McConnaughay spotlights everyday hero: Lucy Johnson, 2017 Kane County Educational Personnel of the Year nominee
This week, Senator McConnaughay spotlights Lucy Johnson, Registrar at Thompson Middle School and nominee for the 2017 Kane County Educational Personnel of the Year Award.
While Johnson has served in her current role at Thompson for nine years, she has been working for District 303 for the past 25 years. She first got involved with the school by volunteering while her children were attending Davis Elementary School, and in that time helped to develop the school’s first science center, which is where she was offered her first staff position.
Her volunteering did not end after she joined the administrative team. Johnson founded and continues to lead Thompson Middle School’s cheerleading program, and supervises the school’s theatre program. Additionally, she leads the Builders program—a student community service club. As part of their service, she and the students volunteer their time at organizations like the Lazarus House for homeless families and individuals, Arden Courts memory care community, Carriage Oaks independent living for seniors, and Garfield Farm Museum.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the kids—especially because all the groups are so different and so great,” said Johnson. “I never think of the student activities as extra work outside of my job—they’re an important part of my day.”
While Johnson’s daily responsibilities as Registrar are consistent, she says what she loves about working at Thompson Middle School is that the staff and students make every day feel different. The environment fosters a team ethic where staff members look out for one another, so no one feels overloaded.
Nominees for the Educational Personnel of the Year Award are selected based on nominations from parents and students of the school. When she received the news, Johnson said she was floored and humbled to be recognized by the school community. Her dedication to her students even outside of work has earned her the recognition of an outstanding educational personnel—and even more rewarding, a trusted advocate for the students.
“What I’ve learned during my years working with the schools is that it’s really important to teach kids to think for themselves, especially in middle school,” said Johnson. “I listen to them, and then I help them to learn to start process and work things out on their own, because they will need that going into high school.”
The Kane County Regional Office of Education hosted its 42nd Annual Educator of the Year award ceremony on April 28 by honoring 45 outstanding educators nominated as academic leaders by their peers. The award was presented to one educator in each of nine separate categories: classroom preschool teacher; classroom elementary teacher; classroom middle school teacher; classroom high school teacher; school administrator; student support personnel; early career educator; private/parochial; educational service personnel; and one overall top educator of the year.
“I applaud Lucy’s dedication to not only Thompson Middle School, but all of District 303,” said Senator McConnaughay. “She has no doubt impacted the lives of so many students and residents, and she is incredibly deserving of this nomination.”
Senator McConnaughay is proud to recognize Johnson for her Educational Personnel of the Year nomination and thank her for her ongoing dedication to District 303.