Marvel Emogene Johnson
Marvel Emogene “Jean” Johnson is known as a trailblazer in sports in Fairfax County Public Schools because of her leadership in coaching numerous sports, most notably field hockey.
Jean was born March 27, 1930 in Johnston County, North Carolina to the late Jenkins and Zettie Allen Johnston. She was the youngest of 10 children. After high school, Jean attended and graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. degree. Jean continued her education and earned an M.A. from East Carolina University. Jean began her teaching career in Olivia, North Carolina in elementary school before arriving in Fairfax County Public Schools to teach health and physical education at Fairfax High School. While there for three years, she coached softball and junior varsity basketball. She also taught the same subjects for three years at Marshall High School and coached varsity basketball and junior varsity softball. She was also the sponsor for cheerleading at Marshall.
The longest portion of Jean’s career was spent at Langley High School where she taught health and physical education and began coaching a variety of sports, including: varsity basketball (12 years); varsity field hockey (8 years); junior varsity field hockey (16 years); and girls track and field (5 years). Jean’s expertise was not limited to the local school or district as she served in a variety of professional roles. From 1968-70, she served as the Chairperson of the DC Board of Women Officials Association; 1968-69, Chairperson of Northern Region Assistant Athletic Directors; 1972-77, Secondary School Representative of the State Public Affairs Team, Chairperson of the State Nomination Committee, and the Virginia representative to the first National Conference on Secondary School Physical Education.
Jean’s honors include the 1985 Virginia High School League Certificate of Merit for outstanding service at the Virginia High School League (VHSL) State Championship in Field Hockey as she served as its director in 1979, 1980, 1982, and 1985. In addition, the Northern Region Field Hockey Coaches presented her with an Award of Appreciation for her leadership as the Northern Region Tournament Director for ten years. Jean’s experience and expertise was recognized by The Washington Post in an article in October, 1983 in which she is quoted on regional field hockey: “This is one of the best seasons I can ever remember for such close district races.” Langley High School honored Jean by naming the field hockey field in her name: The Jean Johnson Field Hockey Field. This action recognized her years of service and contributions to Langley, the district, and state.
Jean retired to Lake Waccamaw where she participated in numerous civic organizations. She was a member of Waccamaw Presbyterian Church. Jean died on December 8, 2013. She was 83 years old. She was preceded in death by her mother and father and her 10 brothers and sisters. She is survived by nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
It is an honor for NVADACA to award a scholarship in Jean’s name in recognition of her selfless service to the youth of Fairfax County Public Schools. Her leadership in sports was a hallmark of her illustrious career.