The North Bend Eagle


Second generations of families appear as North Bend school open

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/24/16

As the school year rolls around teachers look forward to new faces in their classrooms. But some of the faces may look a little familiar as the children of former students enter their classroom.

Shirley Johnson poses with new students Quin and Jack Armstrong and their mother, Whitney, in her kindergarten class at North Bend Elementary. Whitney was a kindergarten student of Johnson’s in 1989.

This year kindergarten teacher Shirley Johnson is having triple the experience as the twin sons of Whitney Armstrong enter her classroom with Madelyn Miller, daughter of Aubrey Miller. Johnson taught both mothers at Webster School, District 27.

“Sometimes I get a bit nostalgic, remembering the parent growing up and then seeing the child developing and growing,” Johnson said.

In 1989, Armstrong was one of two kindergartners, along with Leah Spath, at the now closed school nine miles north of North Bend. Miller was in the kindergarten class the next year with four others.

Whitney remembers Johnson’s homemade puppets in kindergarten.

“Each time we learned a new letter, a new puppet that started with that same letter would join us that week,” Armstrong said. “It was a really fun thing to see what was coming next.”

Miller also remembers the puppets as well as Melvin the class mascot puppet.

Armstrong is pleased that her son’s have Johnson for kindergarten.

“I think it is really a neat connection to have them have a teacher that I had,” Armstrong said. “Unfortunately, the elementary school I went to is closed so this is a small way they can be connected to my awesome experiences I had there. I’m also glad to be able to call her Mrs. Johnson again. It never felt quite right referring to her as Shirley.”

Miller said Madelyn is excited to come home and tell her what she learned in kindergarten.

“She was a great teacher when I was little and I know she will do a great job with Madelyn as well,” Miller said.

Johnson has memories of Armstrong and Miller.


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