The Wright way
Despite her many comitments, newly appointed county commissioner Allison Wright has learned how to maintain balance in her life.
In addition to her many responsibilities, Allison Wright makes sure she saves time for her two sons, Clarke Central High School freshmen School Wright (left) and Lucas Wright (right). Photo by Porter McLeod.
How did being a mother affect your decision to run for the Board?
There were parents on the school board, but none of them had students currently in the school district. I felt they weren’t coming up with solutions because it was more historical than based on current events.
How do you balance being a mother with all of your other responsibilities?
(I keep) the weekend for family time, so I am not at a soccer game trying to read board member stuff. When we’re eating, we don’t answer the phone. I try to keep my mind where my body is, so there are less distractions.
What is your method for remaining organized with so many obligations?
We all have chores around this house and that’s what makes it work. No one’s waiting for me to come home and make dinner. I always keep this house stocked.
How does your family feel about your new role as a commissioner?
They’re very excited. The whole family was engaged in the campaign. (Sometimes), I will say, “I’ve got a meeting,” and they will just grin and say, “Is that because you’re going to be a commissioner?”
The Scientific Illustrator
What are the duties of a scientific illustrator?
We visually indicate biomedical processes and procedures (through drawings). You meet with the subject matter expert who wants the drawing. The audience makes a difference, too. If the drawing is to explain to you what surgery your dog needs, it’s going to be a totally different drawing.
Do you own your own company?
Yes, (my company is) Biomedical Visual Concepts, Inc. After doing free-lance contract work for awhile, having a company is the way to do it. When projects are really elaborate, I hire my husband.
How has teaching affected your skills as a medical illustrator?
I have found that I am learning and strengthening my skills for communicating with my medical illustration clients. I currently have more illustration work than I have had in a long time.
As a part of her busy schedule, Allison Wright finds time to teach at Athens Technical College and the University of Georgia. Photo by Porter McLeod.
Why did you decide to begin teaching at Athens Technical College?
I began looking at other ways to earn income since the field of medical illustration production declined a great deal five years ago. I felt that teaching anatomy or a related science course would be an appropriate retooling of my master of science degree. Finding medical terminology as a subject to teach is a perfect match for my many years of working as an allied health professional.
Has your year started off well teaching at ATC?
It’s going well. I’m teaching (my husband’s scientific illustration) classes. On Mondays, I teach at the ATC satellite in Walton County; on Tuesday and Thursdays, I’m at the UGA art department.
How do you feel about adding teaching into your already busy life?
It is a good addition. It’s sharpened all my skills on all the topics. (Teaching) was one of my weakest points. and (working at ATC and UGA) has sharpened that.
The Board Member and County Commissioner
What caused you to run for the Board?
I think it was because I wanted to help in the district level. People were looking for (Parent Teacher Association) officers, and I just really wanted to help community children instead of just the kids I knew or the parents I knew. I wanted to help in the bigger picture, and learn more about what happens in the bigger picture.
What were some of your responsibilties on the Board?
As a board member, our role is to advocate for public schools. We go through questions for additional presentations about what the administration is doing, just understanding what’s going on so when we vote on (a policy), we’ve learned what we need to make an informed decision to support the superintendent.
Why did you decide not to seek re-election after your term ends in December?
I made the decision to not run for re-election in the fall of 2010. I decided to run for County Commissioner. My husband and I decided I could also be very helpful at that level. People who do public service need time to get things off their plate. The school board with Dr. Lanoue was just such a great place to handover the torch.
When do you take office as District Four’s county commissioner?
The end of my term (on the Board) is Dec. 31 of 2012, and I become commissioner Jan. 1, 2013.
What are your responsibilities as commissioner?
The mission is to be the proper stewards of the natural and physical resources of the community. It’s making sure we’re doing the right thing.
How do you feel about leaving the Board?
I’ll never leave the advocacy for education and what I have learned for that. I will have to make sure I do my homework on the changes that are constantly happening. For the last eight years, there were changes that were constantly happening in education and it is always scrutinized, it’s always reviewed, it always has to be accountable.
I learned so much about what is happening to our students. What has changed in eight years has been incredible improvement.
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