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Forney ISD To Break Ground on New O.B Johnson Elementary; Set to Open in Fall 2022

On Thursday, May 6, at 5:30 p.m. the Forney Independent School District Board of Trustees and district teachers and administrators will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new O.B. Johnson Elementary School. All of the students and staff located at the current O.B. Johnson Elementary School, will open to the new facility in the Overland Grove subdivision off of FM 548 in fall 2022.  

“We are very honored to move into our new learning space taking with us Johnson Elementary's school spirit and culture for the 2022-23 school year,” said O.B. Johnson Elementary School Principal Nancy McElroy. “Johnson Elementary holds a very special place in our hearts because of our family environment which includes awesome students, staff, and families. We are looking forward to a new and innovative learning space where our students can grow as learners and collaborate with one another as they prepare for future success.” 

The new Johnson Elementary will have flexible learning spaces, a “Patio” for outdoor learning, a library media Hub, and more. Wynne Jackson donated property in the Overland Grove subdivision for the new facility.

“I believe that the main tradition at Johnson Elementary School is that each student is important and valued,” said retired educator and former Johnson Elementary Principal Georgia Power “Every student can be called by their name, not ‘hey you’ so that each student has a sense of belonging. Respect has always been modeled and nurtured at Johnson, and I am positive that the new school will hold the same respect and attention for each student.”

O.B. Johnson, came to Forney in the summer of 1956 with his wife, Merle, and son, Jim. Prior to coming to Forney, he had served as superintendent of schools in McLeod, Queen City, and Marietta, Texas, and had been involved in education for more than 20 years.

He attended schools in Atlanta, Texas, and graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from East Texas State Teachers’ College in Commerce, Texas.

Mr. Johnson’s 16-year career as the Forney ISD superintendent included building the first new elementary school in Forney in 1968, the building which served as Forney Intermediate School before becoming O. B. Johnson Elementary. He built the first school cafeteria in the history of Forney ISD and also made additions to the existing high school without the need for a tax increase. 

In 1972, Mr. Johnson retired from academic life, and he passed away in October of 1987.

The new school building will be one of three new elementary schools the District will open over the next two years. The first elementary school that will open at the start of the 2021-2022 school year will be Griffin Elementary School in the Devonshire subdivision. Griffin Elementary is named in honor of Jerry and Helen Griffin. Jerry served as Pastor of the Forney First Baptist Church for 33 years and Helen was a teacher in Forney ISD for 27 years.

The other elementary school that is scheduled to open with O.B.Johnson Elementary School at the start of the 2022-2023 school year will be Willett Elementary in the Gateway subdivision. 

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new O.B. Johnson Elementary School will be held on the new school site in the Overland Groves subdivision located at 10835 Walnut Lane in Forney. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 6.

For more information about the Forney Independent School District, contact the Forney ISD Marketing and Communications Department at 469-762-4100.

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