Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation

March Alum of the Month: David Ashworth

Flannery Jewell | Mar 4, 2019

The Patton College of Education is honored to recognize David Ashworth, assistant principal of Ironton Elementary School, as our March 2019 Alum of the Month.

One of Ashworth’s contributions to the Ironton City Schools was brought to national attention in November 2018. He was recognized by CBS Evening News for memorizing the names of all 650 students enrolled at his elementary school.

“Learning names is one of the most basic elements of human interaction and appreciation,” said Ashworth. “My students are known, which goes a long way in creating healthy self-esteem, and lends a major help in promoting self-efficacy.”

Ashworth graduated from The Patton College of Education in 2012 with a Master’s degree in Educational Administration through the Principal Preparation Program. The South Point, Ohio, native has a passion for improving the educational structure of Appalachia.

“Schools in Appalachia are in need for improved school leadership more than any other area in the nation. We wrestle not just with best instructional practices, but with socioeconomic factors like no other region,” said Ashworth.

Ashworth recently helped create an after-school program called The Gentleman’s Academy for fourth and fifth-grade boys at Ironton Elementary. The program aims to teach its young participants how to complete household tasks and be compassionate toward others.

“They learn 20 rules, including ideas that focus on placing others before themselves, such as being punctual, offering seats, being prepared, and showing concern for others,” according to the Ironton Elementary School website. 

The program ends with a “lunch date” with local female retirees at a restaurant where the boys can practice what they’ve learned during the program.

Before his time at Ohio University, Ashworth attended Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

In the future, Ashworth hopes to become a principal or superintendent. He is also considering running for a position in the Ohio General Assembly.

Although he graduated in 2012, Ashworth says that lessons from the Principal Preparation Program still come up when he works with his staff. Among them, the principle of “seeking first to understand,” taught to him by Dr. William Larson, stands out.

“I encourage my staff to listen first,” Ashworth said. “Actively and intently listen.”