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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Todd Johnson

Middle School English Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What is your favorite thing about Packer?

I love the fact that individuality is embraced at Packer. I would be hard pressed to describe the typical Packer student (or teacher, for that matter) because everyone is encouraged to be themselves. I felt this the moment I first walked through the front doors, and I still feel it twelve years later.

Describe a favorite or memorable moment in your classroom at Packer.

I'm an unabashed fan of the reality TV show Survivor, and one of my favorite units to teach is Lord of the Flies in 7th grade. Each class is divided into two "tribes," and students compete in immunity and reward challenges that complement various elements of the text. It makes reading this challenging text come alive for my students, and I get to pretend I'm Jeff Probst for a quarter. What could be better than that?

Name a book/artwork/piece of music that changed your life and explain how.

I fell in love with reading because of Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins series. Just thinking about them now transports me back to Klickitat Street with Henry and Beezus and Ribsy. It's that same feeling of joy I am hoping to rediscover every time I pick up a book and why I love teaching literature. I often think that without Beverly Cleary, I wouldn't be an English teacher today.

What is something that most Packer people wouldn't know about you?

When I was in my early twenties, I acted in a PSA for the armed forces. It was about being a good roommate, and because I was the bad example, I devolved into a caveman. This is what I looked like after the makeup person was finished:


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