Victor Johnson Jr. gains high honor

Photo by Tevin Stinson

Victor Johnson Jr. gains high honor
October 12
05:00 2017

Longtime educator awarded Order of the Long Leaf Pine

During the school board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10 longtime local educator Victor Johnson Jr. was awarded the highest honor a civilian in the state can receive, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Johnson, a 1961 graduate of Winston-Salem State University, has served more than 30 years in the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) system as a teacher, principal and administrator. Johnson is also the longest serving member of the WS/FCS Board of Education. As a youngster, Johnson was one of 21 teens who helped integrate lunch counters here in Winston-Salem at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson was also a standout athlete as well. He is currently enshrined in the Atkins High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Winston-Salem Sportsman Hall of Fame.

Although he has racked up countless awards over the years, including a street marker with his name on it in East Winston, Johnson’s greatest accomplishment is the hundreds, if not thousands, of students he has impacted over the years.

Before presenting his former colleague with the award Tuesday evening, Donny Lambeth, who represents the 75th District in the State House and is a former member of the WS/FCS Board of Education, said, it was an honor to be the one to present Johnson with such a prestigious honor.

“Anyone who has lived, worked, or attended school in Winston-Salem recognizes the name Vic Johnson. “Throughout his life he has served to make life better for the citizens of Forsyth County,” continued Lambeth. “His name suits him well – ‘Victor’ – a champion and a hero to many.”

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the state of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened the community.

After accepting the award and the ceremonial pin was placed on his lapel, Johnson was all smiles. As he stood behind the podium, he recognized his family members in attendance and thanked everyone who helped him along the way.

“I just want to thank the many people who have been very helpful to me throughout life. The people of this community have always been very good to me,” said Johnson. “They always encouraged me to do the best I could do and that became my motto growing up.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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