Taft Elementary School will have a familiar face in charge when it transitions to a kindergarten through fifth grade school this fall as Phil Johnson has been named the school’s new principal.
Johnson, who has been a student, teacher and administrator in Neenah, is the principal at Roosevelt Elementary and Alliance Charter School. He will fulfill those duties through the end of the school year before starting at Taft on July 1.
“Phil will provide a smooth transition for our students and staff in a new setting next fall at Taft,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Pfeiffer. “His experience and loyalty to our District and community are tremendous assets.”
Johnson is a Neenah graduate and began his teaching career in the District in 1985-86 at Tullar Elementary. He also taught at Lakeview Elementary and one year at Taft before serving as a principal at Lakeview and Spring Road Elementary in addition to his current role at Roosevelt and Alliance.
“It’s bittersweet because I love what I do and the relationships I’ve formed,” Johnson said. “But it’s always been a dream of mine to open a school and start from ground level, building a culture and a community. We will have great teachers, families and kids at Taft and I’ll just do my part to put them in a place to succeed.”
Taft housed the District’s early childhood and additional kindergarten classes for the past five years. The building opened in 1956 and had an addition built in 1970.
The school board opted to restructure Taft beginning in 2014-15 to keep more students closer to their neighborhood schools and keep class sizes low.
“Phil has done a wonderful job in his role at Roosevelt and Alliance, forming many strong relationships with those families. We look forward to bringing in a new principal to build on the foundation Phil has established.”