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And the Gold Star Award Goes to … Stockwell’s Librarian Aide
Posted 3/1/18

Group photo of students with Kari JohnsonKari Johnson’s exuberance for Stockwell Place Elementary is evident the moment she begins speaking. Her face lights up, a big smile spreads across her face and she gets excited when talking about “her kids.”

Her love for the Stallions began in 2009 when Johnson’s family moved to Bossier and her sons enrolled at Stockwell.

“There’s a ton of parent involvement here at Stockwell Place that I’ve never seen at any other school my kids have gone to, and we’ve been to a lot because we’re military,” Johnson commented.

That made an impression and led to Johnson getting involved; first, as a room parent, then as a volunteer in the library. Next, she began organizing the school’s book fairs, then became a substitute. Now, Johnson is the librarian clerical aide at Stockwell, a job she excels at and loves.

Principal Brooke Nolte said, “Mrs. Johnson is an integral part of the Stockwell Place Elementary library. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis to ensure the library program at Stockwell Place is exemplary. We are blessed to have her on our staff.”

Recently, the Louisiana Library Association named Johnson the Outstanding Support Staff Professional. Yet that is not where the accolades end, for her enthusiasm and dedication do not go unnoticed by students, colleagues, parents and others. A dozen of them penned letters nominating her for Bossier Schools’ Gold Star award for February.

Robyn Horton wrote, “She invests in the lives of students inside and outside (of) the classroom. I have never once sensed that what Mrs. Johnson does is a job – but an extension of who she is. She serves the students and faculty joyfully! Even when her husband was deployed, she was working to meet the needs of those around her. She has championed FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and helped develop my son into a huddle leader. She loves well and her investment will last for years to come.”  

Stockwell student Emma Clare Pledger also sang her praises.

“She was not only a nice and helpful teacher, but also a caring, kind and thoughtful mom, teacher, volunteer, room mom and overall a really nice person.”

Emma Clare went on to write, “Library is my favorite enrichment because Mrs. Johnson makes it really fun. Plus the fact that I work as a Librarian in Training; she is really fun with that, too.”

Her mom, Michelle Pledger, chimed in as well.

“She motivates them to read as well as be their best. She recognizes kids for the slightest achievements and in elementary school, a smile and kind words does wonders for a child,” Pledger said.

Perhaps Johnson’s biggest cheerleader is Kim Howell, the librarian at Stockwell who works everyday by her side.

“Stockwell Place Elementary School Library is the proud recipient of the James O. Modisette Award for Elementary Schools in Louisiana for 2017. This prestigious award is given for the library program that the committee deems worthy of the honor,” Howell explained. “It is my profound belief that Kari Johnson was instrumental in our library program being chosen. Kari’s contributions to our library program, our school, our community, and especially our students catapult us to the extraordinary.”

Johnson dabbed her eyes as she basked in the excitement of being named the Gold Star winner and reflected on the words of affirmation written about her.

“It makes me feel like I’m going to cry,” she said. “It makes me feel appreciated. I know the kids and the parents and the teachers here tell me all the time. I feel really happy. Like I make a difference.”

Yes, Kari Johnson definitely does make a difference and is why Bossier Schools is proud to call her one of our own.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Bossier Federal Credit Union for sponsoring Bossier Schools’ Gold Star program. Each month, a BPSB employee who exemplifies ‘the best of the best’ is chosen by an independent judging panel. Know someone deserving of the Gold Star award? Nominate them by clicking here. The deadline for submissions is March 9.