About our School's Namesake



Degrees and Certifications:

Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson was a native Texan and beloved public servant frequently hailed for his patriotism, commitment to our republic and strong conservative values, and efforts on behalf of the North Texas constituents he served. 

Sam, a decorated war hero, ranked among the few members of Congress to fight in combat. During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, he flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Throughout the Korean War, Sam flew 62 combat missions in his F-86, stationed just 25 miles from the front lines. Sam flew the solo and slot positions for the world-renowned Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying demonstration team in the F-100 super sabre. In the Vietnam War, while flying his 25th combat mission of his second tour of duty, his plane was shot down. Sam Johnson endured nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War, including being in the infamous Hanoi Hilton and 42 months in solitary confinement after his captors labeled him a "die-hard." He spent 72 days in leg stocks, 2.5 years in leg irons, and experienced severe starvation and torture. Sam served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 - 2018. In 2009 his peers recognized him as the "most admired" Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, in 2009 the prestigious Congressional Medal of Honor Society bestowed Sam their highest civilian accolade, the National Patriot Award, for his tireless work on behalf of the troops, veterans, and freedom.

His love of God and devotion to wife and family are also notable character qualities. Sam Johnson was married 65 years to the love of his life, Shirley Melton of Dallas. By his side, Shirley travelled with Sam each week to Washington D.C. so he could serve his constituents well. Everywhere they went they were a pair. It was never just Sam, it was always "Sam and Shirley." They had three children, ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren at the opening of Johnson Elementary.