LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

« Return to Nominee List

Julie Johansen

Position: Principal
School: Creswell Middle School
School District: Creswell School District
City, State: Creswell, OR

Support Julie Leave a comment

Julie Johansen was nominated by a colleague, Scott Thompson.

"Julie is an amazing principal who cares about her students and staff," said Thompson. "She is fair and kind when dealing with everyone in the community. She makes our school a welcoming place to work and learn and always finds fun ways to connect with students and create community."

"An example of this is our annual pumpkin drop. Students work to produce a device to protect pumpkins dropped from 30 feet up in the air. All of the school will be outside as the pumpkins are dropped. The excitement is clearly visible as students open their packages to see if their pumpkin has survived. Yells of joy and dismay rain out throughout the afternoon. This is just one of the many activities and spirit days that are tirelessly planned for us each year," said Thompson.

Comments (25)

Kendra Anderson Posted 6 months ago

I want to ditto all of the wonderful comments and appreciations that have already been posted for Julie! Julie is truly a LifeChanger not just for thousands of students, but for her staff as well. Her hardworking attitude, enthusiasm for education, and dedication are a model for the teachers that work for her and the students she encounters everyday. In Julie's first year, she helped create a community in our school during Covid even when we couldn’t be in the building with drive-thru celebrations throughout the year. That was just the beginning and now that we have had the pleasure of having Julie as our principal for a few years we know what school spirit is really like when there aren't limitations. Julie builds the school spirit and community through spirit days with dress up themes and rallies to celebrate. She acknowledges and rewards Students of the Month, Citizens of the Month, Honor Roll each quarter, and works to support students in being successful each and everyday. All of which gives students and staff a chance to be a part of the fun and sense of belonging created within the school community. Over the past few years Julie has added several electives and programs to help engage students. Two of those programs include Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Future Health Professionals (HOSA). In fact, last spring, Julie was named the Oregon FBLA Administrator of the Year for all her hard work with the Creswell Middle School Chapter and raising funds for the March of Dimes. These programs have given students in our small community a chance to experience opportunities that only a handful of middle schools in our state get to do. She is so dedicated she even chaperones the overnight trip to Portland with twenty plus middle school students. Julie has a way to ignite the passion in the teachers and students in her building to do their best. Knowing she is giving her all to make Creswell Middle School a great place to go to school and a great place to work, encourages me to want to do the same. She recognizes when someone is going above and beyond and appreciates the dedication of her staff and the students. This encouragement and acknowledgement has created an environment where everyone is working together to help students and the staff have a wonderful experience at CMS!

Kathryn Holst Posted 7 months ago

Julie is an amazing administrator! She brings fun and joy to middle school while also providing an environment that students can learn in. Kids are lured by the fun and then learn at the same time! Honestly though, students will learn when they feel better about themselves and she sets a school climate that ensures that kids are excited and eager to be there. But she's not just about the kids, she supports the staff as well by providing time for different groups or teams to meet and plan curriculum or grade level management. For a small school in a small district in a small town, she makes us feel big and important with many opportunities for students and staff. As far as life changer status, I definitely think she is one. Many adults remember middle school as the worst but I guarantee that those attending Creswell Middle School think it is the best, far better than anticipated, which is the direct result of Mrs. Johansen's leadership, dedication, and enthusiasm.

Michael Johnson Posted 7 months ago

I am so pleased that Julie chose the Creswell School District to continue her work as a school principal. In my observation, she exhibits all of the characteristics that, as an administrator you want to see modeled for your students, staff and parents, e.g., a good work ethic, excellent character, high ethical standards, good values and principles and most importantly, a contagious enthusiasm and passion to do what is best for kids.

