Tanya Shockley Bess has announced her bid for re-election as 4th District member of the Warren County School Board. In her statement, the first-term board member promises to continue working for Warren County students and their futures as well-educated, productive and responsible citizens.
“My neighbors have greatly honored me by choosing me to serve them over the past four years on the school board,” said Bess, office administrator for investment firm Edward Jones. “I respectfully ask they consider my record over my first term and, if they find merit in my service, elect me to serve them for the next four years.”
Among the major milestones of the school system in her first term, she stated, are three major construction and renovation projects: Irving College School, Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary and the multi-purpose wellness center at Warren County High School. Also during her term the district completed work on the new Morrison Elementary School.
On the subject of cost-savings, the Warren County School System was lauded last year for having the lowest number of unemployment compensation claims per employee of any system in Tennessee with 500 or more workers, according to statewide benefits administrator Utrust.
“One of my personal priorities as a School Board member is maximizing the real educational results for every dollar we spend,” Bess said. “I’m always asking how every proposed expenditure would benefit our students. I firmly believe we must invest in education and that we have to push our expectations higher, but I insist on smart spending in contrast to heavy spending.
“Not every problem is solved by throwing money at it,” Bess said. “We need to authorize every dollar that’s actually needed, but no more.”
Among the advances in the system during Bess’ first term were the introduction of the nation’s first high school Mechatronics training and certification program and the improvement in the local graduation rate, as well as rising ACT scores. On the elementary level, math scores have vaulted upward to their highest level in three years. At the same time, Bobby Ray Elementary was one of only 18 schools statewide to earn its way out of focus (improvement needed) status. And to support computer proficiency and prepare for digital textbooks and online testing the system issued more than 1,000 Chromebooks to students.
Tanya and her husband, Randy, make their home in the Fairview-Irving College community where they are raising their children — Ryan, a Warren County High School graduate, and Jordan, who will enter her senior year this fall at WCHS. After two years of business administration study at MTSU, she completed her certification program and has served 17 years with Edward Jones Investments on Main Street.
School Board District 4 is comprised of County Commission districts 7 and 8. Early voting continues through July 30 in the lower level of the Warren County Administrative Offices, 201 Locust Street. Election day is Aug. 4.