Pretta Davis Brown Speaks; and I respond…

From Science Skills Center High School graduate- Pretta Davis Brown: “I know tons of people probably say this about their High School, but everyone who was in my graduating class or anyone who graduated under Michael A. Johnson are some the most talented, intellectual and successful people. I don’t know one person from my H.S who I am not proud of. My school was more like a family, where we learned life values not just academics and even now I feel like we all have some core things in common. What school has a whole graduating class of great successes?”

Wow..Pretta Davis Brown…What a tribute to you and a great group of young people…One of the first letters I received from a member of the 1st graduating class, was from Kendra Harris (Yes I still have it!). She was the youngest person in her new job at Con Edison. In her letter she informed me that despite being new and the youngest employee she was voted employee of the month (never happen before); she went on to say that she unlike the other new employees knew how to “dress for success”. She arrived to work early everyday; did not waste time socializing; learned as much as she could, and successfully completed all task given to her. Even after you folks started college; college officials called me and praised SSCHS students who were now their students; and ask if I could send more! Not one college official who I ask for a “break on this one”; ever called back to say they regretted their decision. I have never said this, but several educators, and non-educators that are on FB have mentioned to me how impressed they were with, the spirituality, the political maturity; the # of graduates who have started a business; the level of emotional sophistication, the sense of service and career achievement of SSCHS grads (and there are a lot more SSCHS folks not on FB who are equally accomplished). You guys are truly an amazing collection of success stories, and I am just proud to have been part of a great staff that saw all of this coming..:-)


Pretta Responds: “I feel as though the real honor goes out to you Michael A. Johnson. You truly made a difference in this world. The values that you instilled in us will not die there but those are the same values that I teach to my children and they will teach to their children. Even when I was young I knew that what you were teaching us was something important and I wanted to learn it. You are a real superhero. You believed in us all. I still can’t say that I know a principal or any school administrator that knows all of their students by name, or their being; or any that would reach out they way that you did. You made me believe again believe that I could be something, that I could do anything….and I am so thankful. I am the first doctor in my family because of it. You were like a father to most of us and an inspiration to all of us. I am so thankful…just sitting here thinking about how fortunate I was. I could have gone to any school, but I ended up right where God needed for me to be.”


MAJ responds: “humbled…”


SSCHS Graduate Desiree Simmons Says: “Awww… Very well put. You guys can’t be more on point, SSCHS made a huge impact on my life by preparing my mind for the world. Skills provided so much more than just academics for me, it gave me the confidence to believe that I could do anything and succeed at it. And that’s what I did and continue to do. Thanks Mr. Michael A. Johnson for everything.”

MAJ responds: I think Desiree Hair Care Simmons; that you have accomplished an important objective in life: That is to translate and transform your “Teenage Passion” (when your hopes and dreams are still unafraid) into a life work; and in your case a successful business! I always say find something you love to do; and then find a way to get paid to do it:-)