PHOTO: WCS Superintendent Jason Golden was up early as he attended Independence High School Friday morning to usher in the start of the 2019-20 school year. / Photos by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
The sun was rising above the Thompson’s Station hills as Jason Golden made his first-day-of-school debut as Williamson County Schools superintendent.
He took over the position in May and finished out the 2018-19 year, having replaced Mike Looney as the latter moved on to lead Fulton County Schools in Atlanta. But for his first back-to-school responsibility, Golden reported at Independence High School around 6 a.m. Friday to meet with media and to watch as teenagers made their return from summer.
“I do have a little bit of that nerve and excitement that feels new because the responsibility levels have changed,” Golden said. “I spent some time with our department heads and senior staff just double- and triple-checking on whether anybody needed additional help. We spent more time talking about those things and the details.”
The early hour was nothing new for Golden. He had served as deputy superintendent for seven years and oversaw transportation among other areas of responsibility. Getting the buses to run on time means getting up well before dawn.
“On day one, transportation takes up a lot of your time,” Golden said. “We have computer models and GPS models that show how long a bus is going to take, but until that traffic hits, you never really know how it’s going to work.”
Of course, Golden’s responsibilities are much broader now. His reign covers 48 schools and more than 41,000 students.
“We want our teachers to focus on the three basic principles. One, keep students first; secondly, develop your capacity to know where your students are coming from so that they will be more receptive to what you’re teaching; and the third thing is, don’t go it alone. We have a lot of good professionals, from teacher mentors to coaches to interventionists who can work directly with students.”