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Lasting Impression

Former Student Keeps Close Ties With Johnson, a Mentor

When Petty Officer First Class Lewis Corona retires from the U.S. Navy at the end of the month, he’ll have his favorite teacher at his side.

Mary “The Fox” Johnson, a teacher at Ardmore Middle School, taught Petty Officer Corona in sixth grade, but the two have remained friends to this day, and she’ll be the guest speaker at his retirement ceremonies.
Petty Officer Corona said speakers are usually a commanding officer or family member, but, for him, she’s been his mentor from the beginning.

“To me, that says more than a manager in the service,” Petty Officer Corona said.
“When a student leaves the classroom, technically, her responsibility is done, but she takes that extra step.
“Her classroom is the whole world.”

Petty Officer Corona, awith a focus in aviation warfare avionics, joined the Navy in 1999, participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, then worked in Denver as a recruiter, an in-flight technician and an instructor.
Of all his Navy occupations, he said he enjoys working as an instructor the most.

“It’s interesting watching them go from not knowing anything, fresh out of high school, to working on a $43 million aircraft,” Petty Officer Corona said. “You just let them go.”

Mrs. Johnson said she’s given many speeches and introduced former students during formal events, but this marks the first time she’s given a speech like the one she will give at Petty Officer Corona’s retirement ceremonies.

“To see that growth in this person, to plant a seed it takes a while for it to grow and to flourish,” Mrs. Johnson commented. ....To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper