Dr. John Patterson Receives 2023 Community Service Award

Former state legislator and retired classroom teacher John R. Patterson, Jr., Ph.D., is the 2023 Ashtabula Area College Committee, Inc. Community Service Award recipient honoring a career spanning over 40 years dedicated to improving education in local communities.

He was presented the award at a community reception event in the Blue & Gold Room prior to the May 11, 2023 commencement ceremony at Kent State University at Ashtabula. The Community Service Award is given by the Ashtabula Area College Committee since 1991 in recognition of the contribution and leadership the recipient has made in support of education in Ashtabula County. 

John Patterson receives the Ashtabula Area College Committee 2023 Community Service Award from AACCI President Scott Wludyga

“I want you to know how much this means to me and how important this place is,” Patterson told the crowd. “When I think of all of those who came before on the College Committee, this is such a special place. The lives changed, the imprint on the greater world made by Kent State Ashtabula and the ripple effect throughout Ohio, throughout the nation, (it’s) incalculable.”

Four times Patterson won election to the Ohio House as representative for the 99th District until term limits prohibited his continued service.  During his time in the House, Patterson co-authored the Cupp-Patterson Fair School Funding Plan and served as co-chairman of the Finance Committee on Primary/Secondary Education.  He served two terms as ranking member of the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee and sponsored or joint-sponsored nearly 30 bills that ultimately were signed into law by the governor.

He was selected for several legislative honors including Legislature of the Year by both the Ohio Farmers Union (2013) and the Ohio Association of Election Officials (2018). Patterson’s work led him to serve on over a dozen special committees and his most recent appointment was made by President Biden in 2022 to serve as Ohio’s State Executive Director (SED) for the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Prior to his time in the House, Patterson taught U.S. history, honors, advanced placement and world history courses at Jefferson Area High School from 1983 until retiring in 2012.  Additionally, he served as the school’s Model United Nations advisor for nearly three decades and coached basketball, baseball, golf and cross-country.  He also coached baseball at Kent State Ashtabula, where he met his wife Nancy, and taught college courses as an adjunct faculty member for Gannon University and Kent State.

He currently serves on the boards of the Henderson Memorial Library and Jefferson Memorial Foundation and is an active member of the Chancel Choir at Jefferson United Methodist Church.  His outstanding professional and service-related accomplishments include awards from organizations and causes across Northeast Ohio and beyond, including multiple honors for his time as Model U.N. advisor.

A native of Jefferson, Patterson started his academic career at Kent State Ashtabula before earning his bachelor’s degree in comprehensive social studies from Marietta College in 1978.  He holds a master’s degree in political science from Ohio University (1979) and earned his Ph.D. from Kent State in curriculum and instruction in 1996.

He is the first person to receive both the Community Service Award and the Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award, which he won in 2000.

John and Nancy have been married for over 39 years and have two sons, Joshua and Jeremiah.

List of All-Time Community Service Award Recipients


POSTED: Tuesday, May 16, 2023 02:55 PM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2023 11:41 AM
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