I believe educational experience and a degree in education are highly valuable to serving on the School Board. However, since being elected I have often thought a law degree, an accounting degree, and a construction license would be beneficial as well. This week I've needed to add a degree in communication to my list! Recently, I was on the Rude Awakening 94.3. This week I appeared on WBIR on Thursday night to discuss the Superintendent's evaluation protocol. You can see that story here. On Saturday night I filmed a segment with WBIR about the hiring of a Broad Academy Fellow. On Sunday I was on Inside Tennessee to discuss the budget. (That segment isn't up yet.) I appreciate each of these opportunities to advocate for the children, families and educators of Knox County. I want to again thank the voters of District 7 for giving me this opportunity! As always, let me here your thoughts on these important issues!
school board members from across the nation to promote and protect our public schools.
My third favorite part of the conference was the back to back break out sessions. It is my desire to be the best school board member for KCS that I can be. Therefore most of the conferences I attended were part of the New Board Member Bootcamp:
As chairman of the committee reviewing the evaluation protocol for Dr. McIntyre, the most beneficial conferences were the two on superintendent evaluations:
I think these two sessions in particular will be helpful as we move forward to make sure Knox County's Superintendent evaluation aligns with the other Knox County School educators and administrators, and is rigorous and robust.
Upon returning Monday afternoon, I attended Mayor Burchett's community meeting for the Powell community before attending the Knox County Commission meeting where PMS Choral students were recognized. Tomorrow I will be at Halls Elementary. Tomorrow night is the Powell Community meeting on the Balanced Calendar at PHS at 6:00. I meet with Powell Elementary School on Wednesday. Thursday night I will be attending the meeting with Candice McQueen. Friday morning is the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast with Rep. Bill Dunn and others. The week concludes with my monthly meeting with Dr. McIntyre on Friday. As you can see this is not a two meeting a month position but one where together we can make a difference for the children of Knox County Schools.
Thanks for allowing me to be your representative,
Let me start by saying that I appreciate all of the input from the people of Knox County over the last month. I was encouraged to know so many Knox County citizens care about the direction of our schools. I can assure you I tried to answer every phone call and read and reply to every email.
Two distinct messages were conveyed over the past month. Those supporting Mr. McMillan were primarily concerned about the direction of our schools.Those supporting Mr. Harris were concerned about appearances, personalities and the "face of the board."
I can assure you it was a difficult decision. I did not want the Chairperson to be about power, personalities, politics, and pennies--actually millions of dollars. It needed to be about our children, our community and the careers of those who work for Knox County Schools.
The decision for Chairman of the Board needed to be about the immediate and far reaching future of our schools and community--the health of an entire community that has been devastated and divided.
The word unity was used a lot by people I talked with, in the media, even in discussions on the Board. It has been said, the Board needed a chair that "would unify the board." Personally, I don't believe the board needs unity--where everyone thinks alike and votes in unison. Instead, the Board needs harmony--harmony that includes real dialogue, honest discussions, transparency and a consensus.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, this vote was about who would "be the face of public education for Knox County." My vote was not about that--my vote was about checks and balances. As the Metro Pulse stated: "The executive committee decides the agenda for the school board meeting. Control of the meeting usually begins with control of the agenda." That is checks and balances. Our problems in public education--in our county, state and country--go much deeper. As a teacher, I know the problems are serious and must be addressed for the success and well being of our children, the future of our country, and public education as we know it.
I have so much respect for Mr. Harris. We share a lot of common beliefs--most notably our faith. He is an amazing man who is transforming the world and our community with his dedication, resources, and influence. Mr. McMillan has been steady and stayed the course. He has shown courage by being the lone vote on most of the issues that have come before the Board. (It is interesting that the diverse group of teachers from across Knox County that contacted me strongly supported Mike McMillan.)
Another year and my vote might have been different. I did not take this vote lightly. I have attended nearly every school board meeting since January--and several of the commission meetings as well--to be as informed as possible in making a decision like this one.
I will always have a heart for children and teachers. My vote was from a teacher's heart with children being first, teachers second, and the Board last. Now, let's move forward in harmony.
The Board retreat was held downtown at Cafe 4 Friday, September 19th and Saturday, September 20th. Friday night was devoted to a presentation on educational law by Chuck Cagle. On Saturday, we discussed the agreement between the BOE and the Superintendent. Amber Rountree's baby, Teddy, was in attendance both days.
Wow--what a privilege to get to be a part of the political process. I had a strong desire to be sworn in before the Board of Education retreat Friday, September 19th. Because of that, I was sworn in by the Honorable Judge Kristi Davis yesterday (Thursday, September 18th) at 5:00 p.m. My family and a few close friends were in attendance. Our two sons and their families were unable to attend because of work requirements. I want to extend a very special thank you to the citizens of the Seventh District who voted for me. Thank you to the countless Knox County School employees across the district who also supported me. Finally, thank you to my family who supported me, helped tirelessly with the campaign, and continue to encourage me as I embark on this new adventure!
Mike Howard and David Thompson moderated a successful forum at the Expo Center highlighting the qualified candidates from the area. Each candidate was there to answer questions for interested voters prior to the school board forum. All candidates for all elections were invited. It was such a good opportunity for citizens to personal time with each participating candidate.
A few weeks ago we had our first golf tournament. We want to express a special, heartfelt thanks to our golf tournament committee: Colin Moskal, Lyn Eagen, and Debbie Brown.
This Spring Break has been filled with many opportunities to speak to the community. I spoke this week at the Halls Republican Club, The Halls Business and Professional Association, the Powell Republican Club, and on air with Mike and Shine on WNSZ. What fun!
On Wednesday, I will do a candidate interview with The Knoxville News Sentinel and on Thursday, I will attend the League of Woman Voter's Forum.
We continue to appreciate your support and look forward to serving as your representative in the 7th district!
I am very grateful for the invitations we had this week. I had a number of opportunities to appear on local television channels. On Wednesday, I was interviewed by Robin Wilhoit for WBIR and Sunday I was interviewed by Gene Patterson of WATE. I was invited by the Adrian Burnett PTO to the annual WBIR Heartbreakers versus Adrian Burnett’s Staff basketball game at HHS. This game raises needed funds for their school while providing a chance for the Adrian Burnett community to have fun.
Next week is the Patti Bounds FORE School Board golf tournament on Friday.
We still have space for people to register a team or sponsor a hole. Check the website event page for more details.
Saturday evening I am excited to be attending the Lincoln Day dinner.
Your support and thoughts are always welcome. Feel free to contact us to get involved in many ways. There are roughly 58 days until the election!
There were five possible candidates when we started in January, and now we are running unopposed. We did not foresee how this campaign would unfold. We had no financial resources or previous political background from which to build. What we did have was numerous supporters and friends who offered excellent advice, got behind our campaign early, and believed we could make a difference for our children and our schools. We still have plenty of work to do, and we will work hard daily until the polls close on Tuesday, May 6th.
This past week our Meet and Greet at Beaver Brook just happened to occur on the same day that the other two candidates dropped out of the race. Thank you to everyone who attended. It was so exciting. We enjoyed meeting and talking with each one of you. Thank you to those of you that filled out those commitment cards volunteering to help in March, April, and May. Our campaign photographer came down with a bad case of the flu, so we are limited in the pictures we are able to post from that evening.
This week I will be attending the KCS School Board work session on Monday, and the KCS School Board meeting on Wednesday. I am really excited about attending the WBIR versus Adrian Burnett Hoopalooza on Friday, March 7th @ Halls High School at the invitation of the Adrian Burnett teachers.
Patti and her family maintain this blog, but we welcome reader submissions and feedback!