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In this Together


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-750x154.png   Just married in June 2021, Evan Johnston and Lynda Johnston, will be expecting their first child in Feb. 2022. Mrs. Johnston has been teaching Science academy two honors/regular at PRHS for the past four years and Mr. Johnston has been teaching here for the past 7 years and currently teaches Science Academy three and AP Physics one.

With being pregnant there are many apprehensions that Mrs. Johnston faces with the return back to school.  According to an article by, “pregnant and recently pregnant women are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than nonpregnant women.”

Mr. Johnston suffered similar circumstances back in early Nov. 2020. Although Mr. Johnston is a “pretty healthy guy” according to Mrs. Johnston; in early Nov. 2020 blood work revealed that Mr. Johnston was immunocompromised leading to being at higher risk for Covid-19.

“He got really really sick before COVID happened and he was out of school for a few weeks and had pneumonia and a hard time breathing and he was almost hospitalized,” Mrs. Johnston said.

However, after several months his health has seen some improvement. 

“It’s not as big of a concern anymore now that my kind of blood work has improved,” Mr. Johnston said.

Because of these risks, Mr and Mrs. Johnston have been taking all the necessary precautions to keep others but most importantly themselves safe during this time. 

“Anytime we’re in public pretty much we wear a mask, even like outdoors farmer’s market…and we wash our hands frequently,” Mrs. Johnston said. 

“I’m definitely washing my hands still all the time…I’ve gone home and actually complained that I’m washing them so much that my knuckles have started to crack,” Mr. Johnston said.


Expanding their family was a conversation that Mr. and Mrs. Johnston had been talking about, for a while and “came to the conclusion that this could be a good time,” Mr. Johnson said. So, it was no surprise when they found out they were expecting. Both are very excited to become parents to a baby boy in Feb. 2022.

Lockdown has made Mrs. Johnston more aware about how strong her and her husband’s relationship really is. Although, spending everyday with each other wasn’t much of a difference from their normal life she believes that it’s brought them together and made them grow. 

“We can face things together and it’s not going to make us weaker as a couple, but it’s going to make us stronger together,” Mrs. Johnston said.

Missing out

With a child on the way and being at higher risk Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have not been able to participate in some of their favorite activities: going out to eat at restaurants, attending school events, and going to the gym. 

“Because, I mean, biologically her immune system is suppressed right now. And that means that we can’t be as Laissez-faire and cavalier about just kind of our day to day actions,” Mr. Johnston said.

Both still make efforts to work around these obstacles; they’ll go out and get takeout and eat at someplace that is less public. 

The Classrooms

Through the efforts of coming back in person and teaching both Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have faced difficulty with students not following the proper CDC guidelines. Constantly reminding students to wear their masks properly has become a common issue in both of their classrooms. 

“COVID is a concern, especially coming in and getting the classroom ready and thinking about masks and all the safety things and still worrying about my health too, it’s scary, but at the same time, there’s not a whole lot I can’t do about it, other than, trying to get kids to wear their mask appropriately and to wear mine,” future mother Mrs. Johnston said. 

Mr. Johnston was gone for over 17 months and didn’t get to step foot into his classroom until June of 2021. With the efforts to go back to normal; after not being able to teach digitally from home like he did last spring, that just hasn’t been the case.

“It’s a hard balance in making sure that I’m not putting myself at risk and so it’s been challenging…the first weeks, I definitely was kind of culture shocked and it felt surreal for me, quite frankly,” Mr Johnston said.

Digital notebooks has became a new custom that Mr. Johnston has had to implement in his classroom. In order for kids not to miss two weeks full of instruction if they need to quarantine, the digital notebooks are easily accessible with all of the material that would be given during class.

“Digital notebooks are something which I’ve never done before, and it just was a whole kind of new beast of approach and how to do it and so it’s been different,” Mr Johnston said.

“It’s been a lot and I’ve tried to fall back in, doing what I used to do because I want to be here for my students. I really have found that teaching really feels like my calling.”

After lockdown and the isolation most students faced, Mrs. Johnston found it necessary to include “smiles and frowns” in her classroom. 

“I started doing something in my classroom, where we go around and everyone has a chance to share a smile, something good going on, or a frown and they can always pass.”

Mrs. Johnston tries to create a safe environment for her students in her class. Being interactive and communicating with her students through smiles and frowns is a step towards creating that safe-space.

“I really like how she has smiles and frowns and she checks up on you, it’s not like she’s just asking you. She genuinely cares and you can really see that through everything that she does she likes to get a lot of feedback from all the students and I really appreciate that,” Sophomore Nicole Rogers said.

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