Jon Cook.
Jon Cook.

Where were you born?

I was born in Lima, but lived my whole childhood in Alger.

What brought you to this area? Or kept you here?

I was always kind of a homebody so I chose to attend college at Ohio Northern University, then I was lucky enough to be hired as a teacher and head basketball coach at Ada High School right out of college. I did move briefly to be the head basketball coach at Jackson Center High School for two years (199-2001), but after my daughter was born, I had the chance to move “home” to teach and coach at my alma mater Upper Scioto Valley. I have always felt a bit of a calling to try and serve Hardin Co. as well as I possibly can. While I no longer work in Hardin County, I do continue to live and raise my family here.

What is your occupation?

I am the Dean of Students at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center and I am starting my 24th year in public education. I also serve as an assistant basketball coach with the ONU Women’s Basketball team.

Why do you love what you do?

I always looked up to teachers and admired what they are trying to do in helping shape the future of young people. I have never really seen myself doing anything else. It is not always easy and there are certainly times when I wonder what another career might feel like, or what I might be able to do well, but I genuinely value the role of educator and of serving families and communities by working with kids in schools. I am just not sure there is a more noble or valuable way to spend a career and I feel blessed to have had the opportunities that I have had!

What is your favorite thing about this community?

I truly believe that this community, really Hardin County in general, is a place where most people value and respect each other. It is not always obvious, but I never cease to be amazed at the response that our communities have when someone is in need. The way our communities pull together in a time of crisis has been a constant during my lifetime, and I have seen it firsthand. For all of our flaws, we are truly a caring, compassionate community. I think that makes up for a lot!

What are you involved with in the community?

I am active on the campus at ONU as much as possible. As I mentioned I am currently helping coach the Women’s Basketball team and I have worked the summer boys basketball camps there for the past 29 years.

What are some of your hobbies?

I am a basketball junkie and coaching will always be a passion for me. I have been involved in coaching in some capacity since I was about 16 years old. I am not sure I am capable of quitting entirely. I don’t have many other hobbies, but I do some part time work in local radio/media. I enjoy spending time with my family in just about any activity. We are fond of camping, boating and we all love the beach, preferably Destin, Florida.