Mary Jason recognized for 40 years on state education board


The Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) recently recognized Mary Jason for 40 years of service on its board, an historic milestone for the organization that works to advance the quality of public education in Michigan. 

“She was elected to the MASB board of directors in 1982 and with her 40 years of service she is the longest serving MASB board member in history,” said Steve Hyer, MASB President and Clarkston School Board Member, during the recent MASB Annual Leadership Conference where Jason was recognized.  

Jason began her service to school district boards when she joined the East Jordan Public Schools Board of Education in 1977, a position she held for 27 years. She has served on the Char-Em ISD Board of Education since 1993, a role she continues. She is a former school administrator and a lifelong advocate for children.

Jason’s roles in education have spanned from teaching fifth grade downstate to directing adult and alternative education at both college and high school levels. She served as interim superintendent and principal for Boyne City Public Schools and also middle and high school principal for Central Lake Public Schools, among many other positions and volunteer commitments through the past decades. 

“Mary Jason’s contributions to education in Northern Michigan and statewide are legendary,” said Scott Koziol, Char-Em ISD superintendent. “She has been a voice for all children for more than 50 years – there is no greater calling than that. We congratulate Mary on her 40 years of service on the MASB board and we are grateful for her continued service to Char-Em ISD.”

Jason will step down from the MASB board when her term expires in spring 2023. 

“I have worked with Mary for 25 years and in every discussion on education policy, Mary brought a practical, straightforward opinion about how it would impact kids, largely informed by a career as an educator and as a local and ISD school board member,” said Don Wotruba, MASB Executive Director. “Her steady voice on the board is the greatest thing she brings to the table for us. She never gets flustered and helps to calm those around her so that good decisions can be made.” 

“Mary is now the third generation in her family to serve on a school board,” Wotruba added, “and we wish there were more people that were as dedicated to a life of service, no matter the cause.”

MASB is a voluntary, nonprofit association of local and intermediate boards of education, representing nearly all public school districts in the state. It was officially organized in 1949 to advance the quality of education in Michigan, promote high standards in providing educational programs, help school board members keep informed about educational issues, represent the interests of boards of education, and promote public understanding about school boards and citizen involvement in schools. 


At top: Mary Jason is pictured during a spring graduation ceremony for Char-Em ISD classroom graduates. Below, she is pictured over the years with Char-Em ISD board members and staff.






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