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Summey seeks to advocate for parents

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Jason Summey is currently running for office as the representative for the Erwin School District on the board. Summey, an Erwin Hills native, is a graduate of Florida State University and currently works as a registered nurse for Mission Hospitals. He is married with three children.

“I think there are several things I can bring to the board,” he said. “Three topics that are really near and dear to me.” First, “I want to be the best steward of taxpayer dollars that I can possibly be for the parents, students and staff of the Buncombe County School system.”

Second, he says, “I’ve had a deep passion for dropout prevention through the years.” In 1996, as he was starting his freshman year at Erwin High School, Summey started the “Be Cool, Stay in School,” program for which he received national recognition. “It far surpassed anything I thought would come of it,” he said. In 1999, Summey received a Presidential Service Award from then-President Bill Clinton for the program. “Something I’d like to see continue is the dream that every student who starts in Buncombe County Schools finishes with a high school diploma,” he added.

Summey’s third topic, “I’m looking forward to being able to work with other board members to get things done.” He cites current issues such as the Common Core curriculum and school vouchers as specific subjects that he intends to look deeply into.

He says, “The Erwin district is so diverse, it would be almost difficult to say ‘this is the number one thing’ or ‘this is the number two thing.’ Obviously, we all know there is still a financial struggle, for one reason or another. Whether it be parents unable to get a job for some reason or there are no jobs available. Money issues, Summey says, are tough, because inevitably, this can cause the children to suffer.

Summey notes that, “Erwin’s district is one of the most diverse within the county school system,” citing the increase of Hispanic and Eastern European families moving into the area. With the multi-cultural nature of the district, he believes that language barriers must be overcome in order to provide the best educational opportunities for these families.

As Erwin’s school board representative, he says, “I’m in the capacity to be the advocate for the parents of the district. My door and phone would always be open to anyone’s concerns.” He adds, “I think it’s very important to be a voice and as an advocate for the parents of the Buncombe County as far as,” he says, “those tax payer dollars and making sure we are getting the most for our money for Buncombe County.”

With the November elections approaching, Summey states, “I’m in this 100% for the parents, students, the staff who are all involved with the Buncombe County School system. I’ve had a long passion for education. The Buncombe County School system is what’s going to be generating the leaders and visionaries for this community. It’s something I take extremely seriously.”

The Buncombe County Elections are scheduled to take place on Tuesday (November 4) with polls opening at 6:30 am. For more information about the election, please visit the Buncombe County Government website at www.buncombecounty.org.

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