Ronnie Ross is a teacher, coach, and school administrator who lives near Middleburg, Virginia. Ronnie and his wife Josie have one child: the almost year-old Ronnie. Jr.. In fact, it was the birth of his son and the encouragement of his wife that convinced Ronnie to run. He became deeply anxious about the world we were creating--and leaving--for not just little Ronnie, but for all of our children. When he mentioned to Josie that it would be difficult to run with an infant in the household, she responded with words he would never forget: “That’s fine. It will be hard. But, when it feels like too much, you can always just look into your son’s eyes and know why you’re doing this.”

Ronnie came to Virginia a decade ago, following a job offer during the worst stretch of the Great Recession. He had graduated summa cum laude from Wittenberg University and was also a member of the national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. Ronnie played football his first two years at Wittenberg and then helped lead the mock trial team for his last two. He was also a member of the Wittenberg Honor Council, Honors Program Advisory Board, and New Student Orientation Program while collecting every major departmental award.

However, upon graduation, job prospects were bleak as fewer than one-fifth of graduates in the class of 2009 had a job at the time of graduation. Since that time, study after study has repeatedly shown that those with the bad luck to graduate during the worst economy since the Great Depression will have their earnings impacted for the rest of their lives. And so, when Ronnie was offered a chance to teach English in Warrenton, Virginia, he jumped at the opportunity to pursue his passion, what he considers to be his life’s work.

Since that time, Ronnie has made Virginia his home. Indeed, he has specifically chosen to raise his family here, having fallen in love with the land and its people. At Highland School, where Ronnie teaches, he is the English Department Chair and the Freshman Dean. In the former role, he is responsible for developing overseeing the English curriculum from grades 7-12. In the classroom, he has taught classes classes like World Literature, Foundations of Western Literature, Southern Literature, Bioethics, Introduction to Western Philosophy, the Art of the Memoir, and many more. In the latter role, Ronnie is responsible for overseeing the academic and social life of the 9th graders at Highland. In 2014, Ronnie graduated with a Masters of Science in Education, with a focus in School Leadership, from the University of Pennsylvania.

As a coach, Ronnie has steered teams over the course of 28 sports seasons. He has coached Cross Country, Baseball, Boys and Girls Basketball, and Boys and Girls Basketball. Over that time, he has won 4 state championships and collected two state runner-ups.

Ronnie grew up in Appalachia, on the Ohio side of the mountains, the son of two public school teachers. There, his parents ingrained the values of hard work and toughness, but also of compassion and empathy. Most of all, they instilled the value of community. Ronnie found these same values on this side of the mountain, and he has eagerly decided to make his life

here. He and his family attend Holy Cross Abbey, and they are also active members of Holy Trinity Catholic Church where Ronnie is a member of its School Advisory Board.

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