MONARCH — A teacher with 21 years experience making children’s lives better through “education and love” has been named the Monarch Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
On Thursday, Monarch Elementary School issued a press release stating that it “is proud to announce Mrs. Tonya Horne Johnson’s election as 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.”
The press release states that faculty members selected Johnson “based on her many qualities as a teacher, leader, and community member.” It states that Johnson “earned a Master’s Degree in Divergent Learning, with a perfect grade point average, from Columbia College, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from University of South Carolina –Spartanburg. The University of South Carolina at Union was the ideal place to continue her educational journey after graduating from Union High School where Mrs. Johnson played the keyboard and flute in the marching band and was active in the Civitan Club.”
It further states that Johnson “is a member of the Palmetto State Teacher Association, a former Leadership Chairperson in 4K, 5K, and Second Grades, PTO Secretary-Treasurer, School Improvement Council Representative, former member of the International Reading Association, and the Principal’s Advisory Committee.”
The press release points out that Johnson’s “philosophy in teaching and life is one in the same, ‘Love God and love others. Some children come to school to learn, while others come to be loved.’ Mrs. Johnson believes that her purpose in teaching is to make children’s lives better through education and love.”
Johnson has been serving the children of Union County for 21 years, beginning her teaching career at MES “as a half-day 4K teacher and half-day Title 1 Assistant. The following year Mrs. Johnson taught 4K full time at MES. She spent the next year teaching 5K at Buffalo Elementary, only to return to MES where she has continued to teach to the present time.”
The press release states that over the course of her career Johnson “has taught 4K, 5K, first grade and second grade, sometimes looping with her classes. To the delight of 19 smiling little faces each day, Mrs. Johnson currently teaches 5K along with her loving assistant, Mrs. Cindy Wix. This dynamic duo brings literacy and learning to life each day. An air of mutual respect exists at all times. Mrs. Johnson’s lessons nurture and inspire the next generation of learners and leaders.”
Johnson is married to Staff Sgt. Rodney Johnson. They are the parents of UCHS student Blake Johnson and Sims Middle School student Lindsey Johnson. She is the daughter of Kenneth Horne and Karen Finch, and the granddaughter of Doris Lawson. Johnson is an active member of Phillipi Baptist Church where she sings in the church choir, teaches Vacation Bible School, and serves as an AWANA leader.
The press release states that “when not at Monarch Elementary School or at Phillipi Baptist Church, Mrs. Johnson can be found on the sidelines of UCHS cheering on the Yellow Jackets. Blake is the kicker for the varsity football team and plays varsity soccer. Lindsey plays junior varsity soccer. Mrs. Johnson’s favorite colors are black and gold for UCHS and blue and yellow for MES. Mrs. Johnson also enjoys flower gardening, walking, hiking, spending time with her pets Charlie, Cooper, and Sophie. In addition, she chaperones trips for her church with her children. Her passion and love for all of God’s creations is evident in the way that she invests her time.”
Monarch Elementary’s Principal is Mickey Connolly and the press release points out that Johnson was a student in his class during his first year teaching. It further states that Johnson was a faculty member at MES when Connolly first served as principal there in 1997 and when he returned as the school’s principal in 2016.
“Tonya Johnson is the kind of teacher every principal wants for his school,” Connolly said. “She’s caring, knowledgeable, always willing to share, and most of all, she puts children first every day.”
This story courtesy of Monarch Elementary School.