Saluda teacher one of 2 local finalists for state Teacher of the - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Saluda teacher one of 2 local finalists for SC Teacher of the Year

Paul Johnson in class Paul Johnson in class
SALUDA, SC (WIS) -

If Paul Johnson looks at home in the halls of Saluda High School, it's because he's been doing this pretty much his whole life.

"I had kind of a chaotic home life, so when I went off to school I loved everything about it," said Johnson. "The structure. The order. When it came time to go home I didn't want to leave, but I knew I'd get to go home and teach my little brother everything I learned."

Johnson would tell you he still teaches his family. In fact, part of his message is that we're all teachers, all learning from each other.

Johnson, though, seems to be better at it. He is one of two educators from the Midlands who are finalists for South Carolina Teacher of the Year.

"We do some really neat projects," said Lauren Nordin, who is one of Johnson's biggest fans and best students. That's not easy, by the way.

"He'll take off points if you draw a line and don't use a ruler," said Nordin. "I've gone to him time and time again to say, 'Mr. Johnson, does this really matter?'"

And Nordin said she still likes him.

"We have rounds over points," she said. "But I know he does it because he wants us to succeed."

Nordin will study Biology at Clemson because of Johnson's classes.

As much as he likes gardening, hiking and watching the world grow around him, the students provide Johnson with a whole different level of satisfaction.

"A couple of days ago a student almost came out of her seat because she finally got the answer and it's good to see that," said Johnson.

If Johnson wins, he'll get $25,000 and the use of a BMW for a year, so that he can tour the state as an ambassador for education.

"That's the great thing you get to tell about some of the great things going on and get to share with people what teaching is all about," he said.

Johnson will find out if he's the big winner when they announce the Teacher of the Year on May 1st.

Trevor Ivey from Alice Drive Middle School in Sumter is the other finalist from the Midlands.  WIS will profile Ivey in a few weeks.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:16 AM EST2018-02-25 07:16:08 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:47 PM EST2018-02-26 03:47:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    More >>

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    More >>
  • 5 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

    5 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:25 AM EST2018-02-25 07:25:46 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:38 PM EST2018-02-26 03:38:45 GMT
    (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River  Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...(Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    More >>

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    More >>
  • China paves way for Xi Jinping to remain leader for years

    China paves way for Xi Jinping to remain leader for years

    Sunday, February 25 2018 4:05 AM EST2018-02-25 09:05:47 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:17 PM EST2018-02-26 03:17:05 GMT
    Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

    China's official news agency says the ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country's president and vice president.

    More >>

    China's official news agency says the ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country's president and vice president.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly