Graduate Ambassador: Ruby Dean
Ruby Dean is currently teaching fifth grade at Ballman Elementary School within the Fort Smith School District and resides in Muldrow, Oklahoma. A first-generation college student, she graduated from a two-year college and enrolled at Oklahoma State University where she met her husband. They soon moved to Roland, Oklahoma and started a family. After being out of college for two years, she decided to return to finish her bachelor's degree in elementary education and attended Arkansas Tech University through the University Center at UAFS (formerly Westark Community College).
After teaching for 18 years, Ruby decided to learn about the leadership roles within a school system and pursue her master’s degree in public school administration from Northeastern State University, where she was nominated for Outstanding Fall Graduate in 2017. Now in her twenty-third year of teaching, she is once again attending Arkansas Tech University to advance her knowledge in educational leadership through the Ed.S. in Educational Leadership program. She will be graduating in the spring of 2021 and plans to apply to ATU's Ed.D in School Leadership program.
Ruby believes in “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” and has volunteered to start and co-sponsor the Ballman Optimist Club. She was a member of the Rho Theta Sigma, Phi Kappa Delta, and OSTA and currently a member of the 2020 Class of Aspiring Leaders’ Institute and RTI and Coalition Team. She is very involved in volunteering after school to help with such activities as the Amazing Raze, Fall Carnival, and Community Walk.
"I chose Arkansas Tech University because I had the opportunity to pursue a degree in elementary education through the University Center when it was part of Westark, which allowed me to stay close to home and focus on my work and family. I decided to again attend ATU to obtain my Ed.S. and later my Ed.D. because the faculty are more like family than your professors. They are always willing to help and guide you in the right direction. Another plus is that the program is online."