“Our Chandler journey has been fulfilling in many respect," said Jennifer Walston Johnson, reflecting on Chad’s time at Chandler.
Jennifer and Greg Johnson are grateful they selected a K-8 school for Chad.
“It was a decision we believed in out of principle, originally,” Greg remembers. “It turns out that nine years at Chandler really is the perfect duration. Now we feel Chad is ready for a new chapter, because he has had the incredible benefits of familiarity, continuity, and appropriate growth at each grade.”
“We’re impressed that Chandler teachers are innovative in designing academic challenges that engage all students,” Greg notes. “The use of technology in the laptop program, for example, helps kids explore and learn material in a deeper way.”
Jennifer applauds the continuity of Chandler’s outdoor education programs for broadening the students’ appreciation and respect for the environment while providing a unique opportunity for bonding and team work in a natural setting.
“Chad has been blessed to have wonderful and dedicated teachers throughout,” said Jennifer. She especially praises two of Chad’s teachers who were particularly invested in his development. “Outstanding lower school educators, Mrs. Izbicki and Mrs. Smith, were caring and supportive advocates who worked closely with Chad and equipped him with study tools to be successful.”
In the Middle School, Jennifer points to the energetic Scott Nancarrow as a valued mentor to Chad. “He helped Chad make a smooth transition from Lower School to Middle School,” Jennifer observes. “His open door policy creates an environment where kids seek him out and open up to him.”
The Walston Johnson family has made a significant impact in their philanthropy at Chandler School, particularly in supporting the South Campus campaign. They were early campaign supporters, making a commitment to name the new sixth and eighth grade science labs. “We believe that it is truly a privilege to attend a private school and each family, fortunate enough to be part of such a community, has a responsibility to be supportive and active participants,” Jennifer explains.
“We are pleased to have joined with others in establishing a state-of-the-art educational environment on the South Campus at Chandler. Not only has Chad benefited from these dynamic classroom facilities, but many future students will explore, learn and excel for years to come. It's a heartfelt investment in the educational foundation of the next generation to whom we will entrust the future.”
Beyond Chandler, the Johnson family is passionate about national parks, especially Yosemite National Park, and our nation’s history. This is clearly demonstrated through their deep involvement and board service with the Yosemite Conservancy and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. For three generations, Jennifer’s family has been dedicated to stewardship of Yosemite National Park though their active and philanthropic engagement with Yosemite Conservancy, a vital nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the park.
“We hope to instill in Chad, a love and respect of nature and the great outdoors,” says Jennifer. In conjunction with the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary, Jennifer and Greg successfully co-chaired Yosemite Conservancy’s largest capital campaign to date.
Locally, Jennifer and Greg’s involvement has included Kidspace Children’s Museum, where Greg served a term as Board Chair, and Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts where Jennifer served as President.
Just as Jennifer and Greg treasure their long connection to Yosemite, they appreciate that Chad is gaining a lifetime link to the tradition of Chandler School. “He’s proud to be a lifer at Chandler, and has created so many wonderful memories. Although we are closing a chapter in his life, Chandler will be part of him for a lifetime,” Greg says with pride.