Jessica (Shadle) Johnson '01 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Jessica (Shadle) Johnson '01

Biology & Secondary Education

Building Confidence for the Future

While on campus, Johnson immersed herself in the unique college life that Mount Mercy offers, enjoying the smaller setting, the smaller class sizes, and the fact that students get to know their professors.

“I don’t think I would have been as successful and as happy as I am now,” says Johnson. “I was able to build my self-confidence at Mount Mercy, and figure out what I love. I also wouldn’t have met my husband. Together, we have a beautiful daughter!”

Mustang impact

Johnson says MMU’s unique characteristics gave her the ability to become involved in ways she wouldn’t have been able to at a larger university. She ran cross country for two years and was a regular intramural sports participant. She was also involved in the student newspaper, Circle K, biology club, and served as an ambassador for the registrar’s office.

“I was able to become part of Mount Mercy—I wasn’t just another number," said Johnson. "That individualized care is what makes Mount Mercy so special. It still amazes me that professors and staff remember me and approach me at events or while I’m out in the community."

It still amazes me that professors and staff remember me and approach me at events or while I’m out in the community.

Jessica (Shadle) Johnson '01
Secondary Education & Biology

Educating the next generation

Johnson now serves as associate principal and activities director at Prairie Point Middle School and 9th Grade Academy in Cedar Rapids. She says she’s lucky to work with great educational leaders who inspire her to do whatever she can to help students.

“Looking back at the 13+ years I’ve been in education, my proudest moments involve seeing my students succeed," said Johnson. "Nothing is more exciting than watching a lightbulb turn on for a student as they begin to understand something new. That applies not only in the classroom but also in life. I am so proud of my students and feel blessed that I have been able to be part of their journeys.”

"Nothing is more exciting than watching a lightbulb turn on for a student as they begin to understand something new."

Johnson encourages current and new Mount Mercy students to take time to explore as much as they can while getting involved in as much as they can. She was able to branch out and take classes in several different fields, which is what ultimately led her down this education career path.

“The activities I was involved with shaped lifelong friendships and positive habits. I still talk with my advisor and many campus friends. I was able to come into my own at MMU and celebrate who I am.”

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