Nancy Johnson

Professor of Education, Worcester State University

Find out what your potential is and build on it, and always have a secondary skill that you can fall back on, and go to conferences, get out, make connections, network. I can’t express the importance of networking, especially in women's groups.  I try to do that. Once you get out of your environment and go into a different, a whole different—a national conference, and you get so excited and people come back so elevated.  And so what if you’re energetic? If you a win a few, lose a few, you know?  At least you made a start and you’re a changed individual.

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Nancy Johnson was born in Worcester, Massachusetts at Hahnemann hospital in 1932 and graduated from Clark University with a major in Romance Languages and a master’s in education.  She earned a doctorate from Boston University. As a language major, her desire was to be an interpreter at the United Nations.  However, she decided to continue her studies and become a teacher. After a few moves from Groton, to Newport, Nancy worked at Worcester State University where she was a professor of education for 27 years.   In this interview, Nancy discusses the struggles and accomplishments as a woman in education. She elaborates her passion for education to dig below the surface. Nancy also touches upon the changes she has seen in Worcester over the years particularly with women.  She specifically discussed her prominent role in education throughout the years.  Nancy began her career by teaching children foreign languages. She taught in the elementary school grades in various towns teaching multiple subjects.  Nancy reiterated the fulfillment she got from teaching these students and hearing the impact she had on them.  Nancy expressed how her interest in children and the way they think has led her down this path of a lifelong commitment to education.

Interview Date: 
September 27, 2016
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