When I was first approached about seeking a seat on the Williamson County School Board in 2011, my initial reaction was cautious enthusiasm. I had always wanted to serve on the Board and had promised my Dad when he was a school superintendent in Georgia that I would seek a school board seat one day. As I thought it over in 2001, I began to ponder ways to bring real value to the job. Although I’ve been deeply involved in education, I’m not a trained educator. I’m a businessman. Then, I read the WCS strategic plan and dug into its origins. Through intense community-wide collaboration and deep thought, the community said it wanted national recognition for excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. It was a very strong plan. I knew I could help.
How? I learned from my experiences that the only way to achieve the vision of a strategic plan is through focus and persistence. All stakeholders need to know what they’re working for, and be willing to remind one another when they stray. They must accept that they won't accomplish their mission overnight; they’re going to need to keep working hard to get there. And, when it’s most tempting to let up, that’s when they must press themselves to dig deeper. I had gone through this many times, and was excited about the prospect of using my experiences executing strategic plans in conjunction with my passion for education.
As a school board member, I knew I could help support focus and persistence (although I didn't anticipate this being such a struggle). I could help communicate the strategic plan’s vision to the community. Since the community developed the strategic plan in the first place, this wouldn’t be a stretch. And, I knew I could keep the vision in mind with each decision I make as a board member.
It concerns me, though, that we might lose sight of the plan’s vision. We could easily give it lip service, but not make day-after-day, year-after-year decisions to support the plan. We could get distracted. We can’t let that happen.
That goes for all of us, whether or not we have students in WCS schools. The quest for positive national recognition makes our whole community, and each of us in it, stronger. Even if we never become nationally recognized for excellence in academics, arts, and athletics, think about the wonderful things that happen to our students and community along the way as we work to reach the goal. And, remember, excellence isn't restricted to only the most talented academics, artists, and athletes. We only achieve excellence when we maximize opportunities for all students.
I believe our WCS leadership, educators, and staff have embraced the vision of the strategic plan. I hope the rest of us join them by remaining focused and persistent. I’m committed to doing my part.
Follow the link to the Williamson County Schools' Strategic Plan.