East Central University alumnus Ronny Johns, who recently made a successful run for the Oklahoma House of Representatives District 25 seat, will deliver the Fall 2018 Commencement address at the university on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. in the Kerr Activities Center.
Bachelor’s degrees are to be granted to 214 candidates while 95 others are expected to receive their master’s degrees.
Johns has spent the last 31 years in education as a teacher, coach and administrator and is currently serving as the principal at Ada Junior High School. He says it’s an honor to come back and speak at his alma mater.
“It’s definitely an honor and quite honestly I was surprised. But it’s an honor to come back and do this,” Ronny said. “My ties go way back to ECU. My mom and dad graduated from there as well as aunts and uncles. My wife’s grandfather Dr. James was a dean of students. Renee and I were both RAs. It’s a special place to us. There have been five governors come out of East Central which is neat to see.”
Through his commencement address to graduates, Ronny is set to encourage the students about finding their niche and building relationships.
“I hope they find their niche, something they are passionate about and happy to go to the workplace each day like I have been passionate about education,” said Ronny. “The other is the importance of building relationships. That’s where I am heading right now.”
As he embarks on representing Pontotoc County in the House, Ronny’s goal is to continue building relationships and represent his constituents well.
“I’m looking to rely on building relationships in the county and rely on our constituents to help me make good decisions,” Ronny said. “Education is high on my list, not only public education but higher ed.”
Born and reared in Ada, Ronny is a graduate of Byng High School and ECU. Education is a staple in his family. His parents were educators for decades. His wife Renee is in education and his daughter Ali is involved in education as well.
Ronny earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ECU in 1985 and 1990 respectively.
Together Ronny and Renee have three children: daughter Ali, a counselor at Ada High School and husband Blake, WOM planning manager at the Chickasaw Nation; son Quaid, attorney, currently serving as head of the Social Security and Disability Department at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP in Dallas; and daughter Jacy, senior events manager for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Ronny and Renee also have two grandchildren. Ronny attends Central Church of Christ in Ada where he serves as church elder, Sunday school teacher and worship leader.