English teacher Lana Johnson waves goodbye

Johnson plans to retire after teaching at HHS for 16 years,


Courtesy of Lana Johnson

Lana Johnson would like to spend time with her nine grandchildren and proofread books in her retirement.

Lindsay Schaffter

Everyone has a favorite teacher, or a teacher they can talk to about anything. For many students, that teacher is English teacher Lana Johnson. 

Johnson has taught for 31 years, 16 at Huntley High School. As she goes onto her 17th year at HHS, it is known to many that this will be her last. She will be retiring at the end of this year. 

Upon the realization that Johnson is retiring, many students and teachers are saddened. Even parents are troubled by the news, as she has helped their children achieve what others could not. There are a lot of people that are not even in this school that this news has affected. 

She has been an educator at four schools around Illinois. She taught at a school outside of Dekalb that no longer exists, as well as in St. Charles, Plano, and finally Huntley. 

She also instructed many other classes in her life. She led speech, acting, tech, theatre, art, music, dance, swimming, and even weightlifting. There was some lifeguard training too. Johnson is a leader of many things, as it is in her spirit to help others and teach. 

Johnson has done many things at Huntley High School during her time here. One of the many would be helping to start the Vanguard program. She is a level leader in the program and has been teaching in it for almost 5 years now. 

Even though many people are disheartened by the news, they are also happy for her. She will get to do what she feels will make her happy. This could continue to include teaching, but also many other things like fishing, and spending time with her nine grandchildren. 

“I’ll miss her, but it’s a very well-earned retirement where she can have time to do what she wants to do,” math teacher Kristopher Grabner said. 

She is looking forward to hopefully becoming a book editor or a proofreader after retirement. This will help to continue to bring in money but also do something she knows and likes to do. Being an English teacher for many years means she is used to correcting grammar and many other things.

Johnson is a teacher who has made an impact on many lives, whether that be in school or out of school. 

When students walk through the halls, the second they see Johnson, they immediately go to talk to her. Some may go to talk about their missing work or needing help, but just as many people go to talk to her about life in general. 

“Mrs. Johnson has made a huge impact in my life. I feel like I can trust her with anything I tell her,” sophomore Harley Cravens said. 

Not only has she made an impact on a lot of people, teaching has made an impact on her. 

She is still in contact with many students she has met today. The continued relationships with those students are what makes being a teacher so impactful. She has that ability to look back at all the students she guided and know that she helped get them to the place they are now.

Every teacher has a reason that made them want to become a teacher. For Johnson, it was a one-act play she got to direct in high school. Helping others do what they needed to do and not just tell them what to do during the play showed her she had a passion for teaching. 

Not only did Johnson have a reason, over time she set a goal.

“I wanted my students to feel stronger and more important than when they first walked in that door,” Johnson said. “I wanted them to feel better about themselves for having learned something.”

As Johnson gets prepared for her retirement, she will have all of Huntley High School waving her goodbye.