August 4, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charlane Oliver
DR. MIKE LOONEY TO GIVE ‘STATE OF THE SCHOOLS’ DURING CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP LUNCHEON
Superintendent Makes First Public Address Since Renewing His Commitment to Williamson County Schools
FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Williamson County Schools (WCS) Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney will make his first public speech since announcing July 24 that he would remain in Williamson County instead of accepting the director of schools job with Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). Looney will give a “State of the Schools” update during Williamson, Inc.’s monthly membership luncheon on Aug. 18 at Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive. Looney is expected to recap the year’s highlights and preview the upcoming 2015-16 school year. The meeting is presented by Western Governors University (WGU) Tennessee and costs $35 for members and $55 for guests.
Looney was the top candidate for the MNPS director of schools position after an intense, public interview process that concluded with him announcing that he would “remain in Williamson County Schools in order to continue our journey to becoming a district recognized nationally in the academics, athletics, and the arts,” he said in his statement.
The ordeal had many Williamson County parents, residents and community leaders concerned for the implications his exit would have on the state’s top performing school district. The outcries of support—including those from the business community—were influential in Looney’s decision to stay.
Williamson, Inc. issued a statement saying, “Under Dr. Looney’s leadership, WCS continues to lead Tennessee in achievement, and the school system remains one of the best economic assets for both Williamson County and for the entire Middle Tennessee region. Protecting this economic asset and keeping WCS as strong as possible is the single best thing we can do to ensure our continued economic prosperity.”
WCS has produced impressive numbers during Looney’s tenure. The 35,000-student district boasts an average ACT composite score of 23.5, which tops all districts in every subject area and has consistently improved since 2010.
According to 2014-15 TCAP data released in July by the Tennessee Department of Education, 80 percent or more of Williamson County students scored proficient and advanced in all subjects except for English II, exceeding state averages. High school students made gains in all subjects except for English II and English III. Students in grades 3-8 exceeded state averages in reading/language, math and science by 32.3 percent, 25.9 percent and 26.6 percent, respectively.
State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen praised Looney for improving test scores and increasing the graduation rate to 94 percent during her keynote speech at the chamber’s May membership meeting.
The public is invited to be among the first to hear Looney address the public about the direction of WCS for the upcoming year. The event begins with networking at 11 a.m. followed by the lunch and program at noon. Register online by noon Friday, Aug. 14 to receive a pre-meeting list of attendees.