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Megan Johnson, Teacher Education Scholarship Winner, Fall I, 2011

Dominican University, in partnership with Bisk Education, Inc., proudly recognizes Megan Johnson – a third grade teacher with The Catalyst Schools in Chicago, Illinois’ North Lawndale community – as winner of the Bisk Foundation Teacher Education Scholarship for the Fall I, 2011 session. The scholarship supports the professional development of outstanding teachers who are making a difference in the lives of their students.

Johnson is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Education: Reading program and is highly regarded by her co-workers as a capable, caring educator who values her students, enthusiastically seeks out professional development opportunities and goes the extra mile to bring excellence to her classroom and her school. As a first-year teacher last year, Johnson demonstrated a passion and dedication in every area of her job and one of her proudest and most notable accomplishments is the creation of an after-school art class. 

Johnson says, “My original goal was to open students’ eyes to the world of art and creativity… While I feel the class was fantastic, I feel my greatest accomplishment was acting as a rock for my students.”

Johnson’s after-school art class was much more than making mosaics, creating flower pen bouquets and weaving baskets. She soon discovered that her class also served as a consistently safe haven, a place where children could talk to someone and be heard, and an environment where students could get individual attention and build strong relationships with each other and their teacher.

“Overall, I feel my Arts and Crafts club was a huge success, not only making a difference in the lives of my students, but as well as my own,” she says. Johnson proudly shares that she has been able to contribute positively to her school in several other ways, also:

“I have been chosen as a lead teacher to work with the University of Chicago on a Math and Science Initiative this upcoming school year. Also, three of my students’ artworks were displayed on Channel 7’s Weather Sketchers segment and many of my students’ work has been highlighted several times on the school’s website.”

Johnson’s principal, Dr. Chaun Johnson, praises her successes as a first-year teacher, stating, “Megan is committed to gaining the skills needed to teach in her classroom. Megan is a dedicated and talented teacher who demonstrates expertise and professionalism at all times in the classroom. She comes to weekly professional development with a notebook and pencil in hand. She works collaboratively as a staff member and believes in the Catalyst Schools’ mission.”

With such an array of success and praise during her first year, Johnson is poised for an exciting and successful career as an educator. She recognizes the importance of professional development and in seeking additional skills and knowledge in her field in order to better serve her students and her school. 

“I have made a difference in the lives of my students and students’ families. By providing an outlet for new interests, an ear to listen, and words of encouragement, I feel I have left an imprint on the hearts of the people I have had the opportunity to work with.”

Together with Dominican University, Bisk Education is proud to salute Megan Johnson – a true everyday hero who is making a difference through the gift of education.