Tim Chason chose not to seek re-election to a third term on the Cartersville City School Board in the early 2000s, but when he was offered a chance for a return engagement, he couldn't pass it up.
Chason left the school board in 2012 after serving eight years, but he returned last year to fill the unexpired term of member-at-large Linda Benton, who retired after 23 years on the board.
"Linda Benton is an icon for the Cartersville City School System," he said. "I considered it an honor when she asked me to fill her unexpired term on the board in July of 2017. That honor continued when the board voted unanimously to accept me as a member of their team."
Another reason Chason wanted to return was to help bring in the new superintendent.
"I knew a transition of superintendents was to occur within the next year," he said. "With my experience in the field of executive search, I felt I could assist with a smooth transition from Dr. Howard Hinesley to Dr. Marc Feuerbach. The expectation of the community for a strong, visionary leader to continue the academic excellence in our system is a large challenge. Dr. Mike Bryans established a high bar for Dr. Hinesley to follow, and [Hinesley] set a high performance level for Dr. Feuerbach. I like to be a part of winning teams."
Name: Tim Chason
Occupational title: President of The Chason Group Inc.
City of residence: Cartersville
Education: Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia
Family: Lynne and I married in 1987 at Rose Lawn in Cartersville. She was a teacher and media specialist in the Cartersville School System until retirement. Our daughter, Kelsey Lee Chason, was born Feb. 6, 1991, at Cartersville Medical Center. She is a graduate of Cartersville High School and the University of Georgia and will receive her Doctor of Medicine degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in May 2019.
Daily Tribune News: Why did you want to serve on the Cartersville City School Board the first time you were a board member?
Tim Chason: Georgia, and specifically Cartersville, has been very good to me personally and to my family. In August of 2003, Beth Mathison announced she would not be seeking another term on the board. I believed, and still do today, everyone has something they can give back to the community they live in. I felt my talents in business were skills I could offer to the community. I was elected to serve two terms on the board and chose not to seek a third term.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about being on the school board and why, and what do you like least about it and why?
TC: Watching young people grow mentally and physically is a true highlight. On top of that, seeing the excitement the professional staff of team members have every day while delivering a quality environment for learning is contagious. Hearing a first-grade teacher talk about the growth of her kids the first few months of school can change anyone’s perspective on life. And then watching young men and women begin to make career decisions as they enter middle school and high school builds on a positive atmosphere that I enjoy. Regarding what I like least about serving on the board is simple — hearing about and seeing students who do not have a stable home life that provides a secure and safe quality of life.
DTN: What do you see as the most pressing issues facing Cartersville City schools, and what do you think can be done about them?
TC: Two issues come to mind. First and foremost is the breakdown of the family as a support system for students. Many young people — more than anyone in our community wants to recognize — go home each day not knowing what to expect when they walk in their door. Will there be someone there to ask them about their day at school and if they have any homework? Will there be a clean bed for them to sleep in? Will there be a meal for them? All of these factors carry over into the classroom the next day. A strong family is the foundation for a quality education. There are many programs in Cartersville that are addressing these issues. The school system can, and does, play a role in the solution. However, our society must change the culture of our values to improve the quality of life in our country.
School safety is also a pressing issue. We often hear of the shootings in businesses, schools, hospitals, places of worship and homes. The Cartersville School System has taken steps, through recommendations from local law enforcement and security experts, to improve the safety of school personnel and students. I am a true believer in the “if you see something, say something” slogan. School safety is a community responsibility.
DTN: What kinds of changes would you like to see occur in Cartersville's schools in the next five years?
TC: I would like to lower the teacher/pupil ratio in every school. Teachers and support staff are the backbone of our education system. Smaller classroom sizes would allow teachers to provide more individualized time with students. Secondly, I would like to see media specialists returned to the system, starting in the primary and elementary schools.
DTN: What education-related issues would you like to see the General Assembly address during the upcoming session and why?
TC: Our community has great legislative representation. I applaud them for their commitment to Georgia. In regards to education issues, I believe less emphasis on testing and a more common-sense approach should be considered. Testing is being used as a measurement of the success of students, instructional personnel, grade levels, schools and systems. I totally agree testing is an important tool in the measurement of the growth of a student. However, not every student fits into a pre-determined mold. Legislators, school boards, parents and other stakeholders need to listen more to the classroom teachers and school administrators as to the type of measurements that are best suited for students. I include myself in this category.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
TC: Professional, transparent and focused.
DTN: If you could visit any period or event in the past, what would you choose and why?
TC: I enjoy spending time outdoors. Growing up in south Georgia, I spent a lot of days hunting with my dad. I would like to revisit that time in my life again.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
TC: I can make animals from balloons.
DTN: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
TC: The title would be "The Headline Test." I have a philosophy in life. Everything you do, from home to business, should be considered a headline. Do you feel comfortable in seeing your actions as the headline in tomorrow’s newspaper?
DTN: Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing?
TC: Still working on this one.
DTN: If you could have dinner with any historical figure or celebrity, past or present, who would you pick and why?
TC: I would have enjoyed having dinner and talking with Ronald Reagan at his ranch in California. Even better, maybe ride horses with him.