After Dr. Mike Looney made his decision to stay with Williamson County Schools, he answered questions about his deeply personal and difficult decision. You can see in the video below the toll of the past few weeks as Looney weighed this difficult decision and the impact it would have on two school systems, was apparent as he spoke with great emotion and empathy for the Davidson County School Board.
While balloons and signs of support and thanks for staying lined the walls of the Central Office, Carol Birdsong, Director of Communications made it clear that Dr. Looney did not want it to seem like a formal press conference, out of respect for the other school district. He answered a few questions and then did not stay to talk directly with the media.
Speaking from the heart, Looney answered tough questions from the media about why he made the decision he did and the reaction of Davidson County. Ultimately, the decision to stay was based on family and the overwhelming support shown during this process. He emphasized several times that he would not have gone through the process if he had not been willing to take the job.
In fact, Looney said he had intended to accept the offer, “But at the end of the day I lost a lot of sleep over this, prayed very hard, had a lot of community input and we are where we are today. My commitment is to focus on teaching and learning for this district for the next four years and to give this community what they demand from us as a school district and that is a focused school board and superintendent. Making sure the learning outcomes and academics, arts, and sports are what they expect.”
“I apologize for putting both districts through this. My goal is to keep the focus on our students,” he added.
Mayor Rogers Anderson commented, “When you look at Williamson County as a whole, the common denominator is our schools. People move here for our schools. We need to rally around our quarter back of our schools. Totally get why Metro would want Dr. Looney and I think we have demonstrated why we want him here, and want to continue working with him.”
In attendance was former school board member Cherie Hammond who came to lend support to current Sixth District School Board Member, Jay Galbreath and Dr. Looney. Hammond commented about the open seat on the school board saying, “This is a great day of celebration for our community. I’m glad Dr. Looney has chosen to stay. I hope more than ever people realize how important their vote is and take our rights and privileges to vote in our elections seriously.”
One of the reporters asked Galbreath if he felt like a rookie school board member any longer, his reply quickly was “No. I feel like a veteran now.” He also stated, “Now we can focus on school getting started, teachers can get back to their jobs and the board gets focused on the strategic vision for the system.”
Matt Largen, President of Williamson, Inc. spoke to reporters and spoke of the negative effect it would have had if Dr. Looney has chosen to leave. “The goal was to help him (Dr. Looney) to decide to stay because of the tremendous support he has behind him from the Mayor, the Chamber, the schools and the students,” Largen explained.
To read Dr. Looney’s statement in it’s entirety, visit Williamson County Schools.
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