LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As 8 News Now highlights local teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, a local educator is navigating students not just through school, but through life.
Mission High School is a one-of-a-kind school with a one-of-a-kind teacher, Dallas Johnston.
“I’ve had this passion for arts, and I have always had this dream to take everything that I’ve learned and take it to a school that maybe didn’t have the same access to the arts, so I actually started volunteering with a community program for at-risk youth, and that’s how I found Mission High School,” Johnston told 8 News Now.
Mission High School supports students who are going through recovery from substance abuse or addiction, and it’s a place for second chances.
“Being a teenager is hard no matter what situation you’re in. Seeing that they can feel comfortable and you’re building relationships with them and they can trust me really makes a difference, because they’ve gone through a lot,” she added.
Johnston knows she’s helping improve lives through her lessons.
“From bringing musicians in to do guitar classes, artists to come in and do drawings, spoken word poetry, open mic night, paintings and sculptings,” she said. “It’s really cool to see the kids find a healthy outlet, and I’m hoping that’s what I can provide by bringing arts integration.”
With over 20 years of experience, Johnston is more than just a teacher. Principal Barbara Collins said Johnston is a rock for her students.
“Just to watch her process and how to help them grow, not only as writers but as individuals who believe in themselves academically, it’s so beautiful,” Collins said.
“You can’t let one bad day, even one bad week, wipe out all the good,” Johnston said. “You really have to focus on the difference you’re making and the changes you can make.”