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, January 26, 2022 @ 6:30pm

Location:  Virtual Meeting

Meet the Board of Directors

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Board Chairperson

Jason J. Smith

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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.


At Large Board Member

Anna Fonke

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Anna, a Bladen County native, received her degree in Communications from Campbell University and eventually decided to make Lee County home almost 20 years ago. She worked in Human Resources before deciding to stay at home with her two young children and start her own photography business - Anna Fonke Photography. Both of her children now attend ALA.



Brandy Grindle

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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

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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.  


Vice Chairperson

Drew Goodson

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