I recently had the opportunity to interview our new art teacher, Ms. Johnson. It was a pleasure to sit down and get to know a little bit about her! Before O’Hara, she was a gym teacher at Chester Community Charter School and taught summer art classes at the Chester County Art Association.
Art has been in her life for a long time. She started taking advanced art classes from when she was nine years old and through high school. She used it as a way to get through tough times in her life. “My mom just really encouraged me to use art as an outlet. It kinda stuck and however many years later, I’m an art teacher.” It’s something that she truly loves to do. Art is a big part of her life. “Everything I do revolves around art! I love art. I have my own art all over my house, I come home and draw and paint. There’s no Ms. Johnson without art!”
In addition to teaching art, she also works in the main office and is the moderator for three clubs, Dance Team, Yearbook, and Black Student Union, which is new this year. “There have been challenges and they’ve been a bit stressful for me, but I think the outcome of you guys [the students] being really interested makes it worth it.”
Something that she likes to instill in her students is confidence and positivity. “I get a lot of students that think they’re not great artists, they put themselves down, they say they can’t do this, but I believe in them.” “Every day in class we’re going to believe in ourselves, we’re going to be positive, you can do this, and I just try to instill that in them.”
She has loved her time at O’Hara so far and says it’s the best job she’s ever had. “I live in Delaware, I come to PA every morning, and I’m excited to go to work!” She loves the sense of family that O’Hara has. Even though she came to O’Hara during a time that seems impersonal with social distancing due to COVID-19, she says the O’Hara community has made her feel welcome! “You guys were all really inviting and I loved that! That’s not the case everywhere, that’s a special thing that’s just at O’Hara.” She hopes to become a permanent figure at O’Hara!
Written By: Melanie Jackson ’22