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West Madison decides on Johnson as top staffer

MADISON – During the past 18 years, Karla Johnson has fallen in love with the people and surroundings of West Madison Elementary School. Her colleagues selected her as 2019 “Staff Member of the Year.”

“All three of my children attended West Madison. West Madison teachers are like family. They’re some of the hardest working and the most compassionate people I have ever seen — not only to the kids they teach each day but also to each other,” Johnson said.

“It’s been a joy to work with each one of them,” she said.

Johnson works as in-school suspension teacher. Until recently, she also served as West Madison’s crossing guard.

Born and raised in Madison County, she has lived in the City of Madison for 13 years.

In 1983, Johnson graduated from Hazel Green High School and then attended Snead State Junior College where she played basketball and softball. She graduated from the University of North Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in health, physical education and recreation.

Before West Madison, she worked in nursing home/home health.

Johnson will always remember Dr. Dee Fowler, former Superintendent of Madison City Schools. “Dee was actually my junior varsity basketball coach at Hazel Green. My father was president of the Madison County Board of Education,” she said.

“Dee was in his 20s, single and lived a few doors down from us. He ate many meals at our home and was more like a big brother than my coach,” Johnson said. “Who knew I would work for him in 2001?”

Also a Madison County native, her husband Greg graduated from Lee High School and attended Sanford University. He serves as Pastor of Member Care at Summit Crossing Community Church. The Johnsons have been married for 25 years.

Their daughter Karlie Tolton and husband Gage both graduated from Bob Jones High School in 2014. Karlie works as a cosmetologist at Gray Salon in Huntsville. Gage is a Madison firefighter. The Toltons have one daughter, 13-month-old Presley.

Daughter Chloe Johnson graduated from Bob Jones in 2018 and will attend UNA this fall. Their son Kaleb Johnson will be a junior at Bob Jones.

Karla likes traveling and watching all sports; she wants to return to playing golf soon. Her favorite interest is time with her family. “I like playing the piano when I get a chance, and I can still drain a three-pointer.”  

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