October 26, 2021
Pickerington Online’s Meet the Candidates
In 2019 Christian Johnson ran for the Pickerington school board but fell just 120 votes short of a seat.
“This did not stop my passion for advocating for students,” Johnson said. “I have chosen to run for this office again because, unfortunately, I have not seen much positive change in the district since 2019. I will even venture to say it has arguably gotten worse. The school district has done well in some areas, like getting our students through the pandemic, yet regressed and exposed their lack of attentiveness and empathy in other areas. As a result, many families, students, and staff in our district are all feeling the same way…discouraged. They do not feel heard, respected or cared for by the current leadership, and as a community, we are suffering because of it.”
“I echo the belief: ‘… not to act is to act’. If I did not make the choice to run again, I am not confident that the current leadership would be challenged to make real changes. Every great system must allow room for improvement, change and growth. The Pickerington education system deserves the opportunity to receive fresh perspective, grow with its environment, and should always accept the challenge to disrupt the way “things have always been”. Never being much of a spectator, I realized that there was still such a need for change and work to be done.”
The biggest issue that the Pickerington Local School District (PLSD) that Johnson sees is that despite the community’s growth, the district has been historically resistant towards change.
“Change is hard, I get it, but nothing thrives in a state of comfort. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. We cannot continue to operate in this space and turn a blind eye to what is happening around us for the sake of not wanting to feel uncomfortable. The city around us is growing and changing at a rapid rate, and we need to change with it. Change of perspective. Change of leadership. Change of awareness and acceptance. We cannot be a strong community if we don’t tackle the hard stuff. Embrace all of our differences and come to the table quick to listen and understand rather than quick to be heard,” Johnson said.
She also feels that the Pickerington/Violet Township leadership, and community lacks empathy, transparency, and accountability.
“One of the main ways I am attempting to address these issues is collaboration and communication,” Johnson said. “This election cycle I am running alongside three other candidates who are campaigning for other governing positions within the city (school board, city council, and township trustee). We all have different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. Although we have these differences, we all know that it is imperative to work together across all governing bodies. Our responsibilities may vary, but we are all connected by two common goals: Serve the community and make Pickerington a place all residents feel proud to call home.”
“This means being open and honest with the public about difficult choices, and transparent in the decision-making process. Having open dialogue with the community and allowing their truths to exist and have a place. Collaborating and working with all governing entities within the city creates the foundation of unity. When there is cohesion with leadership, there should not be a place in Pickerington where a resident does not feel seen, heard or appreciated because we would have created a city where the culture is one of acceptance.”
Johnson believes that strong leadership skills, experience and fresh perspective are imperative in the face of large change.
“Our city has been changing drastically over the past 20 years, and it is time for our leadership to reflect the change. I am offering the members of my community a different choice in their leadership. I know that many members of our community have been frustrated or have simply become used to the lack of options to elect for school board. They are looking and longing for a change. I am that change,” she said.
Johnson has a strong educational and professional background in primary and secondary education pedagogy, along with a solid understanding of the local/regional education system. Her background in education and years as a high school mentor provided invaluable knowledge and insight of local politics.
“I am a Pickerington Local School District alum,” Johnson said. “Additionally, I have worked with students as a substitute teacher, an in-home tutor, and a mentor within the district, amounting to a combination of over 18 years of experience. These opportunities helped me understand not only the strengths and challenges of our school system, but also the home-life realities that can directly influence a student’s chance at academic success. I have experienced this personally.”
She has a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Sports and Recreation Science. She owns two businesses (CNoelDesigns and evenYou) and knows the balance of business, the power of pivoting in the midst of great change, and the importance of selflessly catering to the needs of others.
“My track record as a leader dedicated to this district is proven.,” Johnson said. “After running for school board in 2019, State Senate in 2020, and the cofounder of multiple community organizations, I have shown that I am dedicated to producing solution-based remedies and implementing positive change to the place we all call home. I have a passion for students and am working to support a system designed to educate and protect them.”
“Pickerington is ready for something new, and I am ready to be a part of the shift! My goal is to be transparent, accessible and accountable to all residents. I will strive to ensure every staff member, student and family in every school and neighborhood is respected, valued and represented, equitably.”
“Pickerington is a very unique place. I enjoy the fact that it is culturally diverse, and it is a city where many people feel comfortable raising their families.”
What do people say about Christian Johnson?
“Christian would make an excellent school board member to represent and give a voice to the students, staff, and parents that have been made to feel our concerns are less than. I trust her to speak up on our behalf and bring our community closer. She embodies the qualities and values needed to make our schools a place of safety and success!” – Karen Dryer ‘19 PHSN Graduate
“Christian Johnson was a part of the Pickerington North class of 2008. That class had the best student leaders I had the opportunity to work with in all the years I worked in the school. Christian was one of those leaders. She built strong trusting relationships with the staff and she stood up for truth and what was the right thing to do to help the school be a great place for students. She was always part of the solution to any problems we faced and worked side-by-side with the staff to get things done. As a school board member her experience, character and leadership will be a welcome blessing to our staff and students. She is what is needed to get things moving in the right direction again!” – Peg Miller Former PHSN First Vice Principal
“In an election with eight candidates who ‘talk the talk;’ only two actually ‘walk the walk’ and Christian Johnson is one of them! I know this, because she not only has walked, but fought right beside myself and other Pickerington residents, as we rallied for equity in educational leadership, equity in classrooms and for ALL children. I have watched her take a stand for children, as opposed to insisting that a levy be passed and a new school be built on a broken foundation. As a native of Pickerington and a graduate of Pickerington schools, Christian’s love and dedication for and to this community is organic and sincere. She knows first hand the rich history and tradition this city is grounded in and from that has worked and collaborated with students and families to plant the seeds of change. Her vision, innovation and spirit of collaboration is a fresh and welcomed inspiration, that will catapult and position Pickerington Schools as a premier district where all children are accepted, valued and educated. As a 21 year educator, PLSD resident and parent, I am proud to endorse Christian Johnson. Be sure to cast your vote, as a vote for Christian is a vote for ALL children!” – India Wilson, Masters in Education
Who is Christian Johnson?
“I have had the privilege of living in Baltimore, Maryland, Detroit, Michigan, Hilliard, and Pickerington! I am the proud big sister of two younger siblings and the daughter of a nurse, a baker, a non-profit owner, and a craftsman,” Johnson said. “I have lived in Pickerington since 2003 (18 years seems like a long time! lol). We moved here because my parents felt this would be a great place to build a home due to its evolving community and the great educational opportunities.”
“My family is awesome!! My younger brother and sister also graduated from Pickerington, forging their own paths as leaders while in school. Prom queen, percussion band superstar, and both were commencement speakers,” Johnson said.
She graduated from PHSN in 2008, and has worked with students as a substitute teacher, an in-home tutor, and a mentor within the district since then.
She was a lead advisor for the Black History Month Program at North in 2019 and 2020 and was a founding member of the Pickerington Black Parents Network.
In her spare time, she loves all things craft and adventure.
“Creating is one of my superpowers, and within the past few years I have both flown a plane, and jumped out of one!”
“I would love to earn your vote on November 2nd. To find more information about me and my platform, or to contact me, please connect to the following: www.cjohnson4schoolboard.com or Facebook/Instagram @cjohnson4plsd.
Pickerington Online does not endorse any candidates or issues.