Meet Mr. Eric Johnson


Meet Mr. Eric Johnson, Principal at Morey Montessori Public School Academy!

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Eric was born and raised in the mid-Michigan area. He attended Central Michigan University studying Business Education with minors in Leadership and Communications. Currently, he is near completion of his Masters of Arts in Charter School Leadership from CMU. Eric has a passion for working with programs and schools to help youth to be successful. He greatly enjoys the outdoors and staying active in the community.

Eric taught at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Walker, Michigan for five years. During that time, he showed a passion for student growth through experiential learning. Eric greatly enjoyed traveling with students to serve an environmental need while leading several Service Learning Trips to Colorado, Texas, and New York. He also brought the innovative self-directed learning Entrepreneurial Program to WMAES, mentoring a select group of students through the start up of their own businesses over the course of four trimesters. This group not only fostered community among the students, but also prepared them for post-high school success.

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What was your favorite subject in school? Why?

My favorite subject in school was Business Management and Accounting. I loved these subjects because I was able to work on projects that seemed applicable to life. It was very hands-on and I could see results in my work!

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What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you?

They would be surprised to learn that I lived and worked out west on the Lakota Sioux Native American Indian Reservation for three summers. I know how to dance in a traditional Lakota Sioux Pow Wow dance!

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Who was your favorite/most memorable teacher? Why?

My favorite teachers were Mrs. Chisek and Mr. Shephard. They continually supported yet challenged me to do my very best. They were there for me during my entire high school career and always expected the best from me.

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What inspired you to become a teacher?

When I graduated, the idea of teaching didn’t sound appealing to me after learning about the traditional learning models. I actually planned on going into a career field where I would facilitate high adventure trips for youth and become a mentor to those participants. However, after I learned about Choice Schools and their education model, I was drawn to the small class sizes and hands-on learning environment. I was able to achieve the same goal of using unique learning experiences to mentor youth in a small setting at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. After that I was hooked and knew I wanted to work in the charter school setting!

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Tell us something quirky about you.

Almost all of my former students are taller than me 🙂

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On the weekends, you will most likely find me ____________.

You will find Aubrey and me taking a road trip to see friends or travel to the mountains! We love to travel and explore new places. I have hiked several parts of the Appalachian Trail and I hope to finish the rest of it beforeI am 50 years old! I also am a marathon runner on the weekends, so you could find me completing my long runs around the Mount Pleasant area. One of my favorites places to run is Deerfield Park.

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What is your most memorable “ah-ha!” moment you’ve had while teaching?

It was my first year teaching and one of my students got in front of the class because he had a great idea for a event he wanted to plan. He was able to get the entire class on board because of his energy and excitement around the event. That is when I learned that if I guide the students and let them lead with their own passions, a lot of learning can happen!

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Where is your favorite spot outdoors?

My favorite place to be is at the peak of a mountain! I love to backpack and hike… there’s nothing like experiencing a difficult climb then being able to see the view from the top of a mountain. I could sit there all day!

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What is your favorite part about learning outdoors?

My favorite part is being able to learn with hands-on activities. There is so much you can do and that is the best way I learn– by actually doing the work on my own! It is also energizing to be outside with the fresh air! I can stay focused better learning in a natural environment.