Q&A with Nathan Williams, candidate for Paso Robles School Board
Questions and answers with Nathan Williams
Editor’s note: The Paso Robles Daily News invited all candidates running for the board of trustees of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District to participate in a Q&A to help inform local voters. We will be running them this week as we receive them.
Why are you running for trustee?
I am running because I believe that I bring a unique perspective, outlook, and years of experience with me that will create a diverse opinion and vote on the board. More than that though I am running because of my kids. I have a 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 9th grader and I know that the decisions I will make will not only impact them but they’ll impact all kids and that’s an amazing contribution as a parent and as a community member. I know that I have a strong voice for fiscal accountability and more than anything, the priorities of our kid’s in mind.
What is the school district is currently doing well, and what would you like to see improved?
The district has really shown a discipline to turn the financial situation around and that’s imperative if we want to see the ability for positive growth and change in the future. I feel communication and relationships need to be built on. While I understand that not everyone can be reached, I believe more can be. If the district is able to build more trust and faith in those they serve they’ll get more support in return and the ability to do more, with more. It can’t be expected, it has to be earned through actions and accountability.
What is your position on re-opening classrooms and protecting students from COVID-19?
As I shared my wife and I have four kids. They absolutely love school and the many aspects that come with it. That being said we want our kids back in school. How we get them there is the debate and that’s not an easy answer. We have to not only work through the vast array of feelings and opinions from families out there but we have to take into account state requirements and recommendations as well as ensure we can accommodate any additional precautions needed to be taken at our school sites. Additionally, we have to take into account our educators, staff, and other personnel that make our schools happen. When we’ve done all this we can make the best decisions knowing that our goal should always be to make them with the greatest outcome for the most possible. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made that don’t please everyone and in this case, it could be opening schools when some aren’t ready or it could be delaying things. Regardless, those decisions should be shared and as thought out as possible.
How can the school district better serve students and meet its budget responsibilities?
I believe that clarity, communication, and collaboration are the keys to better serving our students fiscally. The district’s decisions need to be made clear to everyone, especially those they impact the most. While not all will be popular, any decision made should be able to be justified and willingly shared. Communication should be a welcome tool for that. If we take the time, even when we don’t agree, we’ll have a better chance of walking away at least respecting the process. That’s where collaboration comes in too. It can’t be just the administration making decisions nor can it be the union nor families solely making the decisions either. We all need to work together, alongside and for our students, to better as much as we can for all of them.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about your candidacy?
I believe that a board member represents everyone. A board member should be willing and even seek out those from the administration, teachers and staff, families, community, and most especially the students. If I’m elected I do not feel I would adequately be volunteering myself in that role if I didn’t do exactly that. I also feel those that are looking to the board for support have to be willing to be as invested as the board members are so I encourage and challenge everyone out there to use our board members as allies and advocates. Reach out to them and help them. If I’m elected, work with me so I don’t miss something but know I’m still independent and will work to do my best to make the most informed decisions that I can.
About Nathan Williams
I am a parent as I’ve shared and I’ve been involved in every aspect of my kid’s education since they started as has my wife. I volunteer every year in classrooms, participate in PTA’s, am the current President of Flamson’s PTO, have coached multiple sports over the years, and served as Athletic Director at Pat Butler during two different years. I’m currently serving on the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure M, I participated in LCAP, and I am very active in our community. I’ve been a firefighter for 20 years and also worked my way up to Assistant Manager at Wells Fargo bank along with many other jobs prior to becoming a firefighter. I have an associate of science degree and despite many other certifications, plan to also finish my bachelor’s degree. I could really go on but my actions speak the loudest and my passion louder still. Our kids come first.