Harts Bluff ISD dedicates track to Eddie Johnson
This article has information from a prior story about Eddie Johnson from 2013.
May 21, Harts Bluff ISD staff and students, family members and friends of Eddie Johnson gathered together as the school dedicated its new Eddie Johnson Community Track.
Johnson was the school’s principal from 1998 to 2000, then served as the school’s superintendent from 2000 to 2013.
Upon leaving Harts Bluff, Johnson left to help boost the school system in England, Ark., but passed away in April of 2016.
Only five years ago and with a long list of successful accomplishments in a span of 13 years Johnson was surprised by the Harts Bluff Bulldogs’ staff, students, parents, family, community and board members when they gathered together in March of 2013 to officially name the school’s track Harts Bluff Community Track dedicated in his honor.
The honor came as Johnson was on his way out of Harts Bluff to take up a new position in England as the superintendent over a K-12, 2A school that boasts 950 students.
Johnson was no stranger to teaching/administration which was in his bloodline created by longtime Atlanta coach/principal Caver Johnson and wife Caroline.
Caver Johnson spent a total of 39 years in the Atlanta school system, 29 years as principal, and his wife Caroline had 30 years to her credit as a teacher and girls’ coach.
The road for Eddie Johnson began after he graduated from Atlanta High School in 1973.
The young Rabbit enrolled at Texarkana College in the fall of ’73 and after three years at TC Johnson transferred to the University of North Texas in Denton where he received his Bachelor of Science degree.
From 1977 to 1983 he taught advanced ninth grade geometry, eighth grade Algebra and eighth and ninth grade athletics at Denton ISD.
Johnson received his Masters of Education degree in 1983 from UNT and moved back to Northeast Texas to take a seventh grade teaching job at Texas High for the ’83-’84 school year.
The UNT grad returned to Atlanta ISD as a junior high head coach and teacher from ’85-’88 where he taught math, health, physical education and coordinated the junior high athletic program.
The following start of the school year in 1988, Johnson moved to the high school where he taught algebra 1, geometry and was the varsity boys’ basketball coach until 1993.
Johnson turned off the coaching switch to focus on teaching and continued on that trail at AHS until 1995 and three years at Queen City ISD.
In April of ’98 Johnson left Cass County to take up the position of principal of Harts Bluff ISD, a small K-8 school of approximately 440 students in Mt. Pleasant, until June of 2001.
Johnson then took a step further, a step that his father hadn’t taken for several reasons.
In June of 2001 Johnson took the reigns of Harts Bluff ISD as their superintendent and stayed in that position until the summer of 2013.
While at Harts Bluff, Johnson acted on a barrage of ideas that restructured the Harts Bluff school district and set them above the average financially.
Under the administration of Johnson, Harts Bluff constructed a new varsity gymnasium, renovated the original gym, completely redesigned, reconstructed and expanded the administrative/library space.
Johnson also negotiated the acquisition of prime real estate contiguous to the original campus which doubled the district’s property.
Half of the property was donated to the school district and with the expanded campus the superintendent’s office was able to be relocated, making for more classroom space.
With a growing student population, Johnson made the way to have the Martin Academic Center built which was constructed under budget and on time.
This project allowed the creation of a state-of-the-art science lab, doubled the library space and computer lab and increased classroom space.
Energy-saving technology and classroom design incorporated the latest research available to ensure the academic center will be stable and functional for many years to come.
The school was also able to have air conditioning units replaced with energy efficient models that help save in electricity costs and a roofing overlay was added to the main campus building which cut utility costs as well.
Johnson also spearheaded the construction of a full-size fitness track on campus by recruiting volunteers and saving any strain on the school’s budget by compiling multiple donations.
After taking the superintendents job at Harts Bluff, Johnson helped the school district become “Recognized” all but one year in their District Accountabilty Rating.
As a modest and humble administrator, Johnson always attributed the desirable ratings as a direct result of the hard work and dedication from his teachers and school leaders.
Johnson also embraced modern technology with his school board of trustees, staff and students and brought in “teaching coaches” for students who need help in math and reading. The researched technology saved the school district thousands of dollars and with Johnson’s game plan the campus expanded considerably.
Harts Bluff accepted Johnson’s visionary 5-year plan to energize, engage and prepare to help cement and build on these accomplishments.
Johnson also created a successful UIL Academic program and founded the National Junior Honor Society and student council during his tenure at Harts Bluff.
Other programs established by the AHS alum were art and music classes for the elementary, a choir and junior high baseball and softball teams.
The Back Pack Program devised by Johnson furnished underprivileged children with supplies and food needed and a full-time registered nurse was hired to administer student medications and aide the superintendent with a rigorous exercise program and devise healthier eating choices for the children in the cafeteria.
However you choose to remember Eddie Johnson is of personal effects, but for Harts Bluff ISD it’s an everyday remembrance when individuals step foot on the Eddie Johnson Community Track.