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David Johnson, MHS, 2015-16 IT Teacher

David Johnson, Biology teacher at MHS, was nominated by Intervention Specialist Tammy Patrick for his excellent work with all students in his class(es). Mr. Johnson was named the 2015-2016 IT Award winner based on the following strong words from Mrs. Patrick:

Kind, compassionate, approachable, and fair are all words that come to mind when students describe Biology teacher Dave Johnson. Flexible, caring, hardworking, and team-player are all words that come to mind when fellow co-workers describe Dave. For the past several years, Dave has opened his classroom to a multitude of special education students, staff, and paraprofessionals. Dave's desire to help every student succeed will often find him racking his brain to come up with a different lesson plan to reach all of the various levels of students within his classroom. He approaches each student from the level that they are starting, and helps them to grow, not just in the knowledge of Biology, but in learning experiences that will help them be successful in the many avenues that life may lead them.

Dave's approach to learning helps foster a classroom environment so that every student feels that their questions or contributions are important. Dave is always willing to collaborate with other staff members in order to make each student's learning experience the best that he can. He values and seeks out the input of other science teachers, as well as the special education staff. Countless hours are spent in co-planning and developing materials with his co-teacher to make sure that the needs of all students are met. He then goes home and spends endless hours searching for the perfect activity or video to reinforce his instruction. Outside of the classroom, Dave attends a multitude of IEP meetings in order to establish a working relationship with his students and their parents.

Dave’s approach to learning also helps every student feel that they can be successful in his classroom. He takes the time to make personal connections with his students, often talking with them about their personal interests or activities that they are involved in outside of his classroom. Making these connections helps every student in Dave’s classes feel that they are an important part of the classroom. Most importantly, students know that Dave truly cares about their learning, and he will go out of his way to make sure that he does everything possible to help them reach the next level.