A Better Form of Leadership
Steve Jarman is a native of Pauls Valley. His parents, Dawson and Odell Jarman, grew up in Garvin County in the Great Depression days of the 1920’s and 1930’s. His parents were each members of large, loving families during those difficult times. They instilled in him the values of hard work, honesty, and integrity. They saw to it that Steve grew up in church and they continually stressed to him the importance of getting an education, an education that they couldn’t get because they had to go to work in the fields at such an early age.
He realized early on that not only did he have a talent for solving equations, but he also had a talent for explaining how to solve them. Beginning in his freshman year of junior high, he had to undergo a series of hip surgeries. He had four stainless steel pins placed in each hip. Just prior to his junior year of high school, the doctors went in to remove the pins and broke all eight of them off. It was at this time that Steve realized that he would have to rely on his math talents to make a living. It was something that he could do from a wheelchair if necessary.
He graduated from Pauls Valley High School in 1972 then attended college at East Central University where he graduated with honors in 1976.
He graduated from college with a BS in Education. The eighth-grade math position became available in his hometown so he went to work for Pauls Valley Public Schools. He taught math, English and a program called The JASON Project at the middle school and high school levels. It was during these years that he learned the role that politics played at the State Capital. He learned early on the importance of electing friends of education to all levels of our state government. He learned to campaign for those candidates who understood how important it is to protect public education.
During those years Steve held leadership positions at local, regional, state and national levels of the education profession.
Steve learned the values of working hard from his parents. He realized early on just how difficult it is to make ends meet on a teacher’s salary. So, in 1981 he bought his uncle’s pest control business to supplement his income. He still maintains his pest control license even though he admits that his days of crawling under houses fighting snakes, skunks, centipedes and scorpions are well behind him.
In 1988, Steve took up scuba diving as a hobby. He realized early on that scuba diving was a learned skill, a skill that had to be taught. Since he was a teacher, Steve decided to pursue the coursework necessary to become an instructor. He earned his Open Water Instructor certification in 1992. He now has thirty years experience as a scuba instructor and has achieved the title of Master Scuba Diver Trainer.
He retired from teaching in 2008 after spending thirty-one years of dedicated service to the education profession. He still maintains his pest control license and continues teaching scuba lessons during the summer months. In addition to this he is his ninety-eight-year-old mother’s caretaker.