John E. Haney

The Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame, Inc. (OAAE) announces the posthumous induction of career educator and Guthrie Public Schools administrator John Edward Haney as a  member of their 2019 class of the OAAE Hall of Fame inductees. The induction ceremony will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. Doors will open at 6:30 PM, and the event will begin at 7:00 p.m.

John Edward Haney was born on July 19, 1945 in Idabel, Oklahoma. He was the 14th of 15 children born to Beatrice Haney and Harry Haney. He attended elementary and high school at Booker T. Washington in Idabel. In high school, he was recognized for his strong work ethic and leadership skills. His peers voted him to be class president during his sophomore and junior years. Even as a teen, Haney was engaged in his community; he was a member of the Knights of Pythagoras and the Hearts Christian Club, both independent teen social clubs. He was also a member of the Westside Church of Christ.

In 1963, he graduated from high school and matriculated to Langston University. After two years, he enlisted in the military. As a member of the US Air Force, he served as an Aircraft Warning and Control Officer for four years. He returned to Langston University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Later, he attended Central State University (University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond, Oklahoma and earned a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1973. Then, he enrolled at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma where he obtained certification as an Administrator of Education in 1974.

Haney’s career in education began with a teaching assignment at Crooked Oak Elementary School for two years. He was then tabbed to be the vice-principal at Crooked Oaks Elementary where he served for two years. From there, his career took him to Guthrie when he was selected to the position of vice-principal at Guthrie Junior High School in 1975 and served in that capacity until he was selected in 1977 to become the Faver High School Principal. He continued to work in various administrative roles:  Ninth Grade Principal at Guthrie High School (1978-1985), Banner and Central Schools Principal (1985-1987), and principal at Fogarty Elementary (1987-1990). 

His final job completed the circle when he returned to Guthrie Junior High School; this time as principal from 1991-1996. After dedicating 25 years to the education profession, he retired in May of 1996. After a brief battle with colon cancer, he succumbed to the disease on March 19, 1997. He was the father of one son, John Edward Haney, II.

Haney was instrumental in implementing innovative programs in Guthrie Public Schools. The ‘Basic Classroom Program” offered an alternative for students who experienced difficulty functioning in the traditional classroom setting. The program encouraged and allowed those students to obtain the necessary credits and earn their high school diploma in a non-traditional setting. He also designed incentive programs to encourage and reinforce positive behavior and academic excellence. Students who demonstrated significant improvement were recognized and highlighted within the school. An academic team was formed and that team competed with other academic teams statewide. It was the first time such team had been established in the district. The Young Astronaut’s Club was also formed under his leadership. This club was formed to encourage and engage students during the age of exploration in outer space. It was a popular club among students in the district.

He also implemented STARS (Super Terrific Academic Rewards for Students); which recognized students each semester for improved grade point average and perfect attendance. Computers were just beginning to be purchased and utilized in the district. Haney had the foresight to know that computer technology was going to have an integral role in the future of education. He hired a library media specialist and computerized the library and encouraged more students to utilize computers for research. This provided additional time for the media specialist to assist them with research.

Haney was well-known to be a fair and patient man with his students and faculty. Students and faculty alike appreciated his ability to interact and relate to them on a personal and professional level. It was important to him that he was accessible to his students, faculty, and parents.

He served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the School of Behavioral Sciences at Langston University, and a member of the Human Relations Council for the Guthrie Job Corps. Haney was a proud and active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a member of the Christ United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. 

Haney had two passions – the Atlanta Braves and horseback riding. He was an avid and longtime Braves fan who often viewed the games on TV and attended a game whenever he traveled to Atlanta. He developed a love for horses while growing up in Idabel. As an adult, he purchased acreage in the country so that he could ride his horses unencumbered. 

John Edward Haney was a humble man who was proud of his McCurtain County roots.  He was also a “progressive educator and administrator” who implemented creative and non-traditional strategies and techniques to instruct students and successfully build relationships in his community and district.

Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame, Inc.  President, Dr. Donnie Nero Sr., encourages the public to attend this prestigious event, especially former students of this inductee. For more information about tickets, phone 918.698.6037 or access our web page www.oaachof.org