Nacogdoches school principal dies

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After being diagnosed with a serious illness six months ago, Rachel Johnson, the principal of Nacogdoches ISD's Brooks Quinn Jones Elementary campus, has died.

The veteran educator had been with Nacogdoches ISD for 16 years, according to Rayanne Schmid, a media specialist for NISD. Johnson, 49, started as the principal of the Brooks Quinn Jones campus in 2004. From 2000 to 2004, she served as the principal for NISD's Carpenter Elementary. Johnson started with the district in 1992 as an at-risk 8th grade teacher at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, where she worked until 1996.

"This is a very sad day for NISD," Dr. Fred Hayes, the Nacogdoches ISD superintendent, said. "Mrs. Johnson was a very good leader in education, but most of all she was a very good person. She had a positive impact on the children of NISD and will be greatly missed."

Visitation for Johnson will be Friday, Dec. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at Cason-Monk Funeral Home at 5400 North Street, Nacogdoches. The funeral will be Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church at 411 North Street in Nacogdoches.

A 1982 graduate of Nacogdoches High School, Johnson earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University. After getting her bachelor's degree in 1986, she went to work for Tenaha ISD. Johnson earned her master's degree in education from SFA in 1989 and worked as an assistant middle school principal for Henderson ISD from 1996-1999.

She is survived by her husband and two children.

According to a press release, the district is offering counseling to Brooks Quinn Jones students and staff. In addition, the district is trying to get assistance from SFA as the campus copes with the loss.

Janis Compton has served as the interim principal of Brooks Quinn Jones Elementary since November, and Hayes said she will likely continue in that capacity for the remainder of the school year.

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