Estes Park Trail Gazette – Former teacher says great schools benefit everyone

By David Persons
Jason Cushner pictured with his family, from left, son Joseph, wife Sarah Bertucci and daughter Mica.

Jason Cushner pictured with his family, from left, son Joseph, wife Sarah Bertucci and daughter Mica. (Courtesy photo)

Jason Cushner bio

Age: 45

Family: Wife Sarah Bertucci; daughter Mica (7); son Joseph (4).

Education: Master’s degree in applied mathematics from University of California-Irvine; master’s degree in secondary education from Colorado College.

Occupation: Home parent/dorm parent at Eagle Rock School.

Years in Estes: eight total (1997-2003; 2014-present)

Editor’s note: This is the second of three stories about the new members of the Estes Park School District’s Board of Education.

Jason Cushner has spent a great deal of his professional career teaching young people mathematics at various schools across the country.

He has seen up close the impact that a good education can make. That’s why, he says, he chose to run for one of three vacant positions on the Estes Park School District Board of Education.

“I want great schools for my kids, all the kids in Estes Park,and in the area,” Cushner said. “When schools do well, the whole community prospers.”

Cushner, along with Eric Adams and Jonathan Hodde, will be sworn in as new school board members in November.

The 45-year-old Cushner, who currently is a dorm parent at Eagle Rock School, said he loves teaching mathematics. He said it’s an area that can yield big results beyond just be able to crunch numbers.

“I mostly taught math with kids who struggled,” Cushner said. “Many students have trouble with math. But, if they can learn math, it can change the way they view the world and academics. I like to make math exciting and show them that they can do it. Problem solving in math is important to solving problems in life.”

Cushner said he’s been involved with some very unique schools. In Vermont, for instance, he worked as a program coordinator at a high school that allowed students to develop their own curriculum. He said once students began taking the classes they wanted, the school helped place the students in internships.

He said those internships included such areas as engineering, finance, and even graphic design. “It made school a lot more fun,” he said. “And, the kids got some real skills for the real world.”

Cushner said, while he’s seen a lot and has some ideas that might work in the school district, he’s going to be patient and try to learn as much about the school district as possible before suggesting any changes.

“I feel like I’d have to know (the school district) better,” he said.

Based on what his daughter Mica has experienced so far, Cushner has a very good feeling about education in the district.

“My daughter is in the elementary school and she loves it,” he said. “She had a great year and her reading really took off. She had a really incredible experience. I’m excited by that.”