By Sydney Dawes
Athens NEWS Editor
Ken Ryan will soon serve as the judge of the Athens County Court of Common Pleas, Probate and Juvenile Division.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday in a media statement that he appointed Ryan to the Athens County Court of Common Pleas, Probate and Juvenile Division.
Ryan, of Athens, will assume office on Oct. 13, 2020. Ryan is currently running for election against Zachary Saunders for the same judgeship. Both candidates will be featured on the Nov. 3 ballot for the full term commencing Feb. 9, 2021.
Ryan is replacing Judge Robert Stewart, 70, who died Sept. 12. Stewart was serving in his 18th year as Athens County Probate Juvenile Judge at the time of his passing.
Ryan is currently the owner of Ryan Law Office Co., L.P.A.. Ryan has legally represented more than 115 children in court. Prior to law school, Ryan was a music teacher for 12 years at Trimble Local Schools with more than 11,000 hours of class instruction. Ryan has also been appointed to the probate court to represent more than 600 patients at Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare in Athens. Ryan currently serves on the board for Rising Suns Charitable Pharmacy, and has previously been a board member of the Athens County Board of Elections, The Athens Foundation, as well as a council member for the Village of Coolville.
Ryan received his law degree from University of Dayton School of Law, a masters degree from Ohio University, and undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.
The Republican Central Committee met via Zoom on Sept. 24 to nominate individuals for their recommendation to the Ohio Governor’s Office about who should fill the seat left vacant by Judge Stewart. The committee ultimately nominated Ryan as its recommendation, with committee members voting unanimously in favor of the recommendation.
Ryan reflected during the Sept. 24 meeting that he believed Stewart carried out his time as judge “with deep humility,” a philosophy Ryan hopes to carry into the role.