In her role as an educator, Johnson said it is her goal to help her students become more independent and be productive members of the community.
"I want to teach them to help and care about others," said Johnson, who is currently teaching high school life skills and job shadowing. "I want to make a difference in their lives."
The 2012-13 school year marks Johnson's 21st year of teaching with 20 of those years spent in the Monett R-1 School District. Johnson earned her bachelor's degree in elementary and her master's degree in special education from the University of Missouri in Columbia.
According to Johnson, her interest in teaching was sparked as a Monett High School senior when she was serving as a student aide in Jean Jordao's special education classroom at the elementary school.
"I worked with a small group of students every day," said Johnson. "I enjoyed watching them learn and seeing the excitement on their faces when they learned something new. That is when I decided I wanted to teach."
In addition to her duties as a special education teacher, Johnson also serves as transition coordinator. In that role, Johnson works to ease the transition from school to work or school to college for all high school special services students.
"I take seniors on college visits to tour campuses and introduce them to the disability support services at the campus," Johnson said. "I also introduce seniors to agencies that will help them find jobs after they graduate, and I meet with students to talk about their future plans."
Johnson and her husband, Aaron, have a son, Cameron, who is in seventh grade, and a daughter, Kaia, who is in fourth grade.
Outside of teaching, Johnson enjoys attending her children's baseball, softball and basketball games and her daughter's swim meets. This winter, she is coaching her daughter's fourth grade basketball team and teaching PRAD, a fifth and sixth grade class at New Site Baptist Church. Johnson said she is also an avid gardener.
In honor of her Teacher of the Month award, Johnson received a plaque and a $250 check from EFCO during a special presentation in her classroom. The announcement was greeted with loud applause from Johnson's students.
"I am very honored to receive this award," said Johnson. "However, I could not do this job by myself. I appreciate all of the paraprofessionals and teachers at Monett High School that help our students be successful. They are all wonderful."
The Teacher of the Month program is sponsored by EFCO, a Pella Company, and The Monett Times. This is the fourth year for the popular recognition program.
Any public or private school teacher who teaches kindergarten through 12th grade in Monett, Purdy, Verona, Pierce City or Freistatt is eligible for the award. Nominations can be made by students, parents or fellow educators.
To nominate a teacher for the award, email firstname.lastname@example.org.