Meet Mrs. Johnson

History teacher and swim coach Karen Johnson prepares for her next class during her plan period. Photo by Ashley Keller
History teacher and swim coach Karen Johnson prepares for her next class during her plan period. Photo by Ashley Keller

By Ashley Keller

Many new teachers joined the Legend family this year, including Karen Johnson. She teaches U.S History in room F109 and is the head coach for girls’ swimming. The Forum sat down with Johnson to find out a bit about this new faculty member.

Forum: Why did you become a teacher?

Johnson: I was good at [teaching] and I’ve always like history.

Forum: Why did you decide to teach US History?

Johnson: We kind of get a sign of what we’re going to teach, so we don’t really get a choice.  I liked social studies, but my wheelhouse is actually economics and government. [Legend] had an opening here for U.S History and I’ve done it before.

Forum: How long have you been teaching?

Johnson: Seven years.

Forum:Where were you before you came to Legend?

Johnson: I was at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Georgia before I came to Legend.

Forum: Why did you choose Legend?

Johnson: I was offered a job at Ponderosa and Chaparral, but I chose here because I was really impressed with the school and because they had a swim team.

Forum: What were your initial thoughts on Legend?

Johnson: It’s very different. I taught in a very urban environment in Atlanta. I thought, “Wow there are a bunch of very well adjusted children here.” [Students] weren’t very well adjusted where I came from. And I was really impressed with the leadership here; the administrators and staff are awesome. And I’m very excited to have my own room.

Forum: How is it different from your other school?

Johnson: It’s less diverse. Let’s put it that way. It’s definitely not nearly as diverse as where I came from. It’s a big difference. Also academically, you guys are more advanced.

Forum: Is it hard to keep up with grading with other responsibilities?
Johnson: Yes, definitely. You manage and you figure it. But it can be kind of hard.

Forum: You’re going to be the new swim coach this year. What is your interest and experience with that?

Johnson: I’ve actually been swimming since I was 10. And I’ve been coaching for about 15 years. It’s one of those things that I loved doing and was kind of meant to do. It’s a little nerve wracking, but I’m very excited about it.

Forum: Who’s in your family?

Johnson: I’m married. Two little girls, seven and four. We just moved to Colorado from Georgia.

Forum: What do you like best about Colorado?

Johnson: [I love] how active everyone is. I love having the opportunity to hike a fourteener in the summer because I can. That’s a huge part.  It’s just gorgeous here, that’s why we moved here.

Forum: Favorite movie?

Johnson: I love The Big Lebowski and Lost in Translation.

Forum: If you had a day to do anything, what would you do?

Johnson: I would probably be on Broadway. I was a musical theatre nerd in high school, and if I could [do anything] that would be it.

Forum: Favorite food?

Johnson: Malaysian and Thai.

Forum: What kind of music do you like to listen to?

Johnson: I like all music in general, except country. I love rap. I’m from Atlanta, so I love Jay-Z. I love dirty south rap. I have a very bizarre taste in music.

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