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Rowan-Salisbury Schools award winner takes initiative, not credit

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
The first year her son was enrolled at Bostian Elementary School, Angie Johnson “just kind of sat back and watched how things went,” said Principal Lisa Sigmon.
By the end of the 2007-2008 school year, however, Sigmon said, Johnson had been elected PTA president. And she was re-elected the following year.
During Johnson’s leadership, the PTA raised around $40,000 through various events.
Dr. Judy Grissom, superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System announced Tuesday morning that Johnson had been selected from 35 individuals, organizations and businesses nominees for this year’s “Partners for Student Success Award.”
Grissom and all seven members of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education presented the award to Johnson at the third Annual Report to the Community Breakfast, held at 7 a.m. at the Hurley Family YMCA.
Johnson’s husband, Stacy, and their children, Riley, a third grader at Bostian, and Delaney, who will start kindergarten there next August, accompanied her to the breakfast.
Johnson said she was shocked to hear her name called as the recipient of the award. “I knew I was nominated,” she said, “but honestly, I thought we were just going to this breakfast and that one person would be recognized from each school.”
Sigmon described Johnson as being very humble. “She does not worry about getting credit for anything,” she said.
As this year’s winner, Johnson was presented with a plaque, and her name will be added to a plaque in the school system’s administrative offices.
At times, Sigmon said, Johnson has had so many ideas that that she has responded, “You’ve got to put the brakes on, girl, because we’re doing too much.”
“But she’s like, ‘We can do it. We can do it.’ ”
Among the projects Johnson has taken on or spearheaded as PTA president is a bulletin board in the main hallway at Bostian. “She has a little cutter machine (Cricut) that she uses,” Sigmon said, “and the bulletin board is beautiful.
” ‘PTA teamwork makes the dream work’ is the theme that they came up with, and that’s on all of their stuff.”
Johnson said she puts up a new bulletin board every month.
Grissom highlighted Johnson’s achievements before announcing her as the winner: “surveyed parents as to their needs at this school … frequently organizes snacks for staff, assembles ‘reward bags’ for students who complete summer work assignments, organized the sale of spirit items …”
She also started a fundraiser for which PTA members sold doughnuts at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Grissom said, “Every student and staff member at this school has benefitted from this nominee’s service” in making sure the school had new picnic tables and playground equipment, a computer research station in the media center and COW (Computers on Wheels) and that all certified staff received a $200 grant for the purchase of items for their classroom.
“This person has impacted students and staff by creating high staff morale,” the superintendent said, “and parents feel empowered and more willing to help when approached.
“This nominee portrays the mission of our district by assisting with acquiring ‘cutting edge’ technology to meet student needs and developing a globally competitive school that inspires all students to do their best.”
As Grissom was talking, Johnson said, her son, Riley, kept saying, “That’s you. That’s you.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, my Lord.’ ”
Upon returning to the school after the breakfast, Sigmon re-presented the plaque to Johnson, with her family beside her, for the morning news show at Bostian. Johnson said she talked to Riley’s teacher later in the day and she said, “He was so proud.”
One reason Johnson is able to do so much, Sigmon said, is her ability to encourage teamwork. One of her ideas ó an outdoor family movie night ó has brought the school family closer together, she said.
It’s also an inexpensive outing for families during these difficult economic times. Sigmon said the school only charges $1 per family, and popcorn and drinks are available for 50 cents each.
“Some of our families have three kids,” she said, “so that’s cheap entertainment for our families.”
Johnson is in her third year as Bostian’s PTA president.
“I’m up there all the time,” she said.Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.

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