Kyla Johnson, Prairie View Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, seemed destined to teach. She helped her mother and grandmother, both teachers, prepare their classroom materials. Her father was once the youngest superintendent in Texas, and Johnson was there beside him, lending a hand in setting up the room for board meetings and preparing materials for staff.
“My family taught me the dedication, time, passion and excitement required for teaching. I knew it was more than an eight to three job. Due to their support I am now in my 18th year in education,” she said. “Time flies fast when you are doing something you believe in and love.”
Her first job was teaching third grade in Amarillo, Texas.
“During Christmas that year I had several students who wanted to give me presents. They showered me with their favorite torn-up book that had been read over a 1,000 times, a broken perfume bottle that was half used, and a favorite teddy bear that was worn out with love. My students did not have much but they taught me that unselfish generosity and love was priceless.”
When she came to Mustang in 2001, Johnson spent two years teaching all subjects in sixth grade at Mustang Middle School. When Mustang Education Center opened in 2003, she moved to pre-kindergarten and has never left. When Prairie View Elementary opened, Johnson started the pre-k program there. She is the only pre-k teacher at the school.
“My favorite part of teaching is the students, of course,” she said. “Watching their light-bulbs shine with something new they mastered is my daily joy. But my Prairie View family is also my inspiration. Even though I am at a grade level by myself I know I have the support and encouragement from all grade levels and my assistant. The kindergarten team has also adopted me over the past five years. They are an amazing wealth of knowledge and help daily with encouragement and advice.”
Johnson also credits the school administration and staff with success.
“I know that my administrators will always have my back and they will always be my biggest cheerleaders and supporters,” she said. “I have learned that it is very important to work with all school staff. From the secretaries, nurse, lunch crew, janitors, teachers, assistants, parents and grandparents. We all must work together as a team to achieve a positive learning environment for all students. Prairie View will always be a part of my family, and I would not be able to do this job with out the daily support of my husband Jeremy and my kids Landon, Jenna and Eli. We are proud to be Mustang Broncos.”
Johnson is one of 16 site Teachers of the Year. The District Teacher of the Year will be announced in March.