Johnson honored for service to district

Bud Johnson (right) is presented with a plaque by Superintendent Brian Jaeger in recognition of Johnson’s seven years as a member of the Monticello Board of Education. (Photo by Pete Temple)
School Board
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     During Bud Johnson’s seven years as a member of the Monticello Board of Education, the school district has seen a number of major changes.

     Johnson was in on the hiring of Superintendent Brian Jaeger, the passing of a bond issue to build a new middle school, the new school’s design and construction, the remodeling of the high school entrance, and more.

     He is passing the torch, however, stepping down from the board in order to spend more time with family in Arizona. The Aug. 24 regular board meeting was Johnson’s last.

     “It wasn’t something that Georgia and I planned on,” Johnson said during a special recognition ceremony for him during the Aug. 24 meeting. “It was unexpected. We visited (Arizona) and thought, ‘This is good.’

     “We’re not spring chickens, it’s time to do some things while our health is still there. I thought I’d make it to next year before I was done (with the board), but it’s just really difficult to take part when you’re not here.

     “I think it was time.”

     Johnson has been known for a lot of things in Monticello. He was the city’s mayor from 1999 through 2002. On the school board, he has served as board president.

     He has been instrumental in much of the upgrading work done on ball diamonds throughout the city. Most recently, he saved the district money when he helped with the construction of the new, second diamond behind Shannon School.

     Superintendent Jaeger praised Johnson at the meeting for his work with the board, recalling Johnson’s question to him when Jaeger was interviewing for the superintendent’s position.

     “Bud asked me, ‘What does integrity mean?’ ” Jaeger recalled. “I think what Bud has done for the district exemplifies what integrity is.”

     Jaeger also recounted the conversations he and Johnson had while Johnson was board president.

     “We had hundreds of conversations, whether they be about buildings, or softball fields, or action items that were going onto the agenda,” Jaeger said. “We really did a lot of problem-solving trying to put those things together.”

     Speaking to Johnson, Jaeger added, “I’ve always appreciated your insights. I know the things that came out of those meetings were things that changed the school district.”

     Board president John Schlarmann agreed.

     “I always appreciate your advice, and I appreciate how you’re always willing to play both sides of the story. You put your heart and soul into the community.”

     “With all the service you’ve done for this community,” board vice president Craig Stadtmueller said, “obviously your mark is all over this town, and definitely on the school district.”

     Johnson was presented with a plaque of merit at the meeting.


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