Seeing the smiles on the faces of her students drove Mary E. Johnson as she navigated her positions at the Hazelwood School District. She spent her entire career there; from 1971 to 1993, she served as a teacher and from 1989 to 1991, she served as a positive intervention teacher. Ms. Johnson emphasized kindness, energy, and attitude in her classroom, and worked hard to ensure the material was relatable and understandable to everyone. She even created some of her own materials, like the play, “Say No to Drugs,” and the book, “Secret Study Skills for Third Graders.” Ms. Johnson wanted to be someone the children could come to and trust. She retired in 1993.
Ms. Johnson prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from the University of Illinois in 1966 and a Master of Arts from Maryville University in 1990, and by completing a study skill seminar at Harvard University and postgraduate coursework at Southern Illinois University. She was certified as an elementary teacher in the states of Missouri and Illinois.
When Ms. Johnson has free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, writing, art, and music. She also enjoys helping out in her community. She is currently the chief executive officer of The Rose Marie Princ Charitable Foundation and a member of the Scholarship Committee of the Clark County School District, the Bailey Scholarship Fund of the University of Illinois, the Children’s United Research Effort in Cancer, The Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Maryland, and various committees of the Townsend PTA in Florissant, Missouri. Additionally, Ms. Johnson is a contributor to charitable organizations like the Joseph’s Indian School, the Mercy Children Home, Veterans of Foreign Wars, March of Dimes, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Easter Seals Society, the Special Olympics, and the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In recognition of her efforts, Ms. Johnson was honored as the Townsend Teacher of the Year between 1989 and 1990, an Edmund J. James Scholar between 1964 and 1965, and a Fred S. Bailey Scholar between 1962 and 1966. Her achievements were highlighted in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who of American Women. She attributes much of her success to her enthusiasm for teaching and her connection with parents, students, and other teachers.