By Gary Puleo
NORRISTOWN >> Despite his relatively young age, Shae Ashe probably won’t surprise many folks by his decision to run for School Board Director of Norristown Area School District (NASD).
“My mom served on the school board from 2001 to 2013,” noted Ashe, a 2008 Norristown High grad who turns 27 in February.
“There have been many situations in which she has inspired me to become involved in the community today. The impact she had on others during her time on the school board influenced my decision to run,” he added. “Frequently I watch her run into parents of NAHS graduates who stop my mom to thank her for her role in helping their child continue their education. My goal is to work hard for every family in our district the same way my mom did during her 12 years on the board.”
Ashe studied finance at Norfolk State University, where he graduated and earned a B.S. in 2014.
While studying finance, he said he developed a passion for “meaningful budget reform in our public schools,” and in his sophomore year, he had what he considered the opportunity of a lifetime to intern with The Walt Disney Company in Orlando.
“This internship led to a five-year career with the company working for several divisions such as Walt Disney World, Disney Casting, ESPN and Radio Disney,” Ashe noted.
While maintaining his status as a full-time student at Norfolk State University while also working for Disney, Ashe managed to find the time to start an organization called The Norristown Project four years ago. Living in Virginia and Florida after high school allowed him to see some of the great opportunities for development happening in similar communities like Norristown, Ashe allowed.
“As a community, I believe we should work together to bring positive change to our town,” Ashe said. “The organization started as a block-by-block cleanup project and has since grown to large community service projects every quarter.”
Today, The Norristown Project has expanded to support outreach in the community and well beyond, with a website that features initiatives, events and development — all happening in Norristown for the surrounding communities to see, Ashe pointed out.
Taking the same approach for the NASD is his primary focus, he added.
“Our students deserve to be first. I am committed to hearing the needs of East Norriton, Norristown and West Norriton constituents on how we can continue to move our school district forward. The success of the school district begins with a strong community and economy and I want to run for School Board Director because I believe the success of our students comes from building a strong community.”
The Primary Election is May 16 and the General Election is Nov. 7.