The new 99th district faces daunting challenges that require a state representative with unique characteristics. John Patterson possesses those characteristics.
Born on July 7th 1956, John was raised by parents who believed in the future of America. His father was a Navy veteran of WW II who put himself through college and chiropractic school. John’s mother stayed at home to raise their three children. She was a homeroom mother, a Cub Scout den mother, and a leader in the PTA. Both parents insisted on their children learning the value of community service.
As a kindergarten student, John went door-to-door with his mother to raise money for the preservation of Senator Benjamin Wade’s home in Jefferson. Though the effort to preserve his home failed, John learned a valuable lesson about civic responsibility and the balance between preservation and development. In elementary school he was active with the Cub Scouts and was a Star-Beacon carrier.
In high school John became the youngest manager (at 17) in Jefferson’s Little League baseball history. The very next year he helped to found the Jefferson Area Girls Softball League. The value of community service clearly was beginning to materialize.
He attended Kent State University (Ashtabula Campus) taking numerous courses in history under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Knopf. After his sophomore year, he transferred to Marietta College where he became a student assistant baseball coach for the late J. Donald Schaly — College Baseball’s Coach of the Century. It was during his college years that he learned another important lesson: planning and discipline.
After graduation, John completed his master’s degree in Political Science, American Government in one year’s time. He returned to Jefferson and became the head baseball coach at Kent State Ashtabula. To provide a steady income, he worked for the Ashtabula County Highway Department as a laborer and, later, as a truck driver. Also, he began work on his doctorate taking evening classes at Kent State, main campus.
In 1982 John met Nancy and his life was changed forever. The two sweethearts were married in the summer of 1983. In August of that year, John was asked to teach U.S. History at Jefferson Area High School. He remained in that position until his retirement in June 2012.
While at Jefferson, John has coached girls basketball, boys baseball, golf, and for the past 12 seasons, boys’ cross-country. During that time, his teams have won two district titles, qualified for regionals nine times, and qualified for the state meet three times finishing third in 2002. John appreciates the outdoors; he enjoys fishing and respects hunters and their 2nd Amendment rights.
John has also served as the Model United Nations advisor since 1984. His teams have won numerous conferences at Kent State, Youngstown State, and have also placed high at national conferences such as Harvard and the University of Chicago. In 1995, his team competed at the Hague International UN Conference held at Den Hague, Netherlands.
John has also been advisor for the Academic Challenge team since 1984. Since the inception of the Ashtabula County Scholastic Bowl, his teams have won the bowl six times during that span with two runner-up finishes. None of John’s efforts in sports, Model United Nations, nor Academic competitions would be as successful had planning and discipline not been central to his approach. He will bring those attributes to the challenges facing the 99th district and Ohio.
During his time at Jefferson, John has been very active in the Jefferson Area Teachers’ Association. He has been the chief negotiator for his union since the late 1980′s. Through this experience he learned how important it is talk about difficult issues, analyze them from varied viewpoints and craft a solution that everyone could accept.
In 1996, John earned his Ph.D. in education from Kent State University. He has instructed undergraduate courses at Kent State and has also taught at the graduate level for Gannon University. The rigorous academic discipline necessary for the completion of a Ph.D. also sets John apart from many candidates. His attention to detail, his ability to probe deeply into the nature of problems, and his tenacious pursuit of solutions make for a most able legislator.
John is a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar (1991), Ashtabula Country Teacher of the Year (1991), Ashland Oil Teacher of the Year (1992), Jefferson Village Citizen of the Year (1995), and Kent State Ashtabula Alumnus of the Year (1999). He serves as president of the Jefferson Memorial Foundation and the vice-president of the Henderson Library Memorial Foundation.
John and Nancy have now been married more than 29 years and are the parents of Joshua (27) and Jeremiah (25). He is a member of the Jefferson United Methodist Church, sings in the Chancel Choir, and is a member of the Men’s Sunday School class.