Outgoing Wilson County Director of Schools Mike Davis spoke to the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, and laid out all the success the school system has seen over the last few years.
“You can be very proud,” said Davis. “You have a wonderful school system.”
Davis said this has been the best school system he has worked for in his 41 years in education. However, he thinks they can be better.
“Wilson County can be the premiere school system in Tennessee,” said Davis.
Davis said one of the most important things the school system has done recently is put a school resource officer in every school. He said he believed Wilson County is the first school system in Tennessee to do so. Davis said he doesn’t believe in arming the teachers. He said they need to focus on learning.
He said one area that the system can improve on is teacher salaries. Wilson County has the lowest per pupil funding than any adjacent county, and the school system is losing teachers to those systems. He said that math teachers can start in Wilson County at $33,000 or go to Metro Nashville Public Schools and make $40,000.
“It’s not hard for a math teacher to figure that out,” said Davis.
Wilson County Schools is 8th from the bottom in the entire state for per pupil expenditure at $7,803 per student.
Davis said the school system in 2012 recorded its best state report card in the system’s history with all As in math, reading/language arts, social studies and science in grades three through eight.
Davis said the graduation rate has climbed to 95.5 percent for the school system, but he said they won’t stop improving that score until they reach 100 percent.
There are four building projects going on right now - additions to West Elementary, West Wilson Middle School, and new buildings for Rutland Elementary and Watertown High School.
Davis went over the drawings and plans for each school. He said that in the next five years, if growth holds, the western end of the county will need another high school, middle school and possibly two elementary schools.
Davis resigned from his position as Director of Schools, and he will be leaving in June. He has accepted the same position at Robertson County Schools.