Jason Thurston brings excitement to ASB as new activity director and athletic coordinator
February 2, 2017
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A gap in the administrative staff opened up when former Vice Principal Dr. Casey relocated as the new principal of The Center School in September. The new activity director and athletic coordinator position was recently filled by Jason Thurston.
He replaced Carrie Burr, who is now the assistant principal. As soon as Burr took over the VP spot, Thurston (who prefers be called “coach”) applied for the position and was drawn to Ballard due to his affinity for Seattle.
Although Thurston was on board with living and teaching in the Seattle area, his wife was not in agreement.
“My wife’s a native Texan, so getting her to move was hard,” Thurston said. The couple visited Portland, Ore. a few times and she thought it was nice but when they visited Seattle she decided she could live here.
Before he moved to Texas he lived in New York and then Florida. For college he moved to Texas, where he attended Texas A&M.
After college, he coached wrestling outside of Houston for four years and then moved to Dallas where he coached for nine.
In Texas, there was no job like the AD/AC position so Thurston doesn’t have specific expertise as AD/AC. However, he still has knowledge of what it’s like to run large programs. In Texas he ran and coached a large wrestling program that operated on and off the mat.
Vice Principal Carrie Burr believes that he’s qualified for the strenuous position. Other than Ballard, Ingraham High School is the only other school in the Seattle School District who has one person running both athletics and activities. The position is normally held by two separate people.
“I’ve done ASB for nine years and even now I’m still finding things that I’m learning. I want to invest in someone who’s going to stay, so we’re trying to make the position more sustainable. It’s like my life, you know,” Burr said, “so how do you not make it your life.”
The AD/AC is the job that organizes all athletic programs and school wide activities from a winter musical performance to football games.
“He doesn’t have too much experience with ASB, but he taught a leadership class and both the interview committee and I liked his leadership,” Burr says. “He did more than just coach. I think he’ll be great.”
The ASB family is also excited. “He seems cool, seems like a chill guy. He has some kind of southern mantra to him. I think it’ll be a good fit,” Junior Class President Beck Svaren said.
Furthermore, ASB is eager for what his open-mindedness and what he will bring to the ASB family. “My first impression of him was that he’s a really nice guy who really does care about what ASB stands for and being involved in school. He seems like he’s going to be very open minded in leading us, because he knows we have a tradition to the way that we do things,” Communications Director Trinity Cho said.
“I really really like Mr. Thurston. He has been a great new edition to the ASB family. He has a lot of experience being a coach, a teacher and being involved with students’ whole lives.” said ASB Treasurer Sophia Konugres.
Thurston is already stepping up to the plate and taking on challenge after challenge in his new position. Ballard is lucky to have such a kind, caring, family centered man taking on the monumental, two-man job.