Even though she’s been on the Houston County school board just a few weeks, Lori Johnson isn’t new to the education world.
A mother of three, Johnson worked as a speech therapist in school systems in both South Carolina and Georgia before starting an insurance agency in Warner Robins.
As she has met for the first time with the district’s assistant superintendents and learned the details of their duties, Johnson has a new appreciation for the work they do.
“They have a lot of responsibility on their plate,” she said.
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While she hasn’t been on long enough to assess most of the major issues facing the board, she has been able to settle in and start looking at day-to-day operations.
Johnson recently spoke with the Telegraph about the things she’s learned since being chosen for the interim District 2 post last month.
Q: How have your first few weeks as a board member gone?
A: It’s been interesting to meet all the other community leaders.
Q: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from your fellow board members?
A: There’s a lot of listening that takes place. We are a sounding board and an advocate between the students and the community and the district.
Q: Any surprises so far?
A: With my background in education, I’ve been out of the realm for several years, but it’s kind of like riding a bicycle.
Q: How have you been able to balance duties of a business owner and a board member?
A: It’s pretty much par for the course from what I’m used to, being a mom and a small business owner. ... I always have to be multitasking.
Q: What’s been your biggest strength as a board member?
A: I would probably have to say one of the biggest strengths and biggest assets I can bring to the board is I do have so many contacts. ... I think that I’m easily accessible to so many people.
Q: What’s something you need to work on as a board member?
A: Probably just becoming familiar with the state Board of Education regulations and guidelines. It’s been 12 years since I’ve been in that realm, and things are constantly changing.
To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331 or find him on Twitternote>