Johnstone Wins OC16 Outstanding Educator


Katherine Seed, Editor

Spectrum OC created an award recognizing Hawaii’s public high school teachers contributing to youth education. These teachers are nominated by their principles and according to Spectrum OC16, are “highlighted for the extraordinary word they do to make a difference for their students and their schools.” Radford’s recipient of this award is Student Services Coordinator and counselor Lisa Johnstone.

“I am grateful and appreciative to be recognized by Radford and OC16,” Johnstone said. “But I feel that there are so many deserving educators on our campus that should be getting this acknowledgement.”

Johnstone earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Whitworth College in 1996 and started her career in education as a classroom teacher.

“I taught first grade for two years at a Catholic school in Kailua where I decided to go back to school to be a counselor,” she said. “I got my master’s degree in school counseling from Chaminade University. While working on my master’s I was the Student Services Coordinator at Hickam Elementary for two years before I came to Radford.”

There are no typical days for Johnstone, as she is a counselor to about 125 students, and oversees various programs on the Radford campus.

“Some days I spend a lot of time planning and collaborating behind the scenes for things and programs happening at Radford High School,” she said. “I also spend time meeting with students and helping them with whatever they need.”

She, as well as many of her peers, believes she makes a positive impact on today’s youth.

“I think we better youth education by being sure we are putting the kids first,” Johnstone said. “Kids are different than before. You are dealing with things like social media that most of your teachers never had to deal with. With that being said we can’t educate kids the same way that we were educated and expect you to be engaged and interested. We have to find what makes kids tick and design programs and opportunities based on that.”