Position: English Teacher
School: Mission High School
School District: Clark County School District
City, State: Las Vegas, NV
Music that Describes Stacey
Stacey Dallas Johnston was nominated by her colleague, Jennifer Rios.
"Stacey is one of the most inspiring colleagues I have ever had, as well as an amazing educator," said Rios. "What's so amazing about her is that she doesn't do what she does to be called amazing or to boast about her accomplishments. Being amazing is just who she is. Some how, some way, she has spent the past 20 years not only teaching high school, but changing the high school experience for thousands of kids."
Mrs. Johnston will take on any challenge that will result in better serving the kids she teaches, her school, her community, or the system. She has done it all, from helping to raise 10,000 pounds of food for the homeless, to transforming a dying creative writing program into one that earned national recognition. She is a solid role model for all kids who has taken on national policy at the U.S. Department of Education.
"We were neighbors at school for almost ten years," said Rios. "She was my sounding board, my coffee buddy, my thought partner, and my friend. When I left the classroom, leaving my side kick was one of the hardest parts. We became a team inside and outside of school--having co-presented professional development at the school, state, and national levels. To this day, I admire her work as an educator."
Mrs. Johnston sought out and applied to teach at Mission High School, a new school in her district that caters specifically to high school students in drug and alcohol recovery. She was drawn to serving the kids who attend this school, and is already leaving her mark. Only a few months into this new job and new school year, she has already organized field trips, connected her students with community mentors, and has begun building the foundation of a school-wide arts integration program. She also volunteered to be the Key Club Adviser, and she volunteers monthly at Alternate Peer Group/ There is No Hero in Heroin, which are organizations that create safe, drug-free environments for teens.
In the classroom, Mrs. Johnston is bringing an arts-integrated, high-level curriculum to students who have previously struggled in school. They are having discussions and creating projects that Advanced Placement students would be doing, without even knowing it.
"I always know that kids are in the best of hands with Mrs. Johnston as their teacher," said Rios. "She is fearless when it comes to trying new things, advocating for kids, and evolving the profession. She has traveled to Washington DC ten times to lobby, engage in research, and speak directly with two dU.S. Secretaries of Education, all with the goal of making teaching and learning better for everyone."
Mrs. Johnston has changed lives, and will continue to do so. She is the type of educator who children are lucky to have. She will do just about anything for the kids.
"My colleague and friend, Stacey Dallas Johnston, is a Life Changer, and she deserves, more than anyone else I know, to be regognized for all that she does," said Rios.