He dropped out of college, joined the Army, climbed utility poles as a lineman, earned a bachelor’s degree, and became a utility manager.
As a trustee for the Banning Unified School District Board, Jason Smith knows from his varied background that fulfilling dreams and pursuing an education can be lifelong pursuits.
“At times, life just seems to slap you in the face,” says Smith, who is clerk of the school board and represents Trustee Area #5. “But you can’t let that stop you—education is too important.”
Smith hopes his life story will inspire students to pursue their own destiny—wherever it leads them.
Smith’s deep roots in the District date to the days when he attended Hoffer and Hemmerling Elementary schools and graduated from Banning High School in 1993. At the time, Smith was a C+ student more interested in football than academics.
Dreaming of the future
After high school, Smith attended Mt. San Jacinto College, where he played football. He dreamed of earning an athletic scholarship to a university and someday turning pro. When that didn’t happen, Smith joined the Army and later worked for the City of Banning. He trained as a lineman in the City’s utility department, rising through the ranks to become a crew supervisor and electric operations manager. In 2015, Smith earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from the University of Redlands.
As a trustee, Smith sees himself fulfilling two long-term goals when he retires: earning a teaching credential and coaching high school football.
“Why not?” he asked. “Why let anything stop us?”