How It All Began….
The Johnson & Johnson Corp, which at the time operated the textile plant at Chicopee, owned a huge tract of land in South Hall County that included the current JHS campus, as well as the land that is now Elachee Nature Center and Chicopee Woods Golf Course. In the early 70’s they approached the Hall County Board of Education with a proposal. They would donate a very large tract of land to the school system if the Board would agree to build a new high school and name it after one of the patriarchs of the company, Robert Wood Johnson. Thus, the official name was Robert Wood Johnson Memorial High School, which became known by its current name, Johnson High. The district did not change at all to accommodate the new building, the students merely moved from their previous building at South Hall High. The Board had to be creative in determining what to do with that building, which was still in very good condition. They made it a Junior High for grades 7 & 8, the only one in the system. The other two high schools at the time, North Hall and East Hall were 8-12 grades. That dynamic did not change until middle schools were introduced to the county in the late 80’s at which time South Hall Junior High changed to its current name and grade alignment 6-8 South Hall Middle School. (That tract of land, by the way, also included the site of the Transportation Center and Blacksheer Place Library).
Robert Wood Johnson High School opened, under the leadership of principal Donald Loggins and Superintendent Dean Myers, in August of 1972 with much enthusiasm, excitement, and community support. Two new concepts in education began with Johnson’s opening–the quarter system and the open classroom concept. Classrooms had no doors and only portable dividers separated students. Since then, walls have gone up, doors have been installed, and the quarter system was replaced with block scheduling, which has since been replaced with the current 7 period day. These two aspects are small examples of the enormous changes that have occurred over the forty-two year history of Robert Wood Johnson High School.
Some major events in the history of Robert Wood Johnson High School are worth noting. The Vocational Wing of the school officially opened one year later in 1973.
The Frank J. Knight Gym was completed and dedicated in 1982.
Johnson High School got its own football stadium in 1990, which has become nicknamed the “dungeon,” and now serves as the home of our football and soccer teams.
In 1996, Johnson proudly dedicated its new Performing Arts Center, which is now home to drama, band, and chorus productions as well as other school functions. The state of Georgia recognized Johnson High School as a Georgia School of Excellence in 1996, a distinct honor reflecting the hard work and dedication of the people who have contributed to the overall success and legacy of Johnson High School, both past and present. Technology has now become the cornerstone of Johnson High School. All areas of the school boast a strong commitment to technology-based education. Johnson High School currently has a school-wide computer lab, a language arts computer lab, a credit recovery lab, 2 business education computer labs, a broadcast video production lab, and many more computers throughout the school. Gone are the typewriters, the industrial arts lab, and the classrooms without computers. Teachers are actively engaged in instruction utilizing the many up-to-date technology ideas.
On September 28, 2001, the stadium was officially dedicated as the Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium in honor of Mr. Billy Ellis, longtime Johnson Principal and beloved Knight who lost a valiant battle with cancer earlier that year.
As you can see, Johnson is not the same school it was in 1972. Take a moment to view our website to learn more. Also, drop by and visit our school to see what’s happening. We are very proud of where we are and where we’ve been, and we want you to experience it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.