Jill Moran Posted 7 months ago

Julie Johansen is definitely deserving of this Life Changer award. Both of my children have had the opportunity to attend Creswell Middle School under Mrs. Johansen’s leadership. She is dedicated to making Creswell Middle School a positive, thriving and welcoming place. She understands the importance of connecting with students and providing them with a high quality education. Both of my children have been provided with the opportunity to take honors classes as middle schoolers and even come out of middle school with high school credit. Mrs. Johansen also understands the importance of fun and strives to provide numerous creative opportunities for her students that make them excited for and want to be at school. A few of theses include activities such as the pumpkin drop where students work cooperatively in teams to protect their pumpkin from a drop, the Growl Gift Store, where students shop for their families using Growl tickets they have earned for positive behavior. There are fun field trips, pep assemblies with creative rally games and dress up days. As you can see, Mrs. Johansen is a dedicated, supportive, caring, energetic leader who daily makes a positive influence on the Creswell Middle School community!

Sarah Cox Posted 7 months ago

I cannot say enough about Julie! I love how she has changed the culture of our school and community. She works endlessly to create a positive atmosphere and vibe for our kids to learn in. I love how she is proactive rather than reactive when dealing with students and works hard to help them all succeed. She truly is the best!

Bethany Scovil Posted 7 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Julie for only about 6 months, but in that short time I have been captivated by her sincere care for her students, celebrating their achievements, providing opportunities, and challenging them to strive for success. Her natural tendency to be a cheerleader for everyone, students and staff, is infectious. She is a dominant force and a wave of positivity. She is a Life Changer!!

Brandi Wittenborn Posted 7 months ago

I can't praise Julie enough. Julie is such an amazing principal. She goes beyond the call of duty for our students and staff. She sincerely cares about each student and wants to see them succeed in life. She makes our school like a family. I love her excitement for education and it is contagious to all who is around her.

Tricia Richardson Posted 7 months ago

Julie Johansen is the best principal that my children have ever had! She truly cares about each student and is the epitome of the fun mom for all. It makes the kids want to come to school, she gives them a fun and safe environment for all to enjoy. She is beyond fair and talks to the children, gets to know them on a personal level. Julie is so deserving of this award, our family could not think of another person more deserving!

Gina Short Posted 7 months ago

I strive to be more like Julie J! She is such a positive influencer in the lives of many. "Make it a great day or not; the choice is yours" is forever stuck in my head thanks to her. She is very deserving of this honor.

Monica Posted 7 months ago

I worked for Julie as her school’s interpreter. She treats everyone with respect and dignity and definitely leads by example and is always ready to guide and teach.

Janell Posted 7 months ago

Julie went above and beyond to be sure my son’s IEP goals, medical and mobility needs were met at the middle school. She was intentional to think of ways to include him at school events and made his 8th grade year super amazing for him. He had a love for school again under her leadership and even though he has multiple disabilities she found his strengths and celebrated them. She made a difference for my son and for myself as a mother who desperately wants my son to have the most normal life experiences and fit in where possible. She is a wonderful administrator who brings fun activities and above the call events and experiences for her students.

Mary Posted 7 months ago

Julie has always looked out for her students. In our community in California, She opened a clothing closet for kids at her school that needed to come and get clothes for whatever reason. community would donate good gently used clothes , she made sure all the students were able to access it.

Tripp Johansen Posted 7 months ago

Best principal ever. Always making school fun and inclusive for everyone. Couldn’t ask for a better mom or principal.

Tamara Moore Posted 8 months ago

Julie's philosophy is, "What's best for kids." I have been lucky enough to work for Julie at three different middle schools. I have known Julie since 2016, when she hired me to teach at a school in a small town in northern California. I had moved from a large urban district and she made going to school personal, challenging, and fun for everyone. She is by far the best principal I have ever worked for. The following year staffing changes had us both moved to the other, lower-income, middle school in the district. Julie has so many great ideas and does her best to make students want to come to school. She created an environment where kids, parents, and teachers were happier and proud of their school. For the COVID class of 2020, she organized a socially-distanced Drive-Thru graduation for eighth-graders. Then she moved to Creswell and I spent two years missing her leadership. Circumstances brought me within commuting distance, there was a rare job opening, and now I hope I am able to finish my career with her at the helm. When I first worked for her, I was burnt out from the urban district, but her enthusiasm, leadership, and love for kids made me remember why I chose to be a teacher. Julie is very deserving of this award.

