Bellevue Deserves a New High School

One of the most pressing issues — and most neglected both by the local media and our current board member — is the demand for a new high school in Bellevue. As more and more families continue to move to Bellevue, our community is right to pursue a school that more closely meets the needs of this vibrant, growing community.

At the same time, we’re seeing tremendous growth in the West Meade and Hillwood areas. My family lives a mile from Hillwood, and it’s been amazing to welcome so many young families into the neighborhood over the past few years. And anyone who’s driven through Charlotte Park the last few months knows how quickly that community is growing. These families ALSO deserve a school that serves their needs.

So, what’s the path forward? First, whether I’m elected to serve you or not, I will fully support and advocate for any effort to secure property and a facility, as soon as is feasible, for a Bellevue High School. Second, I will reject any effort to sell or otherwise abandon the Hillwood site. I believe that this site should remain a high-quality educational option for our community. I’m open to a range of options here, but at least two attractive ideas are being discussed: 1) converting the Hillwood site to a new magnet high school, or 2) offering the site to Nashville School of the Arts, which is searching for a new location.

In talking to voters in both Bellevue, Hillwood, and West Meade, I hear a lot of frustration: frustration that this conversation hasn’t gone anywhere in years and frustration at the lack of communication from our elected leaders. Parents and constituents don’t feel that their voices have been heard. My opponent, Amy Frogge, has been relatively silent on this issue, despite its significance for District 9 families. When she has spoken up, she’s spoken in favor of selling the Hillwood site to pay for a Bellevue site. This “solution” pits communities against each other, and abandons the original intent of the Hillwood gift from the H.G. Hill Family.

This should not be an either/or proposition — it’s the duty of an elected official to advocate for the needs of the entire district, not just portions of it. This situation underscores the need for new leadership on our school board. I am a collaborative, innovative thinker who will be a fierce advocate for our community’s needs. With your support, I will make the site selection and construction of this high school my top priority on the board.

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