Saturday April 17, 2021

Selena Johnson

In 1955, when gas was 29 cents a gallon and the average car was less than $2,000, Selena Johnson came to Charlotte City Schools as a librarian. When the school district merged with the county schools five years later and formed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Johnson was operating an elementary school library and she continued to do so since that time.

But, on Thursday, April 1st, Johnson assisted her last student at Villa Heights Elementary. Johnson retired from CMS after 55 years of service. She leaves as the district longest-serving employee.

Her legacy is one that will be long remembered, said Villa Heights Principal David Legrand. "Words cannot describe what Ms. Johnson means to Villa Heights and to  education", he said. "She has meant a lot and has been a fixture here at Villa Heights".

Throughout her tenure, Johnson has seen numerous superintendents, principals and teachers come and go as she helped to educate thousands of children matriculating through Tryon Hills, Billingsville and Villa Heights.

When she was just five, Johnson dreamed of teaching. After graduating from high school at 16 and attending Bennett College in Greensboro, she joined the school district as a librarian.

She'd planned on teaching but took the available librarian position. Johnson then spent 30 years at Billingsville Elementary and six years at Tryon Hills before coming to Villa Heights in 1992.

In 2005, Gov. Mike Easley honored her as one of three known educators with 50 or more years of experience and she continued to serve the Villa Heights students with enthusiasm. Many parents and staff members hugged her and gave her cards and gifts as a sign of their affection on her last day on the job.

Some former students visited Johnson to wish her well on her retirement. Many students cried and hugged her, letting her know how much she will be missed at the school.




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