The wonders of the wonderful Mr. Justin Johnson
by Kaitlyn Ford
February 06, 2023

Mr. Justin Johnson has many mysterious and fun aspects to his life other than just teaching anatomy, physiology, biology, and introduction to the human body; He has two jobs, two cows, three children, and even one peacock.

“In the army, I am a captain and an officer, and I currently am in training support, training officers that are preparing to go overseas” said, Mr. Johnson. “I have been going between the army and teaching for about 20 years. I started them at almost the exact same time. I graduated from high school in December of 2002, then went to basic training the following January of 2003.”

Working two jobs simultaneously can take extreme effort, only so many people have the ability to do that.

“It sometimes is difficult being in the army and a human anatomy teacher. It serves like you’re serving two masters. Teaching is the primary source of income, but the military sometimes expects me to prioritize them. But with the support of this district and the teachers around me, they have helped tremendously. Time is most definitely a struggle of doing both, balancing the requirements of the job, reassuring there are quality instruction times when I am gone. Making sure my family doesn’t get left out of the mix. It is a difficult tackle, but it is absolutely worth it in the end,” said Mr. Johnson.

For someone who has a plethora of experiences, teaching is where his heart will always lie.

“Having to choose between teaching and the military, I know my answer easily. I would choose to teach. If I had the luxury of choosing, that means there would be less need for me in the military. I joined after 9/11, but I am definitely passionate while being in the classroom,” said Mr. Johnson.

Something that is exceptionally difficult for him is leaving in the middle of the school year.

Mr. Johnson receiving the DeFlury medal for his work as an army Engineer. Photo courtesy Justin Johnson.

“I hate leaving in the middle of the year. You know once students walk through my door they become my kids. I grow attached very quickly. I leave my family and my classroom family behind and that’s difficult to do,” said Mr. Johnson.

Taking on the responsibility of two jobs is a lot to tackle, but the upside to it is the knowledge you gain to be able to help you do the other job more efficiently.

“One job definitely helps me do the other one better. The leadership skills I have gained in the army have been super beneficial to my teaching career,” said Mr. Johnson.

One super unique thing about Mr. Johnson is the various animals that, “adopt him.”

“The place that I lived while I was stationed in Texas was Peacock Ranch. They had one remaining peacock from the days they hosted weddings. It was Clyde. He was very skittish, but I really like animals. So I was determined to domesticate him. I fed him every day, and eventually got to the point where he would let me pet him. I also brought two longhorn heifers back with me as well. Star and Oreo are their names. My kids named them. You could say I’m kind of an animal nut.”

According to Mr. Johnson, he didn’t adopt Clyde, Clyde adopted him, and you too have the possibility of “adopting” Mr. Johnson by taking his classes!

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