2005 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Donald E. Ash

Washington High School, 1971Donald E. Ash

Donald Ash has been actively involved with youth in Kansas City, Kansas for nearly 35 years. He has been a coach, a church youth leader, and a role model giving students a number of reasons to believe in themselves.

A 1971 graduate of Washington High School, Ash became a cadet with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department after graduation and has moved up the ranks over the years to major. One of the most rewarding parts of his job was his involvement in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. DARE is a drug abuse prevention program that educates youth about the dangers and consequences of using drugs and alcohol. As well as conducting DARE programs in the schools, Ash was active in the DARE Summer Camp that was sponsored by the police department each year.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas schools, Ash said his greatest challenge was to "fit in, but not get into trouble." He was successful in achieving this because he had a great number of mentors and role models, including his parents, coaches and teachers. One was the late Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Jack Reardon who was Ash's unified studies teacher at Arrowhead Junior High. Ash said Reardon had a teaching approach that was unique — one that students responded to. He also was a tremendous role model.

Ash is active in a number of community organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Shepherd's Center, and has served on the board of Veronica's Voice, the Wyandotte County Sports Association, and Drug Prevention Education, Inc. He is a graduate of Class IV of Leadership 2000.

He wants today's students to know that lifelong learning will take them far. "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts," he said.