Thirty-six years with any employer is a lot of years and a lot of history. That statement is especially true in School District 9 for retiring White Mountain Middle School Principal Dan Johnson. He served under at least 10 superintendents during that time, countless board members and principals.
Ten of those 36 years were spent as a teacher, 20 years as an administrator and six years as a child development specialist. He spent a number of years as an active member of the Eagle Point Education Association and was their vice-president at one time.
His first seven years in District 9 were spent at White City Elementary and White City Intermediate (now known as Mountain View Elementary). He spent a year teaching at SOU and two years at Elk Trail. He is one of perhaps two District 9 staff members who were employed when the school were forced to close because the taxpayers would not pass a levy. At that time the voters in each district determined the taxes to be paid for education.
Teachers could not tutor students, but Johnson gave parents tutoring ideas once a week at a non-district facility. Budget meetings were held in the junior high gym with network TV cameras telling our tale on the national news.
Johnson’s 20 years as an Administrator began in 1987 as the activities coordinator at Eagle Point High School. Not only did he oversee current activities, he initiated some and became involved at the state level with the Oregon Association of Student Councils, became a camp counselor and director. Budget cuts took away the position, but he was to take on the job of assistant principal at EPHS.
The next challenge was at Glenn D. Hale where he became assistant principal. At that time, the principal oversaw both Little Butte and Glenn D. Hale schools. He was the final writer of the district’s Mission Statement, Vision and Student Learning goals. He sat on the committee to develop the four character traits: Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Caring.
In 1992, he was asked to be the Curriculum Director/Staff Development coordinator. This was during the state mandated AIDs curriculum and there was major controversy. The superintendent cut the position. Johnson then became the principal of both Elk Trail and Shady Cove schools, a position he held for 12 years. He laid groundwork to unite the communities and develop programs for youth. He developed the School of Choice for 7th and 8th grade, that eventually became Shady Cove Middle School and that added a third school to his role as principal.
More recently Johnson has been principal at Eagle Point Middle School and last year returned to White City, where he will retire as principal of White Mountain Middle School.
Hundreds upon hundreds of District 9 students will remember Dan Johnson as the very formidable Cat in the Hat during Dr. Suess’s birthday celebrations.
Reception Honoring Dan Johnson
Saturday, June 5
White Mountain Middle School
Bring your memories and wish Dan well
Johnson has coached flag football, boys and girls basketball and track, did outdoor education and was on the advisory council to the juvenile justice system in Jackson county.
Giving not only as an educator, but as a community member has been very much a part of Johnson’s lifestyle. As a member of the Eagle Point community, he spent three years on the Eagle Point Parks & Recreation Commission, is a Rotarian, has belonged to Kiwanis, has been a member of the Rogue Valley Chorale, church group leader, deacon and elder of the Presbyterian Church, chaired First Presbyterian Church Day School oversight committee and chaired the Jackson County Executive Council for Head Start.
His wife, Teresa, is a teacher in District 9. They have a son and daughter, both graduated from EPHS.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent