Last Friday, Ivery McKnight-Johnson left behind her legacy as Berkeley High School’s (BHS) Student Activities Director to go work as a middle school counselor in the Central Valley.
“My experiences at Berkeley High were life-changing,” said McKnight-Johnson, who has worked at BHS since 1996. “It was a wonderful learning experience for me.”
McKnight-Johnson is a member of the 1990 graduating class at Berkeley High School (BHS). After graduating from college and teaching in Maryland for one year, she came back to BHS.
When asked why she came back, she responded, “I came back to give back to the community. The students really are the best. It is so wonderful to see the impact that I was having in their lives.”
Primarily, the job of the Student Activities Director is to coordinate school activities, plan special events, track school clubs, and run student government.
“We would not have a student activities program if it were not for Ivery,” said BHS Principal Jim Slemp, referring to McKnight-Johnson. “She had the charisma and the creativity to make activities successful. For me, this is a huge loss.”
Slemp isn’t the only one who misses McKnight-Johnson. Many students echoed his thoughts.
“We are sad to see her go, since she was such a wonderful person,” said Senior Class Deputy Kenny Watts, who has served on student government for four years. “She was great working with students. As far as leadership goes, it will be hard to work without her. Despite that, events and performances will still go on, but we will miss her.”
Pasquale Scuderi, vice principal at BHS and McKnight’s former boss, says that they are in the process of finding someone to fill Ms. McKnight’s position as Student Activities Director.
“The job was posted last week,” said Scuderi. “We are looking at a couple of candidates. The problem of finding someone new is that Spirit Week is next week (October 16-20). Given the deadlines with Spirit Week, I feel that it would be better for me to take over the responsibilities that Ms. McKnight-Johnson had until the week is over.”
McKnight-Johnson wanted to give advice to her replacement at BHS, so that they can make the activities successful for students.
“You need to be prepared for anything and be able to adapt to change,” commented McKnight-Johnson.” You also should make sure to develop great relationships with students, the administration, the custodians, etc. But most importantly, be prepared for anything.”
Scuderi assured students that they will hire a student activities director as soon as they can, but that he doesn’t want to rush the process.
“I think that it is important to have the right person, rather than just trying to fill the position,” said Scuderi. “I would say with certainty that we will have someone before Thanksgiving vacation is over.”