top of page

ALA's Founding Board Members

ALA's Board of Directors

ALA's Board of Directors is comprised of individuals who are experienced in public education and operating charter schools. They are committed to the growth of Ascend Leadership Academy operationally, financially and academically.  The Board also upholds the mission of the school and provides oversight to ALA administration. 

ALA's Board of Directors meets every 4th Wednesday at 6:30 pm.  Check the website for the meeting location. Below are the brief biographies of members of ALA's current Board of Directors.

***Ascend Leadership Academy is seeking new community based board members. If you or someone you know is interested in serving on our Board of Directors, please complete the application here. We look forward to hearing from potential board members who want to support our wonderful program.***

ALA's Next Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023 @ 6:30pm

Location:  ALA's Conference Room 105

Zoom Link: 

Meet the Board of Directors

SELF Pic.jpg

Jason J. Smith

Ascend mark blue.png

Board Chairperson

Jason and Carla Smith have 4 children and one grandson.  Their two youngest children attend ALA.  He is a graduate from Pfeiffer University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Jason is a Regional Sales Manager for Sherwin-Williams covering most of Eastern North Carolina. He is into Beekeeping, Gardening and anything involving Walt Disney. His family lives in Sanford in Harnett County.


Mike Iskandar

Ascend mark blue.png

At Large Board Member

Mike Iskandar is on a mission to solve the epidemic of self-doubt, anxiety, and depression that strikes during adolescence and lasts decades into adulthood. He is the founder of Time Travel Journeys--a breakthrough SEL program that guides teens and tweens on an exploration of the best qualities of their past and future selves, and how those discoveries can uplift their present sense of self in ways that boost self compassion, self confidence, and social connection. His endeavor (recently featured on the stages of TEDxNCSU, the NCAIS, and the AMLE) began with a “time travel journey” of his own--a unique one-year research project in which he interviewed 40 people from ages 1 to 40 about what it’s like to be the age that they are. It was through this project that Mike discovered an unconventional path to self development, which has been implemented in schools and organizations as a curriculum, workshop, summer camp, and team-building retreat.  Mike is from Durham, NC, and has degrees in Journalism and Sociology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He’s traveled to over 40 countries across 6 continents and is still holding onto his childhood love for afternoon naps and recess sports.


Brandy Grindle

Ascend mark blue.png


Brandy is a Broadway native, and a lifelong Lee County resident. She has degrees from CCCC and ECU in Information Technology. Currently she works in the pharmaceutical industry for Medicago, Inc. as a Systems Administrator. Brandy has a son that currently attends ALA, and a daughter at Tramway Elementary. She also serves on the Lee County Literacy Council and the Tramway Elementary PTO.


Rex Scott

Ascend mark blue.png


Rex recently retired after 44 years in banking from his most recent position as Chief Operating Officer of First Bank. A graduate of Elon College, he also attended the North Carolina Advanced School of Banking and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Rex currently serves on the Lee County Education Foundation Board of Directors and the Salvation Army of Lee County Board of Directors. He is an active member of St. Luke United Methodist Church. One of his grandsons attends high school at ALA.  


Drew Goodson

Ascend mark blue.png

Vice Chairperson

Dean of Career and Technical Education at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, NC. 

bottom of page