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Thomas Johnson: Class of 2009

thomas johnson - class of 2009
North Wilkes High School Alumni
Thomas Johnson
Q: Year graduated from North Wilkes:
A: 2009
Q: List any education/degrees beyond high school:
A: Bachelors Degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education from NCSU
Q: List Professional/Career Experience and why you chose your career path:
A: 6th year teaching at North. I have also taught summer courses in colleges around the state, and taught for 3 months in China.
Q: If you could go back and give yourself advice as a high school student, what advice would you give and why. What advice would you give to high school students today?
A: Study things that interest you. I spent so much time just listening to lectures, then regurgitating the information that I never stopped to think what interests me. Information is so readily available now because of the internet that students can dive head first into anything remotely interesting. I highly recommend researching a topic and then talking to someone about it. It will spark a lot of conversation and build connections with people you would not expect.
Q: Do you have a special memory from your time at North?
A: I thoroughly enjoyed all my English classes at North. I remember reading, and creating videos based on works that we read in class. Specifically, I remember filming a video for Gilgamesh in Joe Noble's English 2 class.
Q: How has your NWHS education and experiences positively impacted your life?
A: I didn't expect to be able to go to college. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't know what interested me, and I couldn't afford the application fees. It was only because of James Byrd, Cathy Stanford, and a few others that I was able to attend college. They constantly reassured me that I could get accepted, they told me scholarships and grants to apply for, and James Byrd would stay after school and coach me for scholarship interviews. If it wasn't for the teachers at North I would never have gone to college and realized my passion.
Q: Any additional information about family, career, etc you would like to share?
A: I have created a curriculum and course designed around using Mathematics to create/break secret codes. I have taken this course to China where I taught it in Beijing and Shanghai for 3 months