LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Stacey Dallas Johnston

Position: English Teacher
School: Mission High School
School District: Clark County School District
City, State: Las Vegas, NV

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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.

Comments (4)

Jennifer Courrier Posted over a year ago

Stacey “Dallas” Johnston is elevating the classroom experience for her high schoolers without them even knowing it! She makes topics like existentialism fun and exciting and pushes her students to think outside the box. There needs to be more dedicated, and passionate teachers like Dallas that are not about the status-quo and are about challenging young minds. She truly cares about each and every one of her kids and wants to ensure they all make their mark in life. What ever that may be! This nomination couldn’t happen to a better educational professional. Congrats Dallas for all of your hard work and outstanding dedication!

Linda Firestone Posted over a year ago

I've seen the link for the LifeChanger of the Year nominations and finally took the time to read it. I just wanted to say "Congratulations" and I also wanted to say thanks. Thank you for giving so much of yourself. Thank you for choosing to become a teacher. You are encouraging all who read about you and that impact will cause even great impact. I am picturing ripples of hope moving farther and farther out because of you and people like you. I also had never heard of Mission High School (even though I taught in CCSD for 16 years and just took a year off to help my husband recover from brain surgery). So to hear about this amazing high school gives me even more hope. And great joy. I applaud you all (the idea and its fruition) and as a woman who believes in the power of prayer, I'll start there.

Haley Ruzek Posted over a year ago

I will attest that Stacey was not only a mentor to me (still is) but a dear friend of mine. Her zealousness and determination inspire me for the legacy I’d like to leave in this career. I’m grateful for her. #LifeChanger

Kathy LItz Posted over a year ago

I had the opportunity to work with Stacey at Las Vegas Academy in Las Vegas, NV. My role was that of technology support both hardware and software. I had also come from a high education background. I left the university level because I was not meeting undergraduate, graduate, and post graduate students who wanted to spend time really exploring the business of education. Had I met Stacey in one of my graduate classes I might still be in higher education. Not only is she a teacher of high quality she is a student of learning at that same level. She would ask for technology opportunities for her students when none seemed to be available. She was willing to write grants, explore alternative funding options to provide the tech opportunities that students of today need to be successful. Creative writing was and is one of her passions. She in not afraid to allow students to explore their thoughts and feelings in their writing. She is always willing to engage students in their ideas and directions. Being that LVA is a magnet school her students came in willing to engage in the creative task. But Stacey wanted more from her learning and teaching adventure. She sought out other opportunities and has recently taken a position at Mission High School working with some of our most fragile students. Stacey is a support and inspiration to those students who have been discarded by many. Too often the strongest teachers are not assigned to the most needy of students but in this case Stacey volunteered. Ms. Stacey Johnston is a Life Changer to all who come in contact with her. I'm proud to have crossed her path.