Former Bellefonte student seeks big chair

College student Jordan Emely runs for the BASD School Board; this is not the first student candidate

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Jordan Emely

Davis Corman, News Editor

As a new era of politicians emerge, areas around the country are seeing this new coming age of a younger, more diverse generation. Within the small town of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, a former student of the district is making his run for School Board. 

In 2019, the Red and White Newspaper covered a story about Max Kroell and his run for School Board at only 18-years-old. During the end of his senior year of high school, he took the leap into the realm of politics and successfully won the position. Now, in the year 2021, just four years after graduating from Bellefonte High School, Jordan Emely is throwing his hat into the race as a current student at Penn State University. 

On March 19, Jordan Emely announced his campaign for the Bellefonte School Board position. A former 2017 Bellefonte graduate, Jordan is running in hopes of taking advantage of the opportunity the School Board provides to positively impact the people of Bellefonte. 

“Politics is a frightening time, especially local, which affects people enormously. But the opportunity is priceless and the ability that it allows for me to provide a positive impact on people is what motives me,” Jordan said.

Currently, Jordan has already graduated from Penn State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Science in Education and Public Policy in only three years, and is now pursuing a masters of education in Higher Education at Penn State. In earning his masters, a concern of some has been his ability to juggle both the School Board and his grad work. 

“Logistically, my masters program is awesome and I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have a lot of time on my hands and I hope to spend and dedicate that time with the School Board and working for the people of Bellefonte.”

When it comes to his campaign, Jordan is taking an unprecedented approach. Due to the concerns of COVID-19, he plans on running a fully-virtual campaign, focusing on reaching people via social media. In doing so, Jordan has faced numerous comments online from individuals opposed to his ideas. However, he encourages these dialogues. 

“I am being real with people. Even though some comments are from people opposed to me, that’s fine, I love discussion and being able to respond,” he said.

If Jordan was granted the privilege of the School Board position, he hopes to enact multiple policies that he believes is for the betterment of the district. Focusing upon two, he hopes to see Universal Pre-K and free school lunches implemented throughout the district. Jordan wants for every parent who has children attending Bellefonte free access to Pre-K services and for students attending Bellefonte Schools free access to school lunch. 

“In the studies I have done, the impacts are universal and widespread. When these policies are implemented, children are shown to perform better and obtain a better education. Moreover, it also has a positive impact on parents in that it’s less costly and they have more time on their hands.”

Along with key policies Jordan wants to see throughout the district, he also hopes to focus on building a clear line of communication with students and parents. In the past year, many have voiced concerns over a lack of communication and not being heard. To reverse this sentiment, Jordan explained, “I am dedicated to holding a one hour a week open office hour where a student can drop in to discuss their issues or problems. It’s for people who are intimidated or afraid of going to a meeting and making a public comment, rather it’s so you can have an open discussion without fear.”

Overall, Jordan hopes to take a new approach to the School Board, one that focuses upon progressive measures and a more transparent process. He hopes to not only work for the people that elect him into the position, but to also work for the students. Sitting in their same shoes only four years ago, he truly believes that he has the best vision to improve their lives to its fullest extent.