|The Hamilton County League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters of Hamilton County is proud to honor Sharon Johnston in the Plaza of Heroines. Sharon deserves a brick in her honor as she is a credit to her profession and community by bringing natural science into our everyday lives. She has been an outstanding science teacher for many years inspiring students to learn how to care for the environment and to become environmental activists.
Sharon McCormick was born November 28, 1938 on a farm in Bloomfield, Nebraska. Her family moved to Iowa where she was educated in one room rural schools and then in Sioux City. Sharon graduated from Briar Cliff College with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. She later earned a Master degree in earth science from Indiana University. Sharon began teaching in 1964 in California. She has also taught in Waterloo and West Des Moines, Iowa. Sharon has been sharing her enthusiasm for science with students in the Webster City schools since 1977. Currently Sharon lives in Webster City with her husband Paul a fellow nature enthusiast. She is the mother of three children - Scott, Krista and Trina Mahan and has three grandchildren.
Sharon Johnston has empowered her family, her students and her community to respect their environment and take an active role in protecting the earth and its resources. She credits her appreciation of nature and awareness of the importance of the wise use of natural resources to her early life on a farm during a time when money and resources were in short supply. As a teacher she tries to instill her students with the appreciation of our earth and its resources. She encourages students to investigate local environmental problems through research on site visits, interviews, data collecting, and presentations of findings. She feels it is most important that students come to their own conclusions and determine their own plan of action based on their findings.
It was because of such research that a group of students at the Webster City Middle School decided recycling was a critical issue in Webster City. They created a club The Young Environmentalists and set out to tackle recycling. For seven years Sharon has been the sponsor of the Young Environmentalists which has grown to about 90 active members. It is safe to say that the successful recycling program in Webster city might not have happened without Mrs. Johnston and the Young Environmentalists. The Hamilton County Solid Waste commissioner states "Sharon's interest knowledge dedication and service as chairperson of the Webster City Recycling Task Force helped lead us to one of the best recycling efforts in the state." When the League of Women Voters sponsored an area-wide Toxic Cleanup Day it was the Young Environmentalist who took charge of public education. The Club has received a grant to complete home energy audits and has audited over 150 homes in the community. Through the Young Environmentalists Club students discover for themselves that better care of the earth is critical and that they must become involved. They instill their enthusiasm for environmental concern into the community conscience as Sharon has inspired them.