A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Kelly Johnson

By: Nicole Batzek Last Updated: December 21, 2016

Kelly Johnson grew up in north central Indiana where she attended high school at Elkhart Memorial High School. She then furthered her education at Bethel College in Mishawaka where she earned her bachelor’s of art degree in sociology and her master’s degree in education school counseling from Indiana University South Bend.

Kelly was a counselor for Chamberlain Elementary School in Goshen for five years before her and her husband moved to Northwest Indiana about three years ago, which is when she started her new job as a high school counselor at Boone Grove High School.

“My husband received a promotion through Indiana Beverage, so we moved here and have been living in Wanatah ever since,” said Kelly.

Kelly has been working for Boone Grove High School for about three years now. Her favorite part about working as a high school counselor for Boone Grove would be the relationships she builds with her students and their families.

“My favorite part is developing really good quality relationships with my students and their families… and really helping to close those gaps that they have in their learning and their understanding and just helping them navigate their way into becoming responsible young adults.”

Kelly recently won an award from the Indiana School Counselor Association for all of her hard work that she does to help students become successful.

KellyBatzekaward“I was nominated by a fellow school counselor for Indiana High School Counselor of the Year and that requires a lengthy application process where you have to essentially describe, not only the work that you do as a school counselor, but also how you advocate for the profession within your school, community, and legislatively. You also have to present data that shows that you were helping close achievement gaps with your students and describe the leadership positions you have held.  I have been on and off the the Indiana School Counselor Association Board the entire eight years I have been a school counselor, and I currently sit on the board again. And from all of that, I was selected as the Indiana High School Counselor of the Year,” stated Kelly.

It was quite a process, yet a great honor and achievement for Kelly to earn the award as Indiana High School Counselor of the Year.

With Kelly being relatively new to the area and having a two-year-old son to take after, Kelly hopes to get more involved with community service and volunteer work in the near future. However, when she worked as the counselor at Chamberlain Elementary School, she started a Girls on the Run team.

“When I was a counselor in Goshen, I started a Girls on The Run Team, which is an organization that promotes self esteem and well being in elementary and middle school aged girls. We would meet and train to walk or run a 5K together while teaching and encouraging positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development. So through a partnership with a clinic across the street from the elementary school, we were able to sponsor a team and I was the coach of that for two years before I moved out here. Without a doubt that was one of the most gratifying things I have ever done because those girls really thrived in that environment and came out of their shell,” said Kelly.

Within the next year or two, when her son is a little older, Kelly hopes to become more involved within the community through community service and volunteer projects.

Outside of working, Kelly enjoys reading and exercising almost every day of the week.

“I love to read magazines. I am a total nerd, so I love when I get my school counselor and Real Simple magazines. I am also very committed to my fitness, healthy living, and clean eating. Exercise is almost an everyday thing for me and inspiring others to exercise and eat right as well.”