Taryn Johnson with her family

Support Employee of the Year

Taryn Whitney Johnson was named Heartland Middle School’s 2023 Support Employee of the Year. She works as the Building Manager at Heartland. She is the second oldest of four children to Russell and Judi Johnson. Her siblings are older sister Elicia, younger brother Jeay and little sister Kyley. Her family has always been her greatest supporters and best friends. They take care of each other with love and laughter. Taryn was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Edmond most of her life. She is a proud graduate of Memorial High School like her father, aunts and cousins before her. (Go Dogs!) She enjoys reading, video games, gardening and loves women’s soccer.

Taryn initially came to work at Edmond Public Schools for what she thought would be a year, but ended up staying because she loves the people, the atmosphere and the work. She became very passionate about doing as much as she could to take care of and give back to the teachers and staff in her building that year. She realized that she had found a job that helps and supports the community and she absolutely loves showing up every day to do it. She feels truly blessed because she now knows that this is where she is meant to be and she is doing what she enjoys. Heartland and Edmond Public Schools have become her second home and family.

Taryn states that she never expected to be nominated for this award and she feels so honored. She says that she looks forward to continuing her work with this fabulous community for years to come.

Assistant Principal Laura Brown says that “Taryn is simply amazing. Without her, our school would not function. She is willing to help in any way possible. I’ve never been afraid to ask Taryn for help because she is approachable, understanding, and supportive. We really are truly blessed to have Taryn as a member of the Heartland Family!”

Other teachers and staff at Heartland had the following to say about Taryn:

Taryn is always so cheerful and happy to help! She is a great support to our teachers and students. I feel like we would be lost without her!

Taryn empowers our students to succeed by making our site a safe learning environment. The safety of her students and staff is her top priority.

Taryn contributes to all aspects of the EPS Mission. Belonging – She makes each of us staff members feel valued, comfortable and safe. If your room is hot or the trash is overflowing, Taryn would be there in a heartbeat to fix the issue. Collaboration – Taryn works with Jennifer (Jana King Staff) as well as us staff in the building through communication of when she will not be in the building or if there is important information for us all to be aware of. Integrity – Tayrn exemplifies honesty when she hasn’t completed a task or the task being asked of her is outside of her scope. When we need the air fixed in our room, she was upfront about the process and worked diligently to complete the task as she could. Hope – Taryn always has a smile and is encouraging when you chat with her.

Taryn goes above and beyond to accommodate teachers and students needs. She cleans up bathroom messes (She is a superhero), when kids get sick, and helps fix our rooms.

Taryn is present at school and performs inspections to make sure everything is running as it should. She encourages us to be proactive with reaching out to her if we see an issue or need anything.


Heartland Middle School’s Support Employees of the Year

Year Name Position
2020 Zigo Tesfai Cafeteria Manager
2021 Becky Rutherford Classroom Assistant
2022 Debbie Murray Media Assistant