Orange County (FL) School Board, District 2
Born to a working-class family in Aguadilla, Johanna Lopez relocated to Orlando in 1998. Johanna worked several jobs, but after volunteering and serving as a substitute teacher at Colonial High School she became a full-time Spanish teacher. As Colonial’s AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature teacher, Johanna has demonstrated great care for her students and shown her competence as an educator. Through her role as both the girls’ varsity volleyball coach and Hispanic Honor Society sponsor, Johanna and her students registered over 500 students to vote in just five days. She is a member of the Classroom Teachers Association, the Florida National Organization of Women and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, she became the first Latina OCPS Teacher of the Year, which allowed her to interact with education leaders at a state and national level.
Johanna is running for the School Board because she strongly believes it is time for our education system to change, and that such positive change can only be delivered by strong leaders who have ample experience inside and outside the classroom. Johanna is fighting for greater transparency and giving a voice to those students who come from marginalized backgrounds. As a teacher and single mother of four, Johanna recognizes how critical it is for every student to get educated in a safe environment - free from bullying, guns, violence, and discrimination. She wants to increase funding for counseling services and mental health initiatives with the goal of improving our students’ well-being. She will oppose any proposal to arm teachers and school personnel. Overall, her campaign is about empowering the entire district.
In addition, Johanna is the founder of Familias Presentes: Estudiantes Excelentes, an online forum that informs Latino parents about the local school system that focuses on making it easier for Latino parents to learn about the educational building. When hundreds of students came into the school from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma, Johanna made sure to welcome them in her classroom and became the Sponsor for Latinos in Action, an organization that seeks to build the next generation Latino leaders. When the community was under attack, my students and she worked with local organizations to register over 500 students to vote in just one week. She has worked with different local organizations to advocate for DACAmented and undocumented students, always focusing on ensuring theirs and their families’ safety. Johanna is unapologetic in the fight to empower the next generation of Americans.