Oaks Christian Online Learning Academy homeschool academy

Staff Spotlight: Kelly Johnson

Hi Kelly! 

Welcome to the team!  We’re so excited to have you!  Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to OC Online and what you’ll be doing in this new position? 

Thank you! I am so blessed to be part of the OC Online team. My background has always been in the field of education, and I’ve always known that I wanted to be an educator. I’ve been told that after my mom picked me up after my first day of preschool, I announced, “Someday I’m going to be a teacher just like Miss Debbie!”. True to my 3-year-old self, I taught preschool as a way to help put myself through college. Since then, I’ve worked with students in all grade levels, including college. I love to learn and felt called to return to school as an adult; I earned my doctorate in education from USC in 2012. Recently my family and I moved from California to Tennessee, and I was fortunate to be able to join the OC Online team which allowed me to stay part of the Oaks Christian School community. In my new role as Associate Dean of Students I will be working directly with students and parents during the enrollment process, including course selection, and will be available to support students and parents in any way I can during their time at Oaks Christian Online.  


It’s awesome to have you join us from our geo-physical campus.  What were you doing on campus and how are those resources available to online students here at OC Online as well? 

I worked on the geo-physical OCS campus for 11 years and for 8 of those years I served as the Director of the Learning Center. The Learning Center provides a variety of academic resources for students, including tutoring and executive function support. These services are available to OC Online students as well, either in person or remotely, and can be scheduled by contacting the Learning Center directly. In the spring the Learning Center piloted a testing center where students could take make up or extended time tests. OC Online students who live locally can utilize the test center for in person proctored exams. Remote proctored exams should be coming soon!  


What do you think will be most challenging and most rewarding about switching from serving students on campus to serving online ones? 

I think the most challenging thing will be not being in the same physical space. While I was working on campus, if I needed to speak with a colleague or student, I was able to find them in person in the moment. I will still be able to communicate with everyone live but it will be an adjustment to not be able to walk over to their office or meet a student by their classroom. I think the most rewarding thing about serving the online community is that I will be able to build a rapport with not just the students but with their parents as well.  


What are you hoping to learn while you’re in this new position?   What has surprised you about OC Online so far? 

I’ve already learned so much about OC Online! I expect I will learn a lot more about how to read transcripts, graduation requirements and diploma paths. I am most excited to learn more about the individual students: what their passions are, and why they chose to attend OC Online. Having worked closely with the OC Online team in my previous position, I feel like I got to know how the individual OC Online admin team members work. I wouldn’t say I was surprised by this, but working closely now with the team, as a team, my hunch has been confirmed that the OC Online admin team is so supportive of its teachers and cares deeply about its students, not just how they are doing in their classes, but what they are doing outside of school as well. There are many opportunities for students, parents and alumni to become involved and build community, including book clubs and alumni events 


Finally, when you’re not in front of your computer helping out a family or a student, what is your favorite thing to do for fun? 

Currently so much of my time is spent on making our new house a home and exploring our new hometown. Typically, I like to spend time with my family. My husband and I have 3 grown children and a Maltipoo named Mylo (which is short for My Love).  Pumpkin spice is my favorite season and anything Christmas –the Carols, the decorations, the movies- is my love language.  

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