Johnsons leave 60-year legacy at Vidalia

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 11, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – When Lillian Johnson steps down at the end of the school year, she will bring to an end 34 years of teaching and coaching in the Concordia Parish School District.

&uot;I have put in 34 years in Concordia Parish, and I feel it is just time for me to move on to something else,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;I’ll miss the kids. They keep you young and energized, but I’m ready to relax for a while. I’ve never had a summer off before, so I’m looking forward to some time off.&uot;

While Johnson is not sure what she will be doing next year, she is confident she will be working.

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&uot;I’m going to be working next year, I just haven’t decided what I will be doing yet,&uot; she said. &uot;I have even thought about teaching at the junior college level.&uot;

One of the legacies Johnson will leave behind is a basketball program that has become one of the best in the area following its resurrection in 1976. The program had been put on the shelf for six year before Johnson started it back.

Since that time she has led the Lady Vikings to a record of 315-183. That record includes six district championships and more than 10 players who went on to play college basketball.

In addition to the coaching records she will leave behind, Johnson said one of the things she is most proud of is a game she designed for her physical education class.

&uot;It is called ‘ground ball,’ and it can be enjoyed by any age student,&uot; she said. &uot;I took it to a convention in Baton Rouge, and now there are classes all over the state using it. Being able to leave a game behind that so many students can enjoy really gives me a sense of satisfaction.

The resignation of Johnson comes just one year after her husband, Charles C. Johnson, left Vidalia High School after 30 years of service at the both the middle and high school.

&uot;My husband was the assistant principal at Vidalia High School for three years, and he worked for many years as a coach and teacher at the middle school,&uot; she said. &uot;The kids have been wonderful, but we both had more than 30 years in Vidalia. It is just time for us to move on to something new.&uot;