By Wayne Gates –
Local attorney Nick Owens is running for the Ohio State Board of Education in November.
Owens works as a prosecutor in the Brown County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He said that being a member of the state board has been a goal of his for a few years.
“As a person who is the product of a public education and a product of what education can do for ones life, I think it’s important to make sure that everyone can receive the same opportunities that I did as a child and young adult,” Owens said.
“Education is the great equalizer in our country. If a quality education is not available to everyone everywhere, then I believe that this sets our communities back.”
The 10th District seat Owens is running for includes 17 counties with an estimated population of one million people. The counties are: Adams, Brown, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Greene, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Pickaway (partial), Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton (partial).
Owens said that he recognized the challenges faced by the many rural and cash-strapped school districts in this part of the state.
“We have poverty in our primarily rural 17 county state board of education district just like we have poverty in larger cities. It’s important that the residents of this district have a member that speaks for them,” Owens said.
“Each district faces unique challenges, but we all have the same goal of providing a quality education.”
Owens said that if elected, there would be plenty of work to do.
“There needs to be more fairness in school system funding. It’s not fair that a child is given a better education because of where they live,” Owens said.
“We also have to raise the graduation rates in the state of Ohio. Our graduation rates are lower than 90 percent right now. A person who doesn’t graduate high school ends up being held back in areas like income and employment for their entire lives.”
Owens also addressed an issue familiar to many Ohio residents.
“We have to do a better job of having more drug education, identification and awareness in our schools. We have to be having these conversations with students at an early age,” Owens said.
Owens provided the following biographical information to The News Democrat.
“Nick Owens grew up in Batavia, Ohio, located in Clermont County. He attended Batavia Local Schools from kindergarten through high school, and graduated in 2003. While in high school, Nick Owens attended college full-time as a post secondary student at the University of Cincinnati’s Clermont College.
In 2005, Nick Owens graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance and Real Estate. He was the first person in his immediate family to graduate with a college degree.
Upon graduating from college, Nick Owens began his public service career as an aide to Congresswoman Jean Schmidt of Ohio’s Second Congressional District ultimately working in both her Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. offices.
In 2010, Nick Owens left his congressional staff position and began law school at the University of Dayton School of Law where he graduated in just two years.
In 2012, Nick Owens was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Ohio. He accepted a position working as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Brown County where he works to this day.
As a prosecutor, Nick Owens was instrumental in the founding of the Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force. Additionally, Nick Owens volunteers his time as a coach for the Western Brown High School Mock Trial team, which last season qualified for the state competition.