Danville Alumni Stories: Ron Ballard
Published 11:59 am Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Danville Independent Schools
The Danville Independent School District’s new superintendent, Ron Ballard, is the alumnus we are featuring this month. The 1989 Danville High School graduate begins his duties as superintendent on Jan. 1, 2024.
Email newsletter signup
His first job in the Danville Schools was as a dishwasher while he was a student, at Bate Middle School and DHS. He also joined the National Guard in 1988 while he was a senior at DHS, and remained with the National Guard until his retirement in 2016.
After a couple of out-of-state teaching jobs in New Hampshire, Ballard returned to the DISD to work as a teacher in 2002. His current role is chief of operations for the district.
Keep reading to learn more about his journey as a student with Danville Schools.
Tell us about your Danville Schools journey. What school(s) did you attend, and what highlight stands out to you?
My relationship with the Danville Schools began in April of 1982 as a fifth grader at Jennie Rogers Elementary. Through my connections in extracurriculars such as football, wrestling, and basketball manager, as well as serving on the student council and clubs, I became a proud Admiral. I graduated from Danville High School in 1989. My positive experience in the Danville Schools is why I returned to teach at my alma mater in 2002.
What aspects of your Danville Schools education helped mold you into who you are today?
Being a member of a team helped me to work with others for a common goal. Playing sports helped me establish short and long-term goals as an individual, but also as a collective unit.
When you think back on your Danville Schools experience, are there specific instances or relationships that stand out to you as having had a significant impact on your success since graduating?
As I reflect back on this period of time, there are too many names to acknowledge here; however, one person had a profound impact on my career path when I had no thought of higher education, as no one in my family had ever graduated from college. Bobby Trumbo is the teacher who told me that I should consider becoming a teacher. Once he planted that seed, I felt there was no turning back.
As a product of Danville Schools, what advice would you give to a parent who was choosing an education path for their child?
I would encourage parents to get their children involved in school, whether it be participation in the areas of arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities, including academic clubs and teams. Student engagement in extracurriculars improves mental and physical wellness, creates a support system, teaches many of the Portrait of a Danville Learner competencies, and improves the likelihood of graduation. In addition, it connects students to the community, creates school pride, and often increases accountability to others.
As a product of Danville Schools, what drives you to give back to your local school and/or district?
The Danville school experience changed the direction of my life. Because of that, I hope and desire to help change the direction of the students, teachers, and families in my community in a positive way.