By Brynn Weisholtz ’20
Among the twenty new faculty welcomed to Pingry this year is Dr. Gillian Johnson, who hails from Hilton Head, South Carolina, where she taught at Hilton Head Preparatory School. She is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, and she went on to receive her master’s degree and PhD in Spanish literature from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Johnson is inspired by both her parents, her grandfather, and her great-grandfather, all of whom had a career in academia. Raised in a family of educators, she has a passion for helping and motivating students to reach their full potential. Dr. Johnson said, “I want to help students develop the same love and appreciation of the Spanish language and culture that I have.”
At Pingry, Dr. Johnson will be teaching Spanish 5, AP Spanish 5, and Spanish 7. She is also the Junior Varsity Field Hockey Assistant Coach. When asked what she likes best about Pingry thus far, Dr. Johnson stated that her favorite parts of the school are the block schedule, lunch, and the students. She shared that the block schedule provides ample time to efficiently prepare for each class, along with some relaxing down-time in between. She loves not having to pack lunch every day and noted how delicious our served lunch is. Regarding the students, Dr. Johnson said, “It feels like students here want to learn and are willing to work hard to accomplish their goals.” The motivation of the students is inspiring to her and she cannot wait to get to know the students and faculty even more. Her main goal for the school year is learning the school song, “Old John Pingry,” so she will be able to sing it with the rest of the community.
Dr. Johnson has limited free time due to her seven-month-old daughter, who she loves spending time with. Besides being a mom, she enjoys running and spending time outdoors.
Señora Johnson, as she is referred to by her students, is thrilled to be a part of the Pingry community and is eager to spread her passion for Spanish, and learning in general, throughout the school.