Each Tuesday, Lowell’s First Look will be publishing a different profile of a school board candidate. These profiles are intended to introduce candidates to voters and cover each person’s background, why they are running and other details they would like voters to know. To hear candidate positions on policy issues, Q&As will be published each Thursday. You’ll be able to find profiles and Q&As, as they are published, at this link.
A lifelong resident of Lowell, Jared Blough has already put three children through Lowell Area Schools and is preparing for his youngest daughter to transition from Alto Elementary School to Lowell Middle School next year. It’s a move that will take her away from Blough’s workplace, which is only a few minutes away from the elementary school, and has spurred the 50-year-old to run for an open spot on the Lowell Area Schools Board of Education.
“Things are getting crazy in the world,” Blough says. “I just want some sort of voice on the board as far as safety.”
Blough is one of eight candidates – two incumbents and six challengers – vying for three seats on the school board in the upcoming general election in November.
Ready to Carry the Torch
Blough is a mechanical maintenance technician for Crestwood Equity Partners in Alto. He and his wife Michele have four children, ages 10 – 25, and they attend Impact Church in Lowell. Blough earned an associate degree from Michigan State University and notes he is a Spartan fan through and through.
He is also cousin to Gary Blough, who currently sits on the Board of Education. His cousin has decided not to run for reelection this year and so Blough sees it as his time to step up to the plate.
“I just feel like it’s my turn to carry the torch,” he says.
He’s attended a lot of school board meetings – the heated ones and the not so heated ones, he notes – and says it was an eye-opening experience to see schools shut down during the pandemic.
Seeking a Safe School Environment
While homeschooling is fine for parents who make that choice, Blough says one of his priorities is keeping kids in the classroom.
“I want to get kids in school in a safe environment,” he explains.
He also wants to keep schools cost-effective for taxpayers. With three children already graduated from the district, he feels as though he has a good perspective on the school system. That’s one reason he thinks people should vote for him.
“I’ve already put three kids through the system,” he explains. “I’ve seen the results, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen.”
However, he does feel that there should be more programs available to be inclusive for all types of learners. About AP classes, he says: “It’s really up to the student how hard they want to push.”
Ultimately, though, Blough wants the opportunity to be a part of shaping the policies that will affect his daughter in the years ahead as she moves through the middle school and high school.
“I want what everyone else wants,” he says, “a fair shot.”