Title: Retired American History Teacher
Company: Jamesville-DeWitt High School
Location: Syracuse, NY
Syracuse, New York, December 21, 2010, Eleanor Johnson, Retired American History Teacher formerly of Jamesville-DeWitt High School, has been recognized by Elite American Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in education.
Throughout her 54-year-long professional career, Ms. Johnson met with success through the achievements of her students. An impassioned educator, she taught American history to students in seventh- through 12th-grade, making sure each one of them thoroughly understood the lesson at hand. Instead of breezing through topics, Ms. Johnson persevered with her students; if one student needed supplemental instruction to re-learn a concept four times, she took the time to reach out to the student until he or she experienced the “lightbulb” moment. For Ms. Johnson, the most gratifying aspect of her career was witnessing her special needs students succeed after struggling in other classrooms for many years. An advocate of verbal and non-verbal instruction, she is of the belief that praising students for their accomplishments, no matter how small, motivates them to master more difficult tasks.
Prior her retirement, Ms. Johnson became increasingly intrigued by the history of DeWitt, New York. Curious about the city’s transformation from a self-contained farm community to a modern and industrious area, she began teaching the major themes of American History through the eyes of DeWitt’s local residents. Not only did this teaching technique make for a fun and informative classroom setting, but it prompted Ms. Johnson to publish her knowledge in a book, “Turning the Pages,” which was released in 2008. The book catalogues the journey of the progressive railroad town and its ancestors, who would crouch in trees during World War I to kill anyone attempting to disrupt railroad traffic. During the Industrial Revolution, DeWitt Yards served as the largest switching and repair railroad yard in America, changing the community forever. The profound influence of such events is unmasked by Ms. Johnson, whose passion for the topic radiates through each word of the 350-page publication.
A graduate of Syracuse University, Ms. Johnson earned a master’s degree in Asian studies in 1963, after having already received a Bachelor of Arts in American History from the University of Rochester. She is affiliated with the DeWitt Preservation and Historical Society, the Jamesville-DeWitt Faculty Association, the Onondaga Historical Association, New York State United Teachers, and the New York State Retired Teachers Association. Named Professional of the Year representing secondary education by Cambridge Who’s Who in 2009, Ms. Johnson is never one to sit idly and watch time pass. Her post-retirement endeavors include volunteering for her local church, traveling, reading history and continuing to research the early settlers of upstate New York.
Contact Eleanor Johnson