ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Donald JohnsonNorth Attleboro High School enjoys a long-standing reputation as a quality school that is committed to the "intellectual, emotional, physical and civic growth of its students." Throughout his career, Don Johnson has been deeply committed to the execution of this mission and has distinguished himself as an excellent classroom teacher, coach, advisor and high school representative at the district level. According to Raymond Beaupre (’61), 2007 Excellence in Education Award winner, "Nobody has done more at North Attleboro High School in the past thirty years than Don Johnson."
Excellence in Education
After graduating from NAHS in 1979, Don attended the College of the Holy Cross on a full football scholarship, earning his B.A. in Psychology in 1983. He returned to NAHS as a substitute teacher and volunteer football coach in the fall of 1983, working with coaches Ray Beaupre, Jack Harris, Paul Sullivan and Jeff Grant, then ventured into the business world as a computer salesperson. However, the allure of the business world faded quickly, and Don returned to North High in the fall of 1984. "I wanted to devote myself to something worthwhile," he said, "something that I would enjoy waking up and doing every day—teaching and coaching."
While enrolled in Bridgewater State College's Post Bachelors Certification Program, Don served as a substitute/part-time teacher in a variety of subjects, including Health, Physical Education, Math and Anatomy. In addition, he expanded his coaching resume with stints coaching Girls JV Basketball ('84-'86), Boys Freshman Basketball ('86-'93) and Boys JV Baseball ('86-'88).
Mr. Johnson was eventually hired as a full time teacher in 1987. Since then he has taught General Psychology, Social Psychology, Sociology, Health, Physical Education and US History. In 2003, he was named History/Social Studies Department Head, a position he still holds today, while also teaching Psychology and US History courses.
Coach Johnson has continued coaching football, serving as a defensive assistant ('83-'96) and as defensive coordinator ('97-'08). In recognition of his coaching excellence, the Massachusetts State Football Coaches Association honored Coach Johnson in 2006 with its Assistant Coaches Award. He was named Head Football Coach in 2009. Besides coaching football, Don served as Head Boys Basketball Coach from 1993-1998, winning two Hockomock League championships and earning Sun Chronicle Coach of the Year honors in 1995. Also, he was interim Boys Tennis Coach in 1993. Coach Johnson has become a frequent clinician and lecturer at various football coaches clinics throughout New England.
Mr. Johnson's commitment to North Attleboro HS extends well beyond the classroom and playing fields. He served as a class advisor and SADD advisor for several years and was a member of the Fisher-Kelley Banquet Committee from 1984-2009. He received the NAHS Yearbook Dedication in 1991. In addition, Don chaired the NEASC Committee on Assessment in 2004; he was the faculty representative on the NAHS School Council for six years as well as a member of the District Improvement Plan Committee and the lone high school representative on the MA Educational Quality Audit Committee. Also, Mr. Johnson served on the District Professional Development Committee, is a current member of the District Technology Committee, and he helped establish the NAHS Alumni Association.
Former principal Wilson Whitty offered high praise for Don's contributions to NAHS: "Donald Johnson was always willing to assist me in any way when I was principal and also promote the best interests of students and the school. He is one of the most well liked but also most respected teachers at NAHS by both students and his colleagues."
Don and his wife, Patti (Holy Cross '84), have three children: Regan (NAHS '08), Daniel (NAHS '11) and Patrick. Don joins high school classmate Dr. David Christianson as the second member of the Class of 1979 to receive an Alumni Association award.
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