Harry B. Johnson, Class of 1945
Harry B. Johnson is a native Arizonan, born in Bisbee on August 15, 1926. He attended schools in Tucson, graduating from Tucson High School mid-year of 1945. He received both his B.S. and M.Ed. degrees at the U of A. He was employed by the Tucson Unified School District for 34 years, serving as P.E. teacher, coach, department chairman, athletic director, dean of boys, and assistant principal. He worked in four schools, Mansfeld Jr. High and Tucson, Pueblo and Sahuaro high schools.
During his tenure in TUSD, Harry’s professional activities included TEA Salary Chairman; the Professional Negotiations Team; NEA Salary School (Washington DC); president of the Arizona Health, Physical Education and Recreation Association, State Presidents Conference (Washington DC) and member of the Board of Directors for the Southwest District of the national association; and Governor’s Council on Youth Fitness. He was a member of the Tucson, Arizona, and American Coaches Association and also served as secretary for the southern Division of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
Harry’s commitment reaches into the Tucson community through his association with an impressive number of community organizations including the American Red Cross, YMCA Aquatics and Fundraising; American Cancer Society Education Committee, eight years of service on a Pima County Foster Care Review Board and three years on the State Foster Care Review Board. He is very active in his church, the Saguaro Christian Church, where one of his main projects is work toward betterment of their Infant Center, a day care program for newborns through two years old.
Harry served six years on the Board of the Tucson High Badger Foundation—filling the posts of treasurer, secretary and president. He was so impressed that he went back to Sahuaro High and working with David Aschraft and Ann Grosse initiated the Sahuaro Cougar Foundation, using all he had learned from John Barringer and the Badger Foundation. Harry is sure that the “Sahuaro–ites” got sick of hearing how the Badger Foundation did it, but the model served Sahuaro well. He was a founding member and served on the board as treasurer, secretary, and president and was chairman of Sahuaro’s “Silver Celebration.”
Harry states that one of his greatest accomplishments was having four wonderful children: Beth Brinkley, Barbara Johnson, Sterling (deceased) and George Christopher (Chris). Beth’s three daughters, Barbara, Sarah, and Maggi, are the apples of grandpa’s eye. His other accomplishment was marrying Fran (Tegarden), THS ’60.
In 1983, when Harry retired, the Sahuaro High School Student Council honored him by establishing the Harry Johnson Cougar Spirit Award to recognize the student who best exemplifies “The Cougar Spirit.” Harry has also been made an honorary member of the NAEOP and the AEOPA (national and state Educational Office Professionals). In 1995 was inducted into the Sahuaro Cougar Foundation Hall of Fame, and in 1996 is being honored by the Tucson High Badgers.