Each year since 1993, The Wellesley Townsman has published profiles of 10 residents or groups who have had an impact on the town, the world beyond our borders, or both. Nominated by readers and staff, the Townsman 10 represent a wide range of talents, contributions, backgrounds and ages.
NAME OF PERSON OR PERSONS BEING NOMINATED: Ken Johnson
NAME OF PERSON MAKING THE NOMINATION: Kari L. Sciera
WHY IS THIS PERSON BEING NOMINATED?: I would like to nominate Ken Johnson to be included in the "Townsman 10" for 2017. Ken is a Wellesley resident, a husband to his beautiful wife Kathleen, a father of three great kids at WPS (Makenzie, Conor and Emily), and a physical education teacher at the Wellesley Middle School. Ken also served in the U.S. Navy five years prior to coming to Wellesley Public Schools, where he began work in October 1997.
I have known Ken for 14 years as a colleague in the Health and Fitness department at WMS. Ken also teaches the Adapted Physical Education classes for kids with special needs. Ken's warm and caring demeanor makes him a perfect fit for kids with unique challenges. Ken's own son has special needs. I truly feel Ken sees all his students with the heart of a father. Ken also runs the intramural program at WMS. Knowing kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to be less active than their typical peers, Ken recently was involved in research and helped build a soccer and basketball program for children in Wellesley with ASD. The parents and children involved were very pleased with the program. Ken isn't a loud man and rarely demands attention, yet he is always there when needed and finds the right words at the right time. Ken's input is thoughtful and insightful. He can de-escalate a tense situation quickly. This is one of his many gifts.
His calm and genuine demeanor truly does soothe the soul. I witness it regularly with both kids and adults. Ken's commitment to his family and to the town of Wellesley is exceptional. We are all blessed to have Ken Johnson as part of the Wellesley community. He is a man among men and I can't think of a better role model for our young people.