Karen Johnson, Academic Operations Manager
Coney Island Prep Elementary School
Karen Johnson is Coney Island Prep Elementary School’s Academic Operations Manager. She’s makes sure all tests and technology work smoothly at the school, and that information is clearly conveyed to teachers and families.
You won’t know it by how she speaks, but Ms. Johnson spent the first 11 years of her life in London, before moving to Staten Island. Her parents, from Sierra Leone, moved to London before she was born. It was here that a teacher first left a powerful impression on her: Ms. Essex entered her into poetry competitions and created a book of her poetry, which she still has.
“She was a driving force in making me think, oh, this school thing, I can really do this.”
After becoming a middle school science teacher, Ms. Johnson found herself drawn to the data and analytical administration side of education, where she could support her fellow teachers over time by improving systems with data and smooth procedures.
Her parents are the reason she is who she is today. Her mother is a teacher, and her father a pastor. Throughout her life they’ve had conversations about her family history, her education, and how she presents herself to the world. Every year, the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, both her mother and father will talk with her about their family tree. She has family all over the world who have encouraged her to work hard, and remind her of the importance of a good education.