Ronald and Janice Johst scholarship to provide ‘life-changing’ opportunities for Phoenix grads

For more than eight decades, Phoenix Central School District residents and alumni Ronald and Janice Johst have shared a passion for their community and the education system. That passion will soon have a lasting impact on future graduates, as a $1 million scholarship fund has been established in the couple’s name.

“During the many years that Jan and Ron have resided in the greater Phoenix/Pennellville community, they have shown an unwavering commitment to education and the opportunities that it presents for our young people,” said PCSD Superintendent Christopher Byrne. “The Ronald & Janice Johst Academic Scholarship is intended to encourage PCSD students to strive for opportunities that may otherwise be out of reach. We are beyond grateful, and we are looking forward to seeing our students expand their horizons because of this scholarship.”

The Ronald and Janice Johst Academic Scholarship will initially be structured as a 10-year $1 million commitment, with a $10,000 annual ($40,000 over four years) “standard scholarship” or a $25,000 ($100,000 over four years) “enhanced scholarship.”

According to David Johst, the couple’s eldest son and scholarship committee member, enhanced scholarships will be awarded to a student applicant who has committed to attend a college or university ranked among either the top 25 colleges and universities in the US or among the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the US, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

“Out-of-state tuition can put some colleges and universities out of reach for many students,” David Johst said. “By establishing the enhanced scholarship, it is our hope that future JCB graduates can expand their options while avoiding some of the financial burdens that are associated with tuition for out-of-state schools or for certain selective in-state schools that charge higher tuition rates.”

Applications will be available to PCSD students beginning in spring 2023.


About Ronald and Janice Johst

Ron and Jan Johst have strong and enduring ties to the Phoenix Central School District and the surrounding community. They both graduated from PCSD (Ron in 1956 and Janice in 1959).  They were married in 1960 and purchased a home in Pennellville, where they raised their family until moving to Phoenix in 1977. Their two sons, David and Ronald Jr., graduated from PCSD in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Jan and Ron have always had a strong commitment to education and public service. 

Mr. Johst

Ron’s life of public service includes positions within several community organizations. He served on the PCSD Board of Education for 12 years and was vice president of the board during much of his tenure. He previously served as a member of the Pennellville and Phoenix fire departments. For the past 28 years, Ron has served on the Planning Board for the Village of Phoenix and is also currently on the Zoning Board for the Town of Schroeppel. Mr. Johst is involved in his church as well.

In addition to his many public service duties, Mr. Johst was a founder and co-owner of Majestic Mold and Tool, which continues to operate in Phoenix today.

Mrs. Johst

Mrs. Johst was dedicated to raising her family in Pennellville, where she instilled in both her sons a love of learning and impressed upon them the importance of growing to be well-educated and well-rounded young men.  

Jan was actively involved in the PTA at Pennellville Elementary School, serving as its president.  She also worked as a teacher’s aide at Pennellville Elementary where she spent much of her time helping children with reading disabilities. 

When her sons grew older, Jan returned to the workforce and was employed by both the Central Square and later the Phoenix school systems. Jan spent 26 years as a senior stenographer in the PCSD Superintendent’s Office before retiring in 2004.