LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Ronald Johnson

Position: Exceptional Education Teacher
School: GH Reid Elementary School
School District: Richmond Public Schools
City, State: Richmond, VA

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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.

Comments (18)

Angela Delaney Posted over a year ago

Mr. Johnson is commended for his efforts to show the young men of G. H. Reid how to conduct themselves as leaders. Many of the students were constantly getting into trouble prior to receiving the support of Mr. Johnson and the F.O.C.U.S. He plans meaningful activities to support the students outside of school on his own time and they want to participate. They want to do their best just because they know that someone expects that from them. Mr. Johnson has included the men of the school to serve as role models and mentors for the young men. He has the support of parents within the community who are also striving to be better men. Mr. Johnson has earned the Life Changer of the Year Award. I am proud to see him recognized for all of the great things he is doing.

Lorraine Hargett Posted over a year ago

Dr. Johnson past colleague and friend is a leader and teacher in my opinion that all leaders should be. He puts his heart, body and soul in his teaching. He provides students with an inrichment of lessons learned.He provides students with a kindness, strict but gentleness of love. Dr. Johnson provides students with the trust and respect that each one deserves and is intitle to have. He is an awesome educator, leader and mentor. I acknowledge Dr. Johnson as the LIFE CHANGER OF THE YEAR!

Shemeka Jefferson-Johnson Posted over a year ago

Dr. Johnson has spent and continues to spend countless hours developing/perfecting self in order to help shape, mold and/or groom young men to succeed in their future endeavors. I have observed him investing a lot of his personal time researching, analyzing and creating ways that will have an impact on the development of our youth. He demonstrates every day determination to make a change through is actions. Anytime I see a man resolute to make a change and stay consistent with the change no matter the circumstances is a man built to project change in others.

Stacey bruno Posted over a year ago

I have a son that is in Dr. Johnson’s class this year and I can definitely see why he is teacher of the year! What a difference he makes everyday! We are truly thankful for his hard work and dedication he provides for the students, especially for my son! Thank you Dr. Johnson for your support! Congratulations!!

Audra Tuttle Posted over a year ago

I consider Mr. Johnson a friend as well as a colleague. Mr. Johnson has been a kind, professional person to work with at Reid. His approach to teaching is refreshing as he truly invest himself in the emotional welfare of his students.

Taryn Posted over a year ago

Congratulations you always reminded me of a Joe Clark because you always cared even when it do8come across sugar coated

Sam Johnson Posted over a year ago

Ron has been nothing less than an inspiration to all who have come in contact with him I am truly honored to have him as a brother

Pamela Redd-Crowell Posted over a year ago

Dr. Johnson can work miracles. I was at my wit's end dealing with behavioral issues with some of my male students. I asked him about his program. He advised me that his program was meant for 4th and 5th but he would accept my 3rd graders into the program. When I say the students did a 360, it is no lie. The same students are now in 5th and maintaining the lessons that they were taught through the. program. I am so proud of my former students'. I don't know what would have happened with those students if they had not joined the program. My hat goes off to Dr. Johnson because he is definitely doing his part in "it takes a village to raise a child" and then some! Keep up the good work and continue to give these young men a foundation for self-worth!

Luwanna Jordan Posted over a year ago

Congrats Dr. Johnson. I'm glad the email I sent to RPS about this program was received. This program comes from the life and annuities company I work for. Blessings on your nomination!!!!

Kathy Assani Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Mr. Johnson for a well deserved recognition! As a colleague of yours at G.H. Reid, I have observed your above and beyond efforts to instill in our young men and women a sense of self worth and respect of self and others. It has been so encouraging for me to see the young men walk taller and demonstrate their sense of pride, especially on "Distinguished Thursday" when they dress in their shirt and tie. The young men and women who have been privileged to be apart of your F.O.C.U.S. group are very fortunate. Our students need more men like yourself who not only focus on the academics of our students, but men who pour themselves into helping to develop the whole person. Best to you on this nomination and on all of your future endeavors!

James Johnson Posted over a year ago

I wish the world was full of people like Ronald Johnson

Geremy casso/Maria sanz Posted over a year ago

Keep up the good work!??

Shuntillia toler Posted over a year ago

Dr Johnson is a great leader and educator to our youth . He’s such an inspiring model in my nephews life .

Lester Pryor Posted over a year ago

Ron is an Awesome man of God! His desire to show young men how to live in excellence and that they can achieve greatness is phenomenal. His F.O.C.U.S program is an example of how he goes above and beyond for students to achieve success! Excellent job sir!

Amanda Glover Posted over a year ago

Dr. Johnson is an amazing teacher my son Anthony care so much about him and has a lot of respect for Doctor Johnson due to the amazing teaching and working skills with our students like he does thank you so much for what you do 2 impact and change my son Anthony life

Kendell Jefferson Posted over a year ago

Mr. Johnson which happens to be my cousin is an outstanding leader , educator, loving father and a great role model . To know him ,is truly to love him . His passion and his love for his career and family values is truly impeccable. His ability to lead , mentor and provide a solid foundation amongst all the youth that is blessed to be in his presence speaks a magnitude of great knowledge, compassion , tenacious ambition and most importantly leading in a positive direction . I can truly say that he is very deserving of the best and all accolades that is exemplified within him . I’m truly proud and inspired . Excellent Job Sir!!!

Lorez `GMaN' Simms Posted over a year ago

Great Guy, loves giving back to our youth

T.J. WMZ Posted over a year ago

Thank you for all of your work in the community. Great job Ron!