Green Country Grown-up: John Waldron
A father shaping the future
John Waldron is a father, husband and teacher who has created numerous light bulb moments. As a 20-year veteran teaching with Tulsa Public Schools, he is personally responsible for shaping the future of thousands of high school students and sparking those “a-ha” moments.
He is also keenly aware that being an educator provides him with a platform for inspiring and encouraging students, a position he doesn’t take lightly. Over the years, his dedication to students has earned him awards, as well as the respect of students, peers and professionals across Tulsa.
Now, he is ready to expand his platform while hoping to shape the future for many more Oklahomans. Waldron is currently running for House District 77, with grassroots efforts fueling his momentum. And, with Father’s Day and the Oklahoma Primary both occurring this month, voters will probably see him celebrating Father’s Day with his son on the campaign trail.
TK: Tell us about your background.
Waldron: I was born the eighth of nine children in Bernardsville, New Jersey. After studying in Charlottesville, VA and Washington DC, I moved to Tulsa.
TK: What three adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
Waldron: Nerdy, gregarious and hard-working.
TK: Tell us about your family:
Waldron: I am married to my wife of 14 years, Krista Waldron. We have a son, Van, age 9.
TK: What does your family do for fun around Tulsa?
Waldron: We love exploring the community spaces of Oklahoma – Renaissance Fairs, festivals, art crawls, the farmer’s market. Van loves Cancun on 6th and Lewis for the cheese enchiladas!
TK: In honor of Father’s Day, can you share something you learned from your father that you will pass along to Van?
Waldron: My father passed away when I was young, but he left a powerful legacy with his children. He was always active in his community, helping organize municipal recreational events and even served as the town’s mayor. He taught me the importance of public service, and I feel as though I now have a chance to pass his values along to my son.
TK: How did you become interested in teaching?
Waldron: Originally, I volunteered in the classroom while a graduate student. I intended to try for the Foreign Service, but I discovered that teaching was the highlight of my week.
TK: What do you enjoy most about your profession?
Waldron: After 20 years of teaching, I still appreciate the chance to help a kid move along his or her path of development. Kids need to be taught to believe in their own capacity to shape the world. They need a little discipline, perhaps, but there is nothing more exciting than seeing a child begin to envision how they might change the world.
TK: Where did your interest in politics originate?
Waldron: From my observation of the impact of budget cuts on children’s education.
TK: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish in the State House?
Waldron: I hope to be part of a movement that reverses policies of tax cuts for the rich and service cuts for everyone else. I hope to make Oklahoma more fair, more equitable and more mindful of its responsibility to future generations.
TK: What message do you share with your students that you would like to share with others?
Waldron: I teach my students that the best way to ensure a “more perfect union” is to participate in democracy. The simple brilliance of our government is that the real power truly belongs to the people who go to the ballot box.
TK: Wrap-up message:
Waldron: Democracy is everyone’s responsibility. Get out and vote!
For more information about John Waldron’s campaign, visit www.waldron4ok.com.
Nancy A. Moore is a Public Relations Coordinator at Montreau, Adjunct Professor at Tulsa Community College, and has been writing for TulsaKids for almost 20 years.