Dr. Bryan Johnson announces scholarships to honor the memory of his mother
Posted on 08/22/2019
LaBrenda JohnsonHamilton County Schools seniors received over $95 million in scholarships last year, but the Class of 2020 will have even more opportunities to help fund their college journey with the announcement today of new scholarships available to seniors across all learning communities in Hamilton County Schools. Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, announced the scholarships to honor his late mother LaBrenda Sonnette Johnson in front of the seniors at Ooltewah High School earlier today.

The scholarships will be called the LaBrenda Johnson Memorial Scholarships. Dr. Johnson will donate $15,000 to establish the scholarship fund. The amount is equal to a compensation increase Dr. Johnson is scheduled to receive for the district earning a Level 5 composite student growth score. The Hamilton County Board of Education included the incentive in Dr. Johnson’s contract when came to the district in 2017. Hamilton County Schools reached the Level 5 designation in student academic growth in the recent release of the 2019 state testing results by the Tennessee Department of Education.

“My mother taught my brothers and sisters and me many things, but the importance of education was at the very top of that list,” Johnson shared with the students. “She also taught us that life is not about what you get but what you give.”

Mrs. Johnson passed away the week Dr. Johnson interviewed to be superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. The memorial scholarship will honor her legacy as one of the first students to integrate the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Johnson credited the students, teachers, leaders, staff, parents, and community for the success of Hamilton County Schools. He thanked the gathered seniors for their commitment to excellence and challenged them to make the most of their senior year and their preparation for life after high school.

“I am appreciative of our teachers, leaders and you for what you did last year to make our school district successful,” added Johnson in his address to the Ooltewah seniors. “Because of those efforts, I am able to establish these scholarships in my mother’s honor.”

The scholarship fund will be administered through the Fund for Excellence and provide five scholarships for seniors in Hamilton County Schools. The recipients will be announced at the Superintendent’s Honors Banquet scheduled for April 2020. The banquet honors the top 10 percent of students in the district’s graduating class.

Detailed criteria and the application process for the LaBrenda Johnson Memorial Scholarship will be shared with high schools and seniors in the next few months.

Dr. Johnson addresses students

Photos: (Top) LaBrenda Johnson (Bottom) Dr. Bryan Johnson addresses seniors at Ooltewah High School establishing the LaBrenda Johnson Memorial Scholarships.