Putting students first

ELIZABETH JOHNSON, ag/welding teacher at Tracy Area High School, works with junior Austin Lichty during welding class last Friday. Johnson was recently named Region VI’s Outstanding Early Career Teacher. Photo / Per Peterson

Elizabeth Johnson recognized with regional award for her work at  TAHS

By Per Peterson

It didn’t take long for Elizabeth Johnson to make an impact at Tracy Area High School, and her dedication to her students has paid off in a big way.

Johnson recently was selected as an Outstanding Early Career Teacher in Region VI.

“I feel very humbled to be selected from the region as an Early Career Teacher,” Johnson said. “There are so many teachers in our school district and region that work so hard day in and out, especially this year, that are just as deserving of this award.”

The award goes to a teacher in their fourth-eighth year of teaching. The criteria for the award includes: teaching philosophy, instruction, experiential learning, leadership development, partnerships, marketing, and professional growth. Johnson will now compete against the other region winners for the state award this summer.

“The students are the ones that keep me going every single day,” Johnson said. “There has never been a time in my teaching career that I have thought, ‘Ugh I have to go to work today.’ I am so fortunate to work in such an amazing school and community where everyone is willing to lend a helping hand in any way that they can. When teaching in the classroom I love seeing the light bulb go on and helping students realize how any topic or lesson in my room is important to them in everyday life.”

Johnson came to TAHS in the fall of 2018 and shortly thereafter wrote a grant for the Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Program that resulted in $25,000 that Johnson dedicated to upgrades in the school’s welding equipment and the incorporation of STEM into more ag and common core classes.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.