Leading with the Heart

Student receives medal

“Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others,” said Northshore’s Superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed. D, as she addressed the C.P. and Dorothy Johnson Humanitarian Award recipients, along with more than 350 family members, friends, community members and educators who were in attendance, supporting the recipients. The award was established in honor of two late educators who dedicated their lives to improving the lives of all children in our community.

At the ceremony, 68 Northshore students were recognized for exemplifying humanitarian qualities. Students were selected based on three criteria:

1. Community: Students who demonstrate the ability to promote and foster collaboration toward a common goal, fairness, freedom of expression, and effective communication within a group.

2. Acceptance: Students who promote the value and celebration of their peers’ strengths, abilities, and identities.

3. Advocacy: Students who support the needs of, and encourage equitable opportunities and resources for their peers.

Amber Braxton, great niece of C.P. & Dorothy Johnson, said to the recipients, “I am blown away by looking at each and every one of these beautiful faces on the stage and I am truly honored to be here to honor each of you.”

Braxton said if her aunt and uncle were at the ceremony, they too would be blown away by the impact these students are making. Braxton recognized three commonalities among humanitarians: the belief that you are somebody who is important; you matter in this life and you extend the same respect you give yourself to others, even the underserved; and you are willing to walk it out – it is not just a belief, but an action.

Bothell City Councilmember, Rosemary McAuliffe also spoke at the event. McAuliffe, who is a former senator and was a close friend and neighbor to the Johnsons, shared how the couple inspired her. She said that she attributes her work in leadership to the impact they had on her.

In honor of their recognition, students received a medal and three pins representing the three criteria for selection. Students and their principals also received three additional pins to give to students they see exemplifying humanitarian qualities at their school. Plaques with student recipients’ names engraved will be hung at each school for years to come. Each year, new recipient names will be added to the plaque for all to recognize and celebrate these humanitarian ambassadors. The plaques were made possible through the generosity of the Northshore Schools Foundation and Northwest Trophy.

“Each medal illustrates the importance of acceptance, community and advocacy and reminds us that the humanitarian heart looks different for everyone,” said Reid.

This award, formerly called the C.P. Johnson Humanitarian Award, was presented to students in Northshore School District for 20 years by the school board, with the final presentation in spring 2008. The award was named after C.P. because he brought to the Northshore community a new awareness of the values of ethnic diversity and an understanding of the contributions of all people.

“The last time this ceremony was held predates all of our time on the board, but given our common goals of advocacy and acceptance, we feel the time couldn’t be more right to recognize these attributes in our students,” said Northshore School Board President, Sandy Hayes.

With the ongoing work the District is doing around equity & diversity and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS), the District, along with the Johnson/Braxton family, chose to renew the award, beginning this year to promote student positive development and character. With the relaunch of the program, the award was renamed to include C.P.’s wife Dorothy, in recognition of the contributions both humanitarians made within their personal and professional communities.

“The C.P. & Dorothy Johnson Award enriches our PBIS work in our schools through cultivating a strong sense of citizenship and honors and celebrates the humanitarian ideas that we all aspire to,” said Reid.

View the full list of this year’s recipients



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