High School Crushes, Philadelphia Sports, and a Baby: The World of Mr. Matthew Johnson

Nathan Ko '23, Staff Writer

One may often find him in his colorful dress shirt and his Chelsea boots examining The Odyssey with freshmen in Chaffee Hall, conversing with colleagues in the Kravis Center, complaining about the frustrations of being a Philadelphia sports fan, and teaching computer science students in the Pearse Hub for Innovation, but Mr. Matthew Johnson—English, Computer Science, and Mathematics faculty member—was once a student in a boarding school as well.
Attending the Peddie School in New Jersey, Mr. Johnson was a student who was often “a little moody and dramatic.” He had the concerns of a typical high school student.
“I was just stewing over crushes,” he said while reflecting on his high school life.
He described himself as a curious student who was interested in English and poetry. In fact, sometimes, he would ignore the prompts of his English assignments and write about what he wanted to write about.
Music was a large part of his high school life. When asked about his favorite music during that period, he talked about his interest in early 2000’s indie rock. His favorite album at that time was The Glow Pt. 2 by The Microphones, which contained some “funky ambiance.”
From high school to now, Mr. Johnson continues to involve himself in sports. After being a two-year captain of the crew team as a lightweight rower, he joined the cycling team in Middlebury College. Now, he enjoys running on the Loomis Chaffee campus on sunny days.
He is also a huge Philadelphia sports fan. Even though he grew up in New Jersey, he was born in Philadelphia and his extended family is from Philadelphia. Currently, he is frustrated by the Philadelphia 76ers due to the lack of a reliable substitute to support Joel Embiid, whom Mr. Johnson believes is the best player in the league right now. He is also frustrated by the hate on Philadelphia sports teams, as he believes there exists a double standard when it comes to Philadelphia sports.
Before teaching at Loomis