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Today’s 2020 Candidate Announcements

Note: Each day, the High Country Press will share emails and announcements from candidates that are entering their names into the 2020 primary and general election. Today we received the following announcements from Watauga County Board of Education candidate Jason Cornett and Watauga County Commissioner Charlie Wallin, who is seeking re-election. 

Jason Cornett 

Hello, my name is Jason Cornett and I am asking you for your vote for Watauga County Board of Education.

I am a native of Watauga County living in Vilas with my wife, Brandy, and son, Josh. Brandy serves the Business Officer for Appalachian State University Housing and has worked at ASU for almost 20 years. Josh is a senior at Watauga High School, and was recently accepted into Appalachian State University where he plans to attend next fall.

I grew up in the Bethel community where I attended Bethel Elementary School and went on to graduate from Watauga High in 1994. After high school, I entered the workforce at Appalachian State University. I held positions in Food Service and office administration before seeking a career in law enforcement. I began as a security officer at App State in 1999 and attended basic law enforcement training at night while working day shift. After completing BLET, I accepted a sworn officer position in 2001 with App State Police. I have been a sworn officer for almost 20 years working between App State and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, where I served as a criminal investigator for seven years. I am currently employed with App State Police as a criminal investigator focusing on intelligence and threat management/ assessment, and oversee the APD drone program. I work in cooperation with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s BeTA, (Behavioral Threat Assessment), Unit. I understand the challenges and importance of school safety while using all available resources to keep not only our college campuses safe, but our county schools as well. I also have the privilege to serve alongside many wonderful App State employees on Staff Senate.

I previously served on the Watauga County Board of Education for four years from 2014 to 2018. I was assigned to several committees including School Safety, Watauga Education Foundation, Student Services, and other responsibilities. Between being an investigator and board member, I have solid experience in solving problems. It takes people willing to work together and often thinking outside the box. I find being a school board member to be less political and more practical in focusing on the needs of our students, staff, and faculty. I count it an honor to serve our school system by working together with other board members along with local and state government officials.

I feel very blessed to have been raised and live in Watauga and to have the opportunity to take part in our local government. Most of my life has been dedicated to public service and I feel it is important to be active in our communities. I am the Pastor of Three Forks Baptist Church in Ashe County and thankful to be a part of a wonderful congregation. I also enjoy flying drones and having a growing aerial photography business. I look forward to meeting new people and sharing ideas. I appreciate common sense and always seek what is reasonable when working through difficult tasks.

Charlie Wallin

I am proud to announce my bid for re-election as Watauga County Commissioner.

In the past year, I have worked to fulfill the promises that I made on the campaign trail. Education has been a top priority. We are moving towards finding a location for the new Valle Crucis school and funding is being set aside, the county recreation center is nearing completion with the original plans and intent intact, we continue to fund our sheriff’s department, fire and ambulance services, meeting all their needs and purchasing the latest state of the art equipment and getting them the training they need to operate it. I’m working to find solutions to our broadband problems in this county by meeting with officials in Raleigh to find better solutions. We once again were able to fund raises for all county employees to ensure we retain and recruit the best and brightest. We were able to add 2 more school resource officers over the last year with the potential to add more in the coming year. We have been able to be more efficient in all our departments, helping us to increase funding while shedding unnecessary expenses.

I take my committee work seriously. I have gone on tours of our departments and facilities to learn more about how our county operates.   I have toured the sheriff’s department and jail, and I have visited all our schools in the county to see their needs first hand. I have met with citizen groups and participated in town hall meetings to be better educated about issues that matter to our community. I have tried to keep lines of communication open between the commission and our school board, Town of Blowing Rock, and Town of Boone.

There is still much that needs to be done. Our county DSS has taken a significant hit on the state level with unfunded mandates that the county had to find money for. It is an area of significant need. We need more funding for our schools and we have made a start, but it is only a small dent in the 20 million dollars in repairs that are needed. We also need more funding for school resource officers, but also guidance counselors, nurses, and other support personnel. We need funding from the State desperately to relieve some of the burdens. I have shown that I am committed to going anywhere to meet with our representatives to let them know we deserve our fair share. Over the last year, I have taken our cause to our Representatives in Raleigh, I have been to the Governor’s Mansion and I have been to Washington DC to the White House and Congress meeting with key officials.

I have worked in food services management for 30 years and I am currently the Assistant Director of Food Services at ASU. In addition to my career, I have served my community in various volunteer capacities. I have served as President of Appalachian State Staff Council, Appalachian State Board of Trustees, and on the committee that wrote the Strategic Plan for ASU. I was the Vice-Chair of the Watauga County Planning Board and the Chair of the Plan Oversight Group which wrote the Citizens’ Plan for Watauga County. I am Vice-President of the Raven Rock Property Owners Association, a member of the Diversity Celebration and Unity Festival planning committee, Chair of the Occupational and Safety Committee, and member of the University Safety Council. I coordinate the delivery of unused campus food to the Hunger and Health Coalition, assist with meal preparation for the Hospitality House twice a month, and dedicate as much of my time as possible to OASIS. I am the current Chair of the 5th District Democrats of North Carolina, I serve on the State Executive Committee and the State Executive Council.

I am married to Shelley Wainscott Wallin, and we have a beautiful 11-year-old daughter named Keller. We are active members of Grace Lutheran Church where I am the past Church Council President, current council member, Usher, Lector, and Assisting Minister. We are also involved with Parkway Schools PTO. It is my devotion to my family that has led me to seek reelection.

I do not feel my work is done. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can move Watauga County forward. I can be reached any time by email or phone and welcome Watauga County citizens to contact me.

Charles “Charlie” Wallin

295 High Meadows Dr – Boone, NC 28607

(828) 773-1382 • wallincr@gmail.com