Williamson County Schools have a new interim school board member. On Sept 14 the County Commission deliberated the qualities of three candidates for the vacant District 4 WCS board seat. Candidates Chris Koczaja, Jane McGrath, and Anne McGraw addressed the commissioners.
Koczaja, who had the backing of District 4 commissioners Kathy Danner and Gregg Lawrence, said that he would act as an apolitical presence on the WCS board and talk to everyone possible to improve upon an idea. He and his wife are “incredibly committed to the school district” due to their children’s enrollment in local schools. Commissioners Danner and Lawrence pointed to Koczaja’s background as a professional accustomed to dealing with complex issues. Koczaja’s record, the District 4 commissioners said, offers proof of his ability to apply problem-solving skills to the difficult and often divisive issues of the school board including rezoning. Koczaja said he was committed to serving during the interim period if appointed, but could not promise he would run for the seat in the general election next August.
District 3 commissioner David Pair nominated Anne McGraw. McGraw emphasized her neutrality in the politics that sometimes surround school board issue. As the mother of two Trinity elementary students, McGraw said that her “family has made a longterm investment in this community.” She told commissioners that they can expect her every decision and every vote will be individually made based on the needs of students, staff, teachers, and the community. McGraw intends, based on the support of the community, to run for the seat next year.
District 3 commissioner Matt Milligin nominated and spoke on in favor of Jane McGrath. Milligin stated that McGrath “spoke about students first” and that her experience a teacher proves both her commitment to children and ability to handle both the positive and challenging aspects of education. McGrath spoke as a parent of two current WCS students, a special education teacher, and parent volunteer and promised to be a “dedicated member of the board.” McGrath reiterated that her focus is solely on the wellbeing of the students and community. “I signed up because I know I can be a great public servant,” McGrath said. If appointed she would be “committed to running in 2016.”
A total of two rounds of voting were required for the commission to reach the necessary 13/24 majority to select the interim school board member. Following the second round, Anne McGraw was declared the new member of WCSB.