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Community Impact Newspaper Shows Voters Four Steps in Using New Voting Machines

Williamson County voters will be using new voting machines for this Nov. 5 Election and early voting (See Graphic Below)

  • 15 October 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3239

Learn how to use the new voting machines. For all voting information, log onto http://www.wilco.org/Departments/Elections

Graphic of new voting machines and how to use them.

The Williamson County commissioners approved purchasing new voting machines for $4.41 million during their April 30 meeting.

The new machines move away from paperless machines to a system in which voters print their ballots on one machine and walk to a second machine that will tabulate results. (via Source: Williamson County/Community Impact Newspaper)

Story by Ali Linan, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2019 


Commissioner Cook Encourages Wilco Residents to Consider WGU Scholarships for Teaching and Nursing Careers

  • 9 October 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3297

WGU Offers Scholarships to Address Teacher Shortage

(October, 2019) – With the nationwide teacher shortage projected to nearly double in less than a decade, Western Governors University (WGU) hopes to help more prospective teachers find their passion in the classroom with the $2,500 Become a Teacher Scholarship.

According to the Economic Policy Institution, the U.S. teacher shortage could reach 200,000 by 2025, up from 110,000 in 2018. WGU’s innovative approach to higher education is a highly effective way for paraprofessionals, career changers, stay-at-home parents, and others looking to become full-time teachers to fit a teacher licensure program into their lives.

Competency-based, nonprofit WGU offers 16 programs that lead to teacher licensure: 10 bachelor’s degrees, five master’s degrees, and one post-baccalaureate certification. Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and recognized in all 50 states, the WGU Teachers College is the nation’s top producer of STEM teachers and an active partner of school districts and states around the country looking to increase the number of qualified educators. The Become a Teacher Scholarship will help more aspiring teachers earn their license and answer the call of the classroom.

The scholarship, worth up to $2,500 per student, launched this week and will accept applications through Dec. 31, 2019. Recipients will be awarded $625 per six-month term—renewable up to four terms—toward any program leading to a teacher certification. That comes out to more than 15 percent off WGU’s already-low tuition.

To learn more or to apply, visit the http://tinyurl.com/yxftkotg.

WGU Offers Scholarships to Help Fill Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Commissioner Cook encourages residents to look into these scholarships from Western Governors University

  • 3 October 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 5143

SALT LAKE CITY (October 2, 2019) – As part of an ongoing strategy to help fill the United States’ critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals, competency-based, nonprofit Western Governors University (WGU) is offering eligible new students a scholarship that could reduce their tuition by more than one-third.


The WGU Cybersecurity Scholarship, worth up to $5,000 per student, launched this week in recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. New WGU students enrolling in the B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance or M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program are eligible to apply through Dec. 31, 2019. Recipients will be awarded $1,250 per six-month term—renewable up to four terms—toward those programs. Already-low tuition is about $3,500 per term.


According to CyberSeek, an initiative funded by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the U.S. is facing a growing shortfall of cybersecurity

Commissioner Cook Participates in Wilco Expo Center Expansion Groundbreaking

Event held Sept. 11, 2019 at the Williamson County Expo Center, 5350 Bill Pickett Trail in Taylor

  • 27 September 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3325

Commissioner Cook joins several officials including Pct. 4 Commissioner Russ Boles who all donned hard hats and are holding shovels ready for the signal to break ground.Commissioner Cook and several officials raise their shovels full of dirt for the official groundbreaking ceremony.

Learn and Preserve History by Joining Our Williamson Museum

Oped by Commissioner Cook

  • 19 September 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3237

Williamson Museum Director Mickie Ross shows Commissioner Cook a popular area for young visitors with historical markings on a Wilco map above.

If you’re looking for a place to put your money where your history is, look no more.

The Williamson Museum, housed in the historic limestone building on the Square in Georgetown that was once Farmers State Bank, is seeking more members.

Opened to the public in 2003, the museum is a non-profit corporation established in 1997 that today boasts of 16,000 donated artifacts.

Their total budget for Fiscal Year (Sept. to Oct.) 2018-19 was $550,000. However, the biggest misconception is that the museum is entirely county funded.

While the Commissioners Court budgets $237,000 annually for the museum, Director Mickie Ross says that the rest must be raised, including an additional $70,000 for staff salaries.

Although the four full-time and two part-time employees are considered county employees, the museum pays for the county’s portion of benefits, like health insurance and retirement.

The museum’s store and grants provide additional funds, as well as its summer camps, company matches, the Cattleman’s Ball (an annual fundraiser held every third weekend in October) and membership dues.

Yet membership is not growing as it should in our blossoming county. Ross can’t pinpoint the cause since visitors continue to increase to more than 18,000 a year and virtual visitors to its websites, newsletters and social media number more than 70,000.

Unfortunately, lack of funding is also impacting the Williamson Museum on the Chisholm Trail in Round Rock, as it will be closing this fall despite its popular community programs.


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