Kathy Johnson Receives
2016 Carrie Chapman Catt Award
The award, presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting by Barbara Mortensen, was given to Johnson for her excellence in contributing to the community, making a sustained commitment to the League and its governing principles, and in fulfilling these words of Carrie Chapman Catt: "What should be done can be done: what can be done let us do."
Mortensen's announcement of Johnson's award:
This year’s Carrie Chapman Catt Award goes to Kathy Johnson. Kathy has been active in the Dane County and state League since 1972. She has been president of the Dane County League three different times in 1993-94, 1995-96, and 2009-10, as well as unit director, program director, voters’ service chair, and treasurer. She was president of the state League from 1997 to 2001.
In addition to the League she volunteered for many other activities. These include:
- Coaching a neighborhood soccer team
- Leading a Girl Scout troop for 17 years
- Serving her church as worship coordinator and on two standing committees
- Shopping for food for a homeless shelter
- Helping a group, Haiti Allies, raise money to support a school and students in Haiti
- Hosting visitors for Friendship Force of Wisconsin
- Hosting foreign students who attend UW-Madison
- Volunteering as an usher at Overture Center for the Arts
In addition to her volunteer activities Kathy was a teacher for many years. Graduating with a degree in elementary education from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, she taught sixth grade at Orchard Ridge Elementary School from 1967 to 1971. She left teaching to care for her two children, Kelle and Karl. While her children were young she did home care for a few neighborhood children and later worked at Montessori Children’s House. After a few years of this she worked for Community Coordinated Child Care visiting the homes of caregivers. She then re-entered the Madison school system as a substitute teacher, later becoming a full-time teacher working with talented and gifted students in a couple of elementary schools while earning a Master’s degree in Talented and Gifted Education at the UW-Madison. She then returned to teaching sixth grade until her retirement in 2005.
Kathy grew up on a farm near Farmington, MN. She married Doug in 1967, and they moved to Madison that same year. She went back to Minnesota frequently to visit three aunts she was especially close to, one of whom, at 100 years of age, still lives in the home she grew up in. Fortunately Kathy and Doug’s two children and three grandchildren live in Madison and Lake Mills so they don’t have to travel far to see them.
Having served with Kathy on the Dane County League board, I was constantly amazed at her recall of League history, policy, and procedures. Whenever a question arose she was able to say, “Well here’s how we did it back in…” or “This happened back in...”. Her leadership abilities and organizational skills were also impressive.