes the focus off of the academic achievement and education.

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

I think it’s really good. Achievement is excellent in looking at the ACT scores with a goal higher that’s this year. Student achievement is the best, tangible, quantifiable measure of how we are doing. They’ve done a good of creating a welcoming environment and focusing on academics and achievement.

I think there have been unnecessary distractions, and I want to do what I can to keep the focus on supporting academic achievement. I’ve met with teachers administration, and students. It does seem at times the board has been pulling the focus away from what’s important, and we need to have everyone going in the same direction.

What is the best thing about WCS?

I think the engagement of parents and the involvement of the community, plus the appreciation of the businesses. Local businesses and international businesses are drawn here. That focus on achievement is really fostered by the involvement of parents in the schools. I think that is one of the things that drives a spirit of community where I’ve been at Winstead, Page and Centennial. When I talk about the community, you do feel like everyone is in this together. It feels supportive and supported.

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

I think we need to focus on education and the most appropriate use of our resources as we plan. There is so much serious work to do in the next few years particularly with rezoning that we can’t have outside agendas drive the business of our schools. Williamson County is the fastest growing economy in the country. We don’t need things that put us in the news for the wrong reasons.

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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