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Grand Valley job dream come true for new principal

Sandy Hanson
Special to the Post Independent

PARACHUTE – For years John Johnson’s kids had been teasing their dad about moving to Colorado. Johnson finally took it to heart and moved his family to Parachute, where he is the new principal at Grand Valley High School.

Johnson has spent the last couple of weeks settling into his new digs. “It has been a hectic few weeks but everyone is starting to settle into their new routine and things are running pretty smoothly. It is going to be a fun and exciting year at Grand Valley High School,” said Johnson.

For the past year, Johnson served as the director of student services for the Jarrell Independent School District in Jarrell, Texas. Before that, Johnson was the principal at Jarrell High School for seven years. During his tenure at Jarrell High School the school was awarded the 1998 “Texas Successful Schools Award” and Johnson was named “The Outstanding Principal of the Year” for 2000.



“We are excited that Mr. Johnson was interested in joining our staff. He brings years of experience and has proven that he is a strong leader who has successfully helped guide his schools to academic excellence,” said Garfield County School District No. 16 Superintendent Dr. Steve McKee. “Mr. Johnson will be a great asset in helping District 16 prepare our students for the CSAP exams.”

Since 1984 the state of Texas has required school districts to administer state accountability tests (TAAS). While a principal in Texas, Johnson helped develop a plan of action that bolstered TAAS scores for all groups of students. “I think I can bring in a few new ideas and working together with the outstanding staff that we have we will be able to solve any problems,” said Johnson.



“I am so proud that I was chosen to be the principal at Grand Valley High School,” said Johnson. “I’m excited to work with the staff and students. The entire community should be proud of the new facility that has been built.”

This is truly a dream come true for Johnson. “I feel like I grew up in Colorado. My family and I would vacation here almost every year. As a kid growing up I spent every summer from the time I was 5 until I was about 13 in Boulder while my dad worked on his doctorate degree.”

“My kids have always teased me about moving to Colorado. I had been looking for something in Colorado. This was meant to be. Parachute is where I’m suppose to be.”

Johnson and his wife Dorathy have two children, Chris, who will be a junior at Grand Valley High School, and Megan, who will be in the eighth grade at L.W. St John Middle School. The family is looking forward to taking advantage of all the recreational opportunities that the area has to offer. A few of the activities they plan to take full advantage of are camping, hiking, skiing and golf.

Sandy Hanson is public information director for Garfield County School District No. 16.


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