TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa high school teacher is hanging up his hat after more than 20 years of teaching.

John Waldron is the new state representative for District 77 and will be sworn in Thursday.

Wednesday was Waldron’s last day with Tulsa Public Schools and he says he’s confident in his decision to get into state politics to help make the changes he says the state desperately needs.

Waldron taught freshman Government at Booker T. Washington High School.

“It is going to be hard, and I will always be a Hornet in my heart and part of this community,” he said.

However, he says he knew he had to be a voice for the people of Oklahoma at the state capitol in order to try and make a change.

“I’m really torn,” said Waldron.  “I set out to try and do something for the school system, but the heartbreaking thing is, in order to do something for the schools, you have to give up the schools, but that’s a price worth paying.”

Even though his last day is done, he says this isn’t the last his students will see of him.  While he can’t legally stay on the pay roll once he’s sworn into office, he says he’ll work unpaid in his classroom for the remainder of the semester.

“I’m hoping I can help those kids get to the finish line and get a little closure and help them get through the tests they’re taking at the end of the year.  I think it’s the least I can do.  I owe them because they have worked pretty hard for me,” said Waldron.  “It’s been my home and I’ve been very privileged and fortunate for the children who have come through my classroom, so, yeah, this will be the end of an era.”

There will be a long-term substitute alongside him in the classroom, but outside the classroom, he also plans to hold off-site office hours on Sundays.