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Student honors memory of former teacher

Brynn Johnson and Shelby Purser. The PHS wrestling program had its first-ever Teacher Appreciation Night, and although students always choose someone that means a lot to them, one athlete had an especially significant honoree by her side. Coach Ryan Delavergne said he knew the moment was going to be memorable.

Shelby Purser invited Brynn Johnson to join her for the recognition ceremony to honor the memory of her husband – longtime ag teacher Tim Johnson, who passed away earlier this school year.

“I decided to honor him by asking his wife because both of them have impacted my life in numerous ways,” Shelby said. “I asked her to take his place in walking with me because no other teacher can match the impact he had in my life.”

Shelby has had Mr. Johnson as her honored teacher for every teacher appreciation night she’s ever been associated with, and Mrs. Johnson said she was honored to be there for Shelby on this special night.

“He was there on Teacher Appreciation Night for all five years we were in FFA together, plus three more times with softball,” she said. “This year would have made six in FFA and four in softball.”

Shelby said it was important to honor her former teacher in this way.

“Over the six years that I knew Mr. Johnson, he has been several things to me,” she said. “When I first Mr. Johnson I honestly thought he was just this crazy teacher who loved FFA so much. Then, slowly over the years he became a father figure in my life. From comforting me at my first county show to listening to all the drama I came to him with, he was there.

“This last year, I spent a lot of time with him and we became especially close,” Shelby continued. “He really became more of a father figure to me because he helped me get through the loss of my own father. Mr. Johnson meant the world to me.”

Brynn Johnson and Shelby Purser.