Asa Sarver running for school board in Sisters
Last updated 4/18/2023 at 6:14pm
Asa Sarver is one of the incumbents running for the Sisters School Board in the upcoming May 16 special district election. Sarver seeks Position 4, to continue serving the Sisters School District (SSD).
Sarver and his family re-located to Sisters in 2020, settling in Black Butte Ranch before finally acquiring property in Sisters in 2022.
Sarver had previously lived in Montana and Colorado, working in the hospitality industry at ski resorts. He was offered a position in the wine industry with Ken Wright Cellars as the international sales manager. He has since built his own wine consulting business. Sarver is the owner of ACE Beverage Consulting, where he is a consultant for wineries on marketing, management, and public relations. He has helped wineries get national distribution, and has assisted in rebranding of multiple wineries throughout the Willamette Valley and beyond.
Sarver got involved with the City of Sisters Parks Board in 2021 and discovered his interest in local government. He also began attending School Board meetings.
"Those were interesting times to be at School Board meetings, with COVID restrictions, and I became interested in it," said Sarver.
Safety was the primary focus for Sarver and his family, with one child in third grade and the second entering kindergarten next year.
An opportunity for Sarver opened in 2022 when long-time School Board member and chair Don Hedrick resigned.
"When Don announced he was leaving, I of course saw a great opportunity to be as involved as I possibly could," Sarver said. Sarver was selected by the Board to take over Hedrick's position in 2022. He took his position and the shoes he had to fill very seriously and attended the Oregon School Boards Association's training, which covered all the things it takes to be a school board member in the state of Oregon.
"Part of the draw to me is there are some amazing special programs here, low student-to-teacher ratios, and is something I am fighting to maintain," he said.
Sarver gets involved in many aspects of the schools, he coaches soccer and T-ball and volunteers at the elementary school.
Sarver and his wife have lots of experience serving on boards after starting their own nonprofit, The Zimbabwe Rhino Project, where he serves as the secretary. Part of the reason Sarver was chosen by the School Board to replace Hedrick was his experience serving on various boards and his involvement with the community.
"To me that says a lot," said Sarver.
He had been planning on running for School Board before being appointed, and was surprised when an opportunity came up quickly.
"I feel like I've put in a lot of time to get here and one year is not enough. And I feel like SSD is doing amazing, and it's an exciting time and a challenging time post-pandemic, and challenging in a growing community, and I think it's important we can maintain student-teacher ratios, and keep our special programming going," said Sarver.
Sarver currently serves as chair of the local option committee, a political action committee (PAC) raising funds to promote the measure coming up on the May ballot. The local option accounts for 10 percent of the SSD annual budget and the equivalent of 16 teacher salaries.
Sarver has been working with volunteers in creating the committee promoting a "yes" vote for renewal of the measure. The local option levy allows for special programs and small classroom sizes to be maintained in Sisters schools. The funds collected will be used to print ads and signs, and for a mailer to go out at election time.
"As a School Board member and the parent of a child in the SSD and another starting in the fall, I understand the day-to-day challenges our educators, parents, and students face," Sarver said.
His main focus areas on the Board include classroom sizes, teacher retention, graduation rates, special programs, and continued work on the local option levy.
"I love Sisters, and I love the school system, and I am going to keep working for it," said Sarver.
The local option committee has established a website at http://www.yesforsistersschools.com.
Sarver's campaign website is http://www.asaforsisters.com.