2011-06-15 / Local News

Long-time DCSC media specialist retires

Comet staff report

Johnson Johnson Kathi Johnson has left a profession she found rewarding to “have time” to enjoy all the things that a career has put on hold.

For the past 29 years, Johnson has served as the middle school library media specialist for Delphi Community School Corporation (DCSC). She also served 12 years as the program director with the Title I and English Learner (EL) grants.

Raised in Flora, she has resided in rural Deer Creek for 41 years. She graduated from Carroll High School in 1969 and from Purdue University with Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Educational Media in the subject area of English.

Johnson said she entered the field of education because she admired her high school college prep English teacher, Karen Rieffel. She decided her senior year of high school that she wanted to teach English. Halfway through college, she realized her true passion was reading. Johnson changed her major to educational media so she could become a school media specialist.

Johnson considers that move a “great decision” because she loved her years as a media specialist, probably because of the flexibility in the job. She explained that each day, she was able to work with different students to help them find books, research information or solve a technology problem - with the emphasis on the word “help.” A classroom teacher must assign work; a media specialist has the luxury of helping the students with some of those assignments. Johnson said the tradeoff is that those close classroom student/teacher relationships that come from daily classroom interaction are harder to form as a media specialist.

The retiree said that the DCSC faculty has always tried to work as a team to make the students life-long learners.

“I hope that my contribution was helping them to become proficient readers, a necessary skill for all students,” she said. “Teaching at Delphi has been a rewarding experience because of the wonderful staff that I have had the privilege to work with through the years. From the minute I walked through that door in August of 1982, I felt so welcome.”

“Some of our best friends are those educators that greeted me that day and I cherish all those friendships,” she continued. “I will continue as the program director for the Title I and EL grant programs for the school corporation and the primary reason that I wanted to do this is to continue to work with the staff in all our buildings.”

Johnson said her retirement plans include “having time… that has to be what retirement is about!” She is looking forward to finishing a morning conversation with her husband Larry, having a second cup of coffee and taking her long walk in the morning. She also intends to read, travel, garden, join an exercise class and spend more time with the couple’s five grandchildren.

Johnson and her husband have two children, Jon Johnson and Suzanne Wagner.

Return to top