I was born in a log cabin on Double Creek in Clay County, Kentucky, and had two of the best parents in the world, Logan and Bertha Hoskins. I have four brothers and four sisters: Price Cecil “P.C.” Hoskins, Faye Napier, Mary Rose Hoskins, Juanita Gray, Betty Sue Bailey, Oscar Hoskins, Vernon Hoskins, and Ernie Hoskins. All of my brothers and sisters stayed here, worked here in the coal industry, and raised their families here. I am proud of my family.
I married Sharon Hensley, the daughter of Ed and Mabel Hensley, from Bar Creek in Clay County, and together we raised four beautiful children: Mary Rebecca “Becky,” Ralph Jonathan, Kaleigh Jade, and Jonathan Christopher. I lost Becky in 2000 in a car accident, and Sharon in 2015 with cancer. Kaleigh, Jon, and I still live on Bar Creek on the family farm.
I went to school at Double Creek Elementary for eight years. I graduated from Clay County High School, and, by the grace of God, I attended the University of the Cumberlands. I worked as a coal miner for Shamrock Coal Company to pay my way through school. Eventually, I earned a Master’s degree at Union College in Barbourville and a Rank I Certification from Eastern Kentucky University.
After getting my college degree, I taught special education in Bell County, at Lone Jack High School. When Sharon graduated, I came back to Clay County and started a long career with the Clay County Board of Education. I worked in the classroom at Goose Rock Elementary School and Oneida Elementary School before becoming an Assistant Principal at Horse Creek Elementary School. Eventually, I became Principal at Big Creek Elementary School.
I took an opportunity to continue helping children with Berea Independent Schools in Berea, as Special Education Director. Eventually, I became interim Superintendent of Berea Independent Schools.
I became Superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools and served for thirteen years. While Superintendent, I worked with state government, the federal government, and local government to build the first new vocational complex constructed in Kentucky since 1974. The vocational complex gave people new opportunities to learn, grow, and stay in eastern Kentucky to keep our area great.
As Superintendent, I dealt with tight budgets and still managed to make excellent progress. While I was in Jackson County, we renovated and modernized all of the elementary schools. We built a new adult education facility, a new weight room facility, and consistently upgraded technology throughout the district.
While working in the public school system, I held many part time jobs. I taught graduate level college classes at Union College and Eastern Kentucky University in the areas of special education, school finance, and professional interaction. I also sold truck parts and life insurance. As teachers will understand, we sometimes have to do several things to pay the bills.
After retiring, I served as the Interim Superintendent in the Knox and Leslie Counties Public School Systems and also as an an educational consultant. I currently serve on the Elk Mountain Industrial Board and the North Fork Valley Community Health Center Board where I use my knowledge and experience to bring good jobs and healthcare to this area.
I have lived, worked, and raised a family in the 90th District, and I want to make sure we all keep growing and moving forward. I want all the children, including my own, who go through our schools to have the opportunity to come back here, work, and raise their families.