Golden Apple Award: Kirk Johnson, Sequoyah High School
SODDY DAISY, TN (WDEF) – Kirk Johnson first tasted academic excellence back in 1989 when he was named East Ridge High School’s outstanding welder. After a successful career as a machinist, Kirk decided to head back to the classroom, this time, as a teacher. He’s a Machine Tool Instructor at Sequoyah High. The well- crafted results speak for themselves.
Amy Myham is the Principal at Sequoyah High School.
She explains, “So Mr. Johnson is our machining and technology teacher. He has been with us six years, and (he) does a great job in motivating our students, not just in a professional manner but in a personal manner. He has a great relationship with kids and creates opportunities for them beyond high school.
When asked to describe himself, the slightly graying, but sill chiseled Johnson says,” I’m just a regular guy who loves children and loves to teach children what I know. Well, the opportunity arose six years ago, and I just felt led. I felt like the Lord led me into teaching, just to teach the next generation how to do machine work.”
Here is a what a few of Kirk’s students had to say about him:
“He is a really great guy. He always inspires me. He is a really good role model.”
“He is a good teacher, and he has helped me learn stuff about machines, just showed me different stuff on how to make it easier to learn stuff in here.”
“Mr. Johnson is a great teacher. He is really inspiring to all of the students that he teaches. And he is a great teacher and by far one of my favorites.”
Kirk explains, “I enjoy teaching the students new things. When they can grasp them and do it themselves, it’s just rewarding, and then when they graduate we can get them jobs, and they just become a successful person out in the industry. So, a lot of industry started out you know $18-$20 an hour. I’ve got some that are out there working one year and already making nearly $50,000 before they are 20 years old which is, which is pretty good money. I’d like a successful life to continue with machining and be successful in machining. Not just stopping at machining, but furthering it each step along the way to getting into management. Getting into things like that.