PREP SPORTS: Port Angeles Athletic Director honored by Rep. Kilmer

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles High School Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson was recognized by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer for his work with high school athletics, Peninsula College and for local tribes.

Johnson, also a recipient of the 2016 Olympic League Athletic Director of the year award and an outstanding service award from the Washington Secondary School Athletic Administrators Association, said he didn’t realize at first he had received the honor as he heard about it after the fact. It left him speechless.

“I was locked up. On of my first reactions was I have to tell my family,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who has been in the Port Angeles education system since 1985 and has been an athletic director at the high school for six years, thanked the Peninsula administration and the Port Angeles School District board for the recognition.

“Part of the reason I’m able to do this is my [school board],” he said.

Johnson also is a Peninsula College Trustee and was nominated for the certificate from the Rural Community College Alliance by Peninsula College Vice President Deborah Frazier.

It was read into the congressional record by Kilmer in September

In part, Kilmer’s recognition reads:

“I rise today to recognize Dwayne Johnson of Port Angeles, WA, an educator and a proud member of the Makah and Lummi tribes, and to congratulate him on receiving the Trustee of the Year Award from the Rural Community College Alliance.

“Between 2008 and 2012, when the college faced the challenge of an unprecedented increase in enrollment amid cuts to funding and increased tuition rates, Mr., Johnson and his fellow board members provided critical support to the staff and administration of Peninsula College.

“When Peninsula College had to navigate difficult budget decisions, Mr. Johnson was key in engaging the local community to explain the need for some of these changes.

“As a graduate of Port Angeles High School, I’ve personally seen the investment he makes in young people. It’s a difference-maker. As athletic director, Mr. Johnson encourages his students to strive for excellence in both sports and education, urging them to ultimately reach for the next bar in their educational journey. Many of these students pursue higher education at Peninsula College.

Tribal member

“Furthermore, as a member of the Makah and Lummi tribes, Mr. Johnson has devoted his energies to projects — including the building of the House of Learning Longhouse — that have encouraged more members of local tribes to participate in the life of Peninsula College.

“As a result of his efforts, enrollment rates of Native American students at Peninsula College have never been higher.”

Johnson, who oversees the scheduling, coaching hires, eligibility requirements and much more for a total of 21 sports, said his philosophy of being an AD is to “teach kids how to compete.

“You have to compete in everything, from the workforce to the classroom, to the playing field or court or pool,” he said.

Johnson, who is also on the board of directors for a foundation that provides support to Native women, was especially proud of the honor as a tribal member.

“The local tribes in our area have a passion for the education of our young ones,” he said.

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