Steve Payne Posted 8 months ago

Julie has been the MOST energetic, caring, sweet and dedicated person I have known since starting at the school district I just retired from. She has dedicated herself 110% to EVERYTHING she involves herself in with the School District where she is now the Principal! Creswell Middle School is thriving under her leadership and everyone from students to staff love her for her genuine concern for the betterment of the District! Julie more than deserves this honor!

Rebeccah Le Posted 8 months ago

Julie is such an amazing educator. She really makes an effort to ensure every one of her students is heard and gets the support they need!

Lanore Bergenske Posted 8 months ago

It is my pleasure and privilege to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Julie Johansen for the honor of LifeChanger of the Year. I worked under Julie's leadership as a Special Education teacher at Toddy Thomas Middle School and Fortuna Middle School. During our time together, she showed herself as a remarkably dedicated, competent administrator. She understood and had knowledge of Special Education laws and regulations. She readily attended professional development workshops and conferences to increase her knowledge base further. Julie developed an outstanding relationship with all special needs students, staff, and families in her charge. She recognized individual differences and skills and embraced them with acceptance and dignity. Julie brought warmth, fun, and enthusiasm to the students, staff, and community. She recognized the importance of team building and collaboration. She encouraged her staff to reach their highest pursuits. In conclusion, Julie Johansen is well deserving of this award.

Oriana Posted 8 months ago

Julie is one of the best principals around! She keeps the students excited about coming to school and excelling in their academics.

Monica Marinez Posted 8 months ago

Julie is an amazing leader. She leads with grace, honesty and int! Julie cares very much about each of her students and makes sure that they have an amazing school experience!!!!

Jehnna Carson Posted 8 months ago

Julie makes our school a wonderful place to work, and an amazing place for kids to learn. She is kind, intelligent, great at making decisions, an amazing leader, and makes all of our staff feel appreciated. She has the energy and capacity for so much! Including but certainly not limited to spirit days and student games and events that make kids want to come to middle school. There is truly no one like her and I am privileged to know her.

Tammy Payne Posted 8 months ago

Julie is great! She's an amazing administrator & wonderful person. She is always fair. Julie has energy beyond belief & goes above & beyond for family, students, staff & community.

Jill Posted 8 months ago

Julie is an outstanding administrator. CMS was so lucky to have her replace our retiring admin. It was during Covid and students were at home on chrome books. Julie made every holiday fun for students with drive through activities. She also had students log into zoom and would play bingo or other games. She wanted all the students feel included and feel like they were at school. On holidays during Covid our staff would stand on the sidewalk handing out treats and craft bags as the parents drove by. When students returned to in person school, Julie had wonderful school spirit days. She loves her job and her staff and students. She is one fantastic principal.

Silvia Dominguez Posted 8 months ago

Julie is an amazing principal, Creswell is very lucky to have her! Julie goes above and beyond for her students and coworkers, doing fun activities, and pumping up kids during rally’s.

Fiona Weismehl Posted 8 months ago

I have known Julie Johansen for over 10 years, and spent my first three years as a school counselor working under Julie’s leadership. What I have admired about Julie is her determination to ensure every student feels safe, successful and connected to the school, while being engaged in class and having fun along the way. Julie is intuitive, and gets to know the students, families and her staff well, going above and beyond to make everyone feel supported and heard. Julie’s creativity is inspiring and infectious, and encourages staff to think outside the box. I cannot think of someone more deserving of this recognition!

Ron Connelly Posted 8 months ago

Julie is simply the best. She cares about everyone and gives so much time to our school. She is a great mom I absolutely love her son. She is the best boss I've ever worked for such a caring person.