Johnston High School Students and Staff Adapting Well to New Environment

JOHNSTON, Iowa – Johnston High School opened its doors for the first time in August, and since then both faculty and students are settling in.

The school is built for the next generation with fewer lockers, more plug-in outlets and comfortable seating arrangements.

The classrooms no longer have desks attached with chairs, but rather a variety of choices for students to choose from.

Senior Cameron Thede said the new classroom seats make it easier for him to focus.

“I like it a lot more. It’s more comfortable. It’s easier to be calm and sit through class,” Thede said.

Senior Kylee Walker said the new layout makes it easier to connect with teachers.

“Interactive almost. It is easier to walk around, not just rows of desks. It is easier to interact with the teacher in different spots in the room,” Walker said.

Business teacher Tim Brickley said the new layout is just a reflection of what business corporations look like.

“It reminds me a lot of what we are seeing in the corporate world. If you start looking at the spaces that Wells Fargo is building now, Wellmark, and the new Hy-Vee at Grimes, they don’t have just straight desks, cubes and different things like that. They’ve got mixed spaces, they’ve got spaces where you work all together,” Brickley said.

The new high school brings more space for different classes to focus on its studies and create a more hands-on learning environment.

Science teacher Kyla Burns said the new school lets her students take their studies in the classroom and apply it to real life.

“We have a much more expansive area. We have ponds for the students. We have some open fields for them to be looking at. We have a brand new pond that gives a lot of real-world learning experience, so that students are working on how to establish that pond,” Burns said.

Brickley said the new layout is a reflection of how much society has changed over the years.

“This is how we all are. If you go home, when I watch TV on my couch, I have my laptop on my lap and that’s how I engage. There’s not a lot of time where I sit at a desk to have a conversation,” Brickley said.

Walker said the one thing she wishes is for the parking lot to be closer to the doors.