Position: Exceptional Education Teacher
School: GH Reid Elementary School
School District: Richmond Public Schools
City, State: Richmond, VA
Music that Describes Ronald
Ronald Johnson was nominated by Kia Thorne, the parent of two students.
"For the past year, Mr. Johnson has played a significant role in the lives of my two sons, while working with them in his F.O.C.U.S. Program which stands for A Foundation of Children United to Succeed," said Thorne. "This is a program he runs which is designed to help and support young boys in every aspects of life."
"The first day that we met, Mr. Johnson immediately made us feel welcomed to the F.O.C.U.S. program. Within a short period of time, I noticed my youngest son, Tony, was learning ways to control his anger, and my oldest son, Jae'lyn, was talking more," said Thorne. "Both of my boys have begun to communicate more about the things that bother them, and I believe it is because Mr. Johnson has been teaching them about their self-confidence and self-worth. They have been doing better with handling stressful moments and disappointments. I am personally excited because both of my sons are excited about being a part of the F.O.C.U.S. program and learning how to be hopeful, respectful, and resilient young men who are excited about their future."
"Jae’lyn and Tony are from a single parent home, and at times it can get a little stressful for all of us, but Mr. Johnson has been encouraging and helpful to me, my sons, and a few of my friends whose sons are also in the F.O.C.U.S. Program," said Thorne. "I believe that what he is doing is giving my sons and all of the boys a sense of belonging as young black men and showing them why education is important. He is teaching these young boys to be accountable, responsible, and motivated to be somebody."
When the boys meet on Thursdays after school at G.H. Reid, they must be dressed in shirt and tie. This is the day that Mr. Johnson considers to be "Distinguished Thursdays".
"Mr. Johnson believes when the boys dress in such a manner, they are representing dignity, integrity, self-worth, and self-respect," said Thorne. "I find this to be quite intriguing and impressive. I enjoy seeing the boys dressed as dignified males. It demonstrates a level of moral excellence."
Mr. Johnson has been very adamant about preserving the lives of all the young men with whom he has been working with for the past few years. This is evident by his support and emphasis to re-enforce the importance of values, moral excellence, and high standards for education. His dedication to developing all children doesn't just start and end at G.H. Reid Elementary School. It opens itself to meet the needs of students from various other school buildings, as well. During the summer, he worked with a Hispanic group to help High School students develop job readiness skills. Although Jae’lyn and Tony aren't in high school, he invited them and a few other boys to participate.
Mr. Johnson is always looking for ways to build a culture of unity within his school building. For the past two years, he has put together a Breakfast with Dad event with the intention of bringing more fathers into the school building to support the learning of their young children. He has also put together a Daddy and Daughter Dance, A 100 Men Reads activity, and has single-handedly spearheaded the school safety patrol program.
When it comes to communicating with parents, Mr. Johnson is able to do so by delivering school-wide messages on Classdojo. He is the school's mentor for this specific program. He also works to make sure that every teacher in his building is linked to the program. When there is an issue, he is ready to answer the call. With this program, Mr. Johnson is able to communicate with every parent of each student that is linked to the program.
This year, Mr. Johnson was selected to be the Teacher of the Year for G.H. Reid. He was a nominee for the Richmond Public School District and was chosen as one of the top 10 nominees.
"Mr. Johnson invited the three of us to attend the Teacher of The Year Celebration and the ceremony for the announcement of the Teacher of the Year for the City of Richmond, and we were more than honored," said Thorne. "He demonstrated his support for all of the teachers and congratulated each of them one by one. I thought that was such an amazing gesture of leadership."
"Mr. Johnson is an amazing, outstanding, loving, nurturing, and overall awesome person for his time, attention and service to the children and families that he serves," said Thorne.