Tim and Lori Johnston announce retirement


Ruby Hollis, Staff Writer

Lori and Tim Johnston, or as the student body knows them as Mrs. and Mr. Johnston, have announced their retirement from East Grand Rapids. Both Johnstons have impacted the lives of East students in academics and athletics. Mr. Johnston, the Athletic Director, has served the high school for the past nine years, and Mrs. Johnston has served as a student counselor for the past ten. 

As the Athletic Director, Mr. Johnston has overseen numerous teams succeed in their goals, from the many state championships brought home by the girl’s swim team to the Girls Cross Country team. However, this is not what he will miss the most. 

“The bottom line is the student engagement. To see students develop not just from the athletic side but as young men and women,” Mr. Johnston said. “I think the greatest thing I’ve been blessed with is watching kids as ninth-graders mature into great men and women who are going to change the world.”

Though student engagement is most important, Mr. Johnston has loved being able to share student athlete’s accomplishments with them, especially the coveted state championships. 

“I can’t put it down to one. We have won a lot of championships here, and it’s fun to hand out state championship trophies. But really the memories come from the relationships that I have built with our kids, coaches, teachers, and community,” Mr. Johnston said. 

As a student counselor, Mrs. Johnston has helped many kids succeed and get to where they need to be. She has brought knowledge and kindness to the high school for a decade. Over her years at East, she has built many relationships with colleagues and students.

“The relationships are the best part of working at the school because there are so many great people,” Mrs. Johnston said. 

Mrs. Johnston will be greatly missed by her fellow colleagues who she works with within the counseling office.

“One of eleventy million things I will miss most is Mrs. Johnston’s tremendous amount of experience and knowledge she brings to the EGR high school community,” Counseling Secretary Carolynn Allaben said. “In my position, it has been very reassuring to know that I can ask her almost any question and she will have the answer. I will also miss commiserating with her about our shared love and frustration with the Spartans, and walking the dog.”

Mrs. Johnston has built friendships with her colleagues and has made many great memories that they will cherish forever. 

“One of many great memories of working with Mrs. Johnston: During the honors assembly, Mrs. Johnston and I ‘work’ the backstage together, which is always very fun.  One year, in particular, we were standing in the back listening to Mr. Johnston read the names of athletic scholarship winners,” said Allaben. “He was reading the list, in front of all of the students in the PAC, and called out Augusto Tortellini (the student’s last name was Tolentino) and we just about died laughing. We still laugh about it to this day.”

The Johnston’s have left a lasting impact on athletics and academics in the district. Students and staff send them off with love and appreciation for years of service and dedication to students.