Williamson voters decide next school board members

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) – Over the past school year, members of the Williamson County School Board have dealt with parents concerned about textbooks, critical race theory, masking and individual family choice.

Those issues have crept into the race this year for peer districts, with each council member facing a challenger and an open seat.

One evening, Williamson County found itself on the national news, with some of those attending a school board meeting chasing public commentators to their cars and trying to stop them from leaving the parking lot. This meeting discussed the adoption of a mask mandate for primary school students in the 2021-2022 school year.

The race has also featured political action committee money or endorsements from groups like Moms for Liberty, Williamson Families, One Wilco and Williamson Strong.


DISTRICT 2

Dan Cash has held the seat since 2014, when he was elected with a slate of candidates backed by conservative PACs, including Americans for Prosperity. This was before elections became partisan.

His district comprises more of a rural area of ​​Williamson County, with unincorporated Bethesda and College Grove. When he originally showed up, he was adamantly against Common Core. It now carries the same tune with the Wit and Wisdom program that the council previously approved.

His opposition, Tiffany Eccles, ran as an independent and currently has children attending district schools. She has never held public office before.


DISTRICT 4

Appointed to the board in 2021, Josh Brown is seeking his seat for the first time.

He faced Democrat Bob Brittan and independent candidate Del Wright. None of his challengers have held public office before.

The district primarily covers parts of Franklin east of Interstate 65. It is nestled between south Brentwood and west Nolensville. District 12 is to the south.

Brown found himself on the school board after Brad Fiscus left the seat. Fiscus and his family left the state after his wife, Dr. Shelley Fiscus, worked hard with the Tennessee Department of Health on COVID-19 protocols for children. The department abruptly fired her, and she later filed a lawsuit.

Brown – the vice chairman of Pfizer – has three children in the district.


DISTRICT 6

Running again for his seat, Jay Galbreath has served on the board since 2014.

He went up against Kristi Bidinger and Deborah Pace, both independent candidates. Pace initially started a petition to run as a Republican, but switched to running as an independent.

District 6 primarily comprises the majority of Brentwood and the unincorporated portions of northeastern Williamson County.


WARD 8

Stepping down from her place on the board, Candy Emerson’s retirement from the board meant an open seat in District 8 for the first time since 2014.

District 8 is a large portion of unincorporated Williamson County, which includes Grassland.

Independent candidate Ken Chilton and Republican Donna Clements fought for the seat.


WARD 10

Two candidates want to succeed incumbent Eric Welch for the District 10 seat.

District 10 includes portions of a strip of downtown Franklin.

Welch takes on independent challenger William Doc Holladay and Democratic challenger Jennifer Haile. Welch was previously a board member before losing his seat in 2010. He regained the school board seat in 2018.


WARD 12

Board Chair Nancy Nelson Garrett takes on Republican opponent Drason Beasley.

Garrett — a Williamson County native — took over as school board leader after former president Gary Anderson retired from his seat in Nolensville.