New principal in Manawa
Johnson to wear several hats
By Holly Neumann
The Manawa School District has hired a new secondary principal.
Michelle Johnson will replace Abe El Manssouri, who will step down after the 2022-23 school year after one year as principal of Manawa Middle School and Little Wolf High School.
“Protect the pack is my mantra,” Johnson said. “Our students and staff at Little Wolf High/Manawa Middle School have become my family. I cannot be more honored and excited to join this team as a leader willing to serve, work alongside them and partner with our families to best support our students.”
Johnson has 22 years of experience in education, including the last two in Manawa as a reading specialist.
She recalled asking her 4-year-old daughter what she wanted to be.
“When we talked about goals, I shared that I wanted to be a principal one day because I enjoy supporting students to discover their best selves and carve a place out of this world,” Johnson said. “I have a picture she drew of me with the title ‘My Principal Mom.’ It has always been a reminder of what has led me to this opportunity today.”
Johnson said there will be many celebrations, crucial conversations and milestones as schools’ new principal.
“Through visionary leadership, a compassionate outlook and the positive momentum of centralizing students first always, I bring the fusion of academic knowledge with student-centered decision making to the Manawa Wolf family,” she said.
Johnson’s first priority is to learn more about the students, community and staff.
“My No. 1 goal is to build strong relationships with our community and family members to foster a safe, student-centered school with various opportunities to grow, celebrate and evolve as we find the best ways to guide, support and advocate for our students,” she said.
Johnson will also remain as the district’s reading specialist and curriculum director.
“When you have a passionate drive and a support staff who are student-focused, as well as a student body full of potential and talent, the role with many hats all lead to what is best for our students,” she said.
She thanked the staff, students and school board for the life-changing opportunity.
“I truly feel at home in the Manawa community and school district,” she said.