By KRIS REILLY, Editor
He doesn’t ask for any extra attention, but Earl Johnson quietly does a lot for his students.
Johnson was named staff member of the month at Lucerne Valley Middle/High School. Sophomore Herlinda Carlos was named the high school student of the month, and Breanna Escalante was named middle school student of the month.
Johnson has taught at the middle and high school levels during his 27 years with the district, mostly teaching math. His colleague Linda Schlenz said Johnson has encouraged staff members to support students who may need a little extra attention and encouragement.
“He’s bought tennis shoes for people that didn’t have money for tennis shoes,” Schlenz said. “There’s so much that the staff does that nobody knows, but it helps our kids.”
Johnson also coached volleyball for 20 years, 13 in Lucerne Valley and seven in his former hometown of Big Bear (he now lives in Spring Valley Lake).
He led the LVHS girls volleyball squad to the school’s first league championship in 1996, winning the De Anza League, and he also led a five-year run of consecutive Desert Mountain League championships.
Asked what he liked most about teaching at LVHS, Johnson said: “I like the kids. ... I am deeply impressed with how well some of them turn out, because they face a myriad of challenges.”
Carlos, 15, said the teachers are the best thing about LVHS.
“The teachers are really dedicated and they push you to do your best,” Carlos said, adding that world history is favorite subject. “I like the way Mr. (John) Wortham teaches (world history). The way he teaches it, it’s really easy for me to understand.”
Carlos came to Lucerne Valley from Riverside seven years ago and says she enjoys the smaller, friendlier atmosphere of the school.
Escalante, 13, also came to Lucerne Valley from more urban surroundings, moving from Pico Rivera four years ago.
“I feel safer here,” Escalante said.
Escalante is currently learning about slavery and the Civil War, which she finds interesting. A standout student, she said she likes going to school because “it’s fun to learn.”
The honors were given for the month of November. The awards for December and January were combined into one; those winners will be announced in The Leader next month.