Today, we come full circle with Janet Johnson, who has been our Director of Curriculum since mid-June, and now becomes the first Eagle Rocker to be profiled for a second time on Meet the Team.
Back in August of 2014, in a post titled Meet The Team: Eagle Rock’s Science Instructor and House Parent – Janet Johnson, we spotlighted Janet, who at that time was well into her 13th year at Eagle Rock, serving as a science instructor and one of the house parents at Aspen House. She later supported the school’s new instructors for two years as they transitioned into our community.
Janet left Eagle Rock four years ago to become Director of Competency-based Learning and Director of Curriculum at RiseUp Community School in downtown Denver. While there, she helped develop and direct RiseUp’s learning competences — Think, Advocate, and Grow — as well as supported teachers in their efforts to create classes that push students’ learning and growth.
Now back at Eagle Rock as our Director of Curriculum, Janet leads an academic team made up of nine instructional specialists and their Public Allies Instructional Fellows, as well as recruits, hires, supports, and mentors new instructional specialists. She also conducts performance reviews with all of our instructional specialists, coordinates course scheduling and instructor workloads, as serves on our in-house leadership team.
Recently, we sat down with Janet — for a second time — to find out a little more about her professional background and some personal stuff. We love the personal stuff.
Eagle Rock: Where did you attend college and what degrees do you hold?
Janet: I graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology; and the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
ER: What’s your all-time favorite Eagle Rock success story?
Janet: There are so many successes at Eagle Rock; I want to celebrate them all. They come in all shapes and sizes, at various times in the trimester and over the course of a career, and can look like struggle, joy, mistakes, learning, growth, work, fun, challenge, triumph, transformation — you name it. I want to celebrate the small things, because they build on each other to become big things.
ER: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Janet: When I’m not working, I like to read speculative fiction, work on projects in the garden, birdwatch, and experiment with cooking.
ER: What reality television show should you be on, and why would you win or be kicked off?
Janet: Since my last Meet the Team blog post, I realized I wouldn’t be on a reality show since most of them are centered around competition and that’s not my jam. I would love to be on the research team for a show like Taste the Nation, Cooked, or Salt Fat Acid Heat so I could learn from experts about the different foodways of folks around the world.
ER: What’s one thing not many people know about you?
Janet: In addition to working at two different residential schools (Eagle Rock and The Chinquapin School in Highlands, Tex.) and two different public schools (Gilpin County Public School in Black Hawk, Colo., and RiseUp Community School), I’ve also owned a landscaping business and repaired old books in the basement of Northwestern University’s library.