Tiffany Eccles Dist 2

Tiffany Eccles and her husband, Luke, both received their MBA degrees from UT-Martin, graduating in May after going through the 18-month online program.

Other than the fact that two of her three boys are in the Williamson County Schools district, Tiffany Eccles can point to a handful of reasons she’d like to represent District 2 on the county’s Board of Education.

A relative newcomer to Williamson County — having moved here in January 2020 with her husband, Luke, and their sons ages 13, 7 and 3 — Eccles, an independent, is facing Republican incumbent Dan Cash in the race to the Aug. 4 school board election.

It’s a race she feels qualified to run, indicating broad key areas where she can make a difference.

For one, “I’ve always been active, and I’ve done things for schools in different places we’ve lived,” said Eccles, a native of Illinois who moved to Williamson County from California. “I did a lot of volunteering.”

Eccles said she also brings experience from her job at Mars Petcare in Franklin.

“I’ve seen how different school systems operate, and I know Williamson County is going through a lot of growth,” Eccles explained. “My day job is procurement, working with vendors — it’s negotiations, understanding budgets. I think there’s more need for that as we’re trying to figure out other ways to pay teachers more. I think there’s some of that critical piece of it that my skills will lend themselves to.”

As the only candidate to go against Cash, who was first elected to the District 2 seat in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, Eccles said voters could do with a different face and not be limited by party affiliation.

“There needs to be choice,” she said. “I’m running independent on purpose because I don’t think school boards should be political. We’ve seen some real negative things that are politicalizing the school board race. 

“I feel like I intentionally made the choice to run as an independent. It does put some of us at a disadvantage because we don’t have the support [from the Republican or Democratic party], but I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Finally, Eccles would like to think she can bring a sense of calm to the board and the communities it serves. She believes the various disagreements that have pockmarked meetings over the past couple of years can be made more civil. 

“We’re all adults,” Eccles said. “We need to be willing to listen and have discussions, share information. I do feel a lot of it is, the last couple of years have been hard for everybody. It was a unique situation. And after seeing the way it has kind of blown up, that’s not what our community should be about.

"My job is bringing people together, negotiating. What can we give and take? Some of that communication is what we’re missing. We can’t just be angry with each other. Nobody is getting anywhere with that approach.”

Regardless of whether she wins or not in August, Eccles is enjoying the summer run. She’s learning the nuances of campaigning while getting the opportunity to meet people in the community.

“It’s been unique for sure,” she said. “There are things I never really thought about, like all the forms you have to fill out and all the paperwork. Interacting with people has really be interesting. I’ve heard a lot of different stories.

“It’s really insightful how everybody is approaching it, saying things they wouldn’t say in a school board meeting but telling me how they actually feel about things.”

Visit Tiffany Eccles’ website for more information.