Sen. Ron Sharp has officially begun his second term after being sworn in during a special oath of office ceremony at the Capitol on Wednesday. 

“It is a privilege to be able to continue my service in the Senate on behalf the citizens of District 17,” Sharp said.  “While we have many challenges ahead, we also have the opportunity to strengthen our public policies so that when our economy does rebound, Oklahoma will be able to build on that growth, creating jobs and building a better future for citizens.”

Sharp, a Republican from Shawnee, has served as Vice Chair of the Education Committee and on several other key committees, including Appropriations, Business and Commerce, Tourism and Wildlife and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.

            Sharp was born and raised in Shawnee where he taught for 38 years. He spent the last twelve years of his career teaching AP Government and American History.  He was also the boys head tennis coach for 15 years and the girls head tennis coach for four years. He helped lead his team to five state boys’ championships and one state girls’ championship. He was recognized as one of the “Best 50 Tennis Coaches in the World” by the US Professional Tennis Registry, has been a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association for 29 years and was co-founder and the first President of the Oklahoma Tennis Coaches’ Association.

He was named 2011 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Shawnee High School Teacher of the Year in 1994, 1996 and 1997. He is a member of the United States Selective Service Board, the Nation Council for the Social Studies, and the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Foundation for the U.S. Constitution. He was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for 18 straight years. Sharp received the United States Congressional Award of Special Recognition for Outstanding Service in 1998 recognizing his many coaching and teaching accomplishments.

Sharp is active in his home church, Liberty Baptist, and is a long-time member of the NRA and the Sons of the American Revolution.

            While in the Senate, Sharp has been a tireless advocate for education and school employees authoring numerous bills including those to create STEM communities and regions, protect teachers and school

employees from unruly students, provide better recognition to students through the creation of a tiered-diploma system, and addressing the teacher shortage by establishing a system to hire qualified out-of-state teachers.  He has fought to improve public safety by authoring legislation, among others, to ensure mentally ill individuals who are found guilty cannot use the “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” defense and have to complete the sentence for their crime rather than being admitted to a mental hospital. He also authored public safety legislation to improve rules regarding the use of drones and to keep uninsured motorists off Oklahoma roads.

Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Mike Schulz said he was very pleased that Sharp was returning to the chamber for another term.

“During his time in the Oklahoma State Senate, Senator Sharp has been a strong voice for District 17. His leadership, experience, and insight will be valuable as we work on an agenda to build a stronger and more prosperous Oklahoma,” said Schulz, R-Altus.

The Senate will hold a one day organizational meeting on January 3, and the 2017 session will formally get underway on February 6.