Elect 2012: Johnson seeks equality, alternative classes in schools

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
A Salisbury native said she’s seen something missing from the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
“I’m noticing that children of color are suffering scholastically and the scores have such disparity that I feel like I owe this county some of the work that I can contribute,” said Constance “Connie” Johnson. “The wonderful encouragement my teachers have given me throughout my education inspires me to give back.”
Johnson, 50, is hoping to lend a hand by serving on the Board of Education. She’ll face off against incumbent Bryce Beard and newcomer Quentin Woodward Jr. for the Salisbury seat.
Johnson said she’s got answers to the achievement issues she feels are created by lack of personal support and expectation.
“I have innovative insight that can make a difference in our youth that involves investments of time from our community leaders, not an investment of money,” she said. “We keep seeking answers through revenue, when it is actually an investment of volunteerism from those who care that we need to make a difference.”
If elected, Johnson would like to add alternative classes to the curriculum to aid students in personal development. They would focus on topics such as study habits, time management, how to create good relationships and preparing for college.
“We take for granted that students know these things,” she said. “But some children come from homes that can’t prepare them for some of these expectations.”
Johnson said she’d also like to create more parental involvement by working with parent teacher associations to draft new members.
“Here we have a group of parents who are diligently fighting for our children,” she said. “We need to make them the richest organization in the county so they can recruit, build programs and find resources.”
A Salisbury High School graduate, Johnson said her passion for youth makes her a strong leader.
“I’ve worked with youth in schools for years, as a counselor, as a motivator, as a catalyst,” she said. “I have a deep passion and great expectation of youth and I’m gifted in motivating them to succeed.”
There are two more open seats on the school board.
Newcomers Michael Lambe and Dr. Lynn Marsh will challenge incumbent Dr. Jim Emerson and Linda Freeze for the east and southeast area spots, respectively.
Filing continues through Aug. 17 at the Rowan County Board of Elections inside the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Rowan County Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St. The fee is $5.
Election Day is Nov. 6.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Twitter: twitter.com/posteducation
Facebook: facebook.com/Sarah.SalisburyPost

Constance Johnson 
Age: 50
Address: 211 Wiltshire Village, Salisbury 
Phone: 980-643-0411
Email: johnsonc@constancejohnson.com 
Website: www.constancejohnson.com 
Employer: Publisher of Youth Connection News, school chaplain, consultant, seminarian 
Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Livingstone College, master’s in education, guidance and counseling from the University of Maryland 
Previous elected office: None
Community involvement: Commissioner of Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly, Bible school teacher, former clerk of session for Trinity Presbyterian Church, elder for the presbyterian church, former moderator of Women for Trinity Presbyterian Church, former NAACP delegate for the city of Charlotte, Synod Seminarians representative for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, teach community workshops to youth on personal growth, civility, time management and planning 
Family: Daughter, Candice; grandson, Jaiden