Bill Text: MS SR6 | 2019 | Regular Session | Engrossed

Bill Title: Recognize music education legacy of Mary "Winkie" Johnson at Leakesville Elementary School.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-03-20 - Immediate Release [SR6 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-SR6-Engrossed.html


2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) DeBar

Senate Resolution 6

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, for half a century, the halls of Leakesville Elementary School have had a special lady to brighten the minds and hearts of students through her gift of music.  Mary "Winkie" Johnson has spent 49 years at Leakesville Elementary School, and continues to share her love of education and music with all the students who go through the halls of the school; and

     WHEREAS, Mary Johnson is a Leakesville native born to the late Reverend and Mrs. T.T. (Tom) Johnson.  She said her parents inspired her to keep pressing her way through the obstacles standing in the path of her goals.  She was a graduate of Greene Vocational High School, the same place she returned to teach.  Mary continued her education at Jones County Junior College, and not stopping there, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from The University of Southern Mississippi.  "My parents gave me the opportunity to become an educator and to obtain such a successful musical and educational career," Johnson said; and

     WHEREAS, she taught at Leakesville Elementary School for 32 years before retiring in 2002.  That retirement was short-lived as she soon returned to the school to share the joy of music with students and work as a Tutor for students needing the extra help.  She said her love of music and concern for the youth in the community was a driving factor to her return; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. Johnson has seen many students in the halls of Leakesville Elementary School.  She has taught a few that have returned to teach alongside her.  Even with the many children she has taught throughout the years, she remembers.  She loves to see the children of children who sat in her classroom in her beginning years of teaching; and

     WHEREAS, Leakesville Elementary School is not the only place Johnson has left her mark.  She has been sharing her gift of song and music with the community for 65 years.  Mary had an innate talent that she discovered as a young girl, and she had the support of her family.  Johnson seemed to have found her calling and whole-heartedly accepted it; and

     WHEREAS, at the age of four, she began playing piano for Sunday School at Mason Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.  She eventually became the Pianist for the youth and combined choirs as well.  She cultivated her special gift and shared it with the community, something she has continued to do.  Johnson has given decades of faithful service to the Lord having been musician of many area churches, and churches in Frankville and Millry, Alabama.  She has been a part of Mississippi and Alabama Singing Unions, including local Greene and George County Unions.  Mary has played and sang for many civic events and has been both a comforting and joyous voice at funerals, revivals, weddings and church and chapel programs; and

     WHEREAS, Mary said looking back over her musical journey, she has one song that has her heart and soul, "If I can Help Somebody":  "If I can help somebody as I travel along, If I can help somebody with a word or a song, If I can help somebody to right and not wrong, Then, my living shall not be in vain"; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we pay tribute to the talent and contributions of a Music Educator who has brought joy and inspiration to her school, her community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby recognize and commend the extraordinary musical legacy of Mary "Winkie" Johnson who has dedicated 49 years of music education at Leakesville Elementary School and made a lasting cultural contribution to the Leakesville Community and extend to Mary and her family our best wishes for future success.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Mrs. Mary Johnson, forwarded to the Greene County Board of Education, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.