Maurice Johnson is 110%

Susan EspirituEast Knox, Our Town Neighbors

Our character influences the decisions we make, how we treat others and our responce to challenges. Our character can positively impact our lives and those around us. Maurice Johnson demonstrates the strong, positive character that impacts the lives of adults and children around him every day.

Maurice was one of the first people to greet me when I arrived at Sarah Moore Greene as the new principal in 2014. Maurice and I were always the first to get to school, sometimes racing to see who would turn off the alarm in the few seconds it gives you from the front door to the box behind the counter. The one thing I always got from Maurice at 6 o’clock every morning was the ear-to-ear smile and hearty welcome to the day as if I was “making his day” by being at school.

The thing to know about Maurice Johnson is that the next person who saw him also felt the same way, because he is always smiling ear to ear and always making people feel as if they are the most important people in his space.

Last week, I was not surprised, but I was delighted to see that he was recognized and rewarded by Adam Wilson Realty with 110% Award. There is no one better deserving because he goes out of his way to not only do what is expected in his position, but he is the heart and soul of Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy and the surrounding community, loved by everyone there. He’s worked at Sarah Moore Greene for his entire 25-year career with Knox County Schools and as head custodian since 2010.

He says of Sarah Moore Greene and the community, “It’s been my pleasure working with the staff of SMG. I love those guys and the students which I love like my own kids bring pleasure to my heart. I was surprised by the award. I really appreciate working for the schools and it’s been a wonderful journey.”

As I talked to him about this award, I said, “Maurice, I sure do miss you. It’s so good to hear your voice.” You already know what he said. “I sure miss you, too. Love hearing your voice, Susan Espiritu.” I could feel his smile in his deep resonating voice.

Just like every other time I encountered Maurice Johnson, he made my day. I am sure when we closed our conversation, it wouldn’t be long before he was in the presence of someone else and their day too, was infinitely better.

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