The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

Get to Know Your School Leaders: Mr. Johns

Get+to+Know+Your+School+Leaders%3A+Mr.+Johns

Although our school leaders are some of the most important people at the high school, not many students know much about them. While not technically a principal at MTHS, our third person in the series is a figure of authority and importance for the MT student body. The third installment of Get to Know Your School Leaders, we interviewed Mr. Matt Johns, the Dean of Students at MT.

How long have you been working at this school?

I started working here as a coach in 1998 and then I was hired as a social studies teacher here in 1999. I taught social studies for 15 years before becoming the Dean of Students.

How was your high school experience?

I enjoyed high school. My high school only graduated about 150 students. By the end of my senior year, I knew I enjoyed school and social studies and I knew that was something I wanted to go into. I think anybody who wants to go into teaching has to enjoy school. 

What kind of kid were you in high school?

I was an athlete in high school. I played football, basketball and baseball. I also was a good student and I tried to help people as much as I could. But like a lot of people, I also pushed my limits and stretched my limits and I will tell anybody that I was no angel in high school. I definitely made mistakes and I took responsibility for it. 

What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is that I never know what’s going to happen day to day. Every day is different and every day is kind of a surprise. I also really enjoy the fact that I get to interact with so many students and so many adults on a daily basis. And I’m not a person who sits still very well, so my job allows me to get out and see people and do lots of things. There’s lots of problem solving and on the fly decisions that have to be made and I like that. 

The thing I do miss is there is something really nice about being in a classroom and getting to work with the same students for 180 days. You build a different relationship as a class that I don’t really get when I only see people for brief periods of time.

How do you think students perceive you?

I think if a student hasn’t worked with me before or I haven’t helped them with a problem before, I probably could be intimidating. I probably could be somebody who people think “What does he do,” or “What is he watching,” or “He seems like he is everywhere.” I think that students who work with me frequently or have had problems recognize that I can be tough and I can be demanding, but I can also be helpful. Fair doesn’t always mean that somebody gets what they want, but I try to be fair and I try to work with people. 

Do you know people find you intimidating?

Yes I do. I find that kind of humorous, but all we can do is be who we are. I compare it to driving with a police officer behind you, and you know your speed limit is fine and their lights aren’t on, but there’s this tension that happens because you know that they’re an authority figure. And I think that sometimes it’s the same with principals and deans. Sometimes I like to walk into a classroom to see what’s happening or just say hello and see somebody in a different setting, but I know that people immediately tense up and think somebody is in trouble when I come in. 

What’s your favorite memory with students?

Going on IB field trips to Nicaragua and Ecuador. But also one of my favorite experiences was with a student who was really troubled and got in a lot of fights in their freshman and sophomore year and then taking a picture with her on her graduation day with her family. And right before Christmas break I got an email from a student who had significant problems here just kind of thanking us for everything that we did and showing us that she has been successful. She was graduating from her nursing program, she was engaged and she sent pictures of her and her dog and it was pretty exciting to see that.

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About the Contributor
Bryn Morrison, Staff writer
Bryn is a staff writer for The Township Times and is a sophomore at MT.

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