Dec 17, 2010
Patric Leedom, Ph.D., associate professor of Education at Shawnee State University, had unique experiences before coming to SSU in 1994, including 24 years of military service on submarines.
When he was a child growing up in Cincinnati, his mother worked several jobs, Leedom ran the streets and when he was nine years old, he worked at a nearby football stadium.
He was not doing well in school so when he was in the sixth grade, his mother sent him to a residential military school, the Ohio Military Institute.
"I learned that with structure, and with adult direction, I became very successful," Leedom said. "I went from the bottom of my school class in public schools to the top of my class in military school. I needed the structure."
He became an academic leader, a sergeant and inspector of the dormitory and kept going up. He won an award for best drill cadet.
Several years later, right after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Leedom was in San Francisco in college and ran into a classmate from military school who introduced him to submarines. He signed up to join the Naval Submarine Reserve. After he graduated from college, Leedom signed up for active duty and went to the Far East working with foreign navies. After active duty was over, he stayed in the reserves while teaching school.
One of the highlights of his life was meeting Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in 1964 who led the Allied naval forces to victory in the Pacific in World War II. He met Nimitz at a submarine convention.
"He was the grandfather everyone would like to have," Leedom said. "He was busy asking me more questions about me than I could ask about him."
He came back to Ohio to teach and as a reservist made E7 Chief Quartermaster and joined the staff of Commander of the Submarine Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He stayed on the admiral's staff as a reservist for 11 years. Leedom made E9 in 15 ½ years of service.
"I was in the Navy full time in the summer when I wasn't teaching," Leedom said.
He decided to go back on active duty and gave up teaching school. Since he had his choice of ports, Leedom decided to go to Norfolk as assistant navigator and spent the summer of 1984 in the Arctic Ocean in reconnaissance where he received an admiral's commendation. Leedom retired from the Navy after serving 24 years. He now belongs to seven different veteran's groups from the different submarines where he served.
While he was in the Navy, he was also working on his graduate degree in education and he was involved in Montessori Schools for a period of time. He received his doctorate in 1992 and began teaching at SSU the following year. Leedom teaches introduction to the teaching profession, math and science methods for early childhood, student teaching seminar, and he created a classroom management course for students.