Our annual Veteran's Day Program at Brookhaven Elementary School was held November 10, 2010. It was a service, a word I would not use lightly, attended by all faculty, students, family members and active military. Mrs. Helen B. Johnson would be have been proud.
Helen Johnson was a third grade teacher in our school who retired way too young. I believe she was in her late sixties when she retired, but because her age was a carefully guarded secret, no one really knew. She met retirement with all the resistance she could muster, finally giving in to the ill health that caused her to give less than what she thought her students deserved. Her students and colleagues certainly would have disagreed. Shortly following her retirement she passed away, leaving all her colleagues somewhat lost and forsaken. Though she is gone, her spirit certainly lives on in our school.
A few years ago, our Partners-in-Education program at our school instituted the Helen B. Johnson Memorial Essay contest. Each year two winners are chosen who have written the most compelling essays explaining what America means to them. She would have been pleased with this year's winners, who stressed their freedoms to read and receive an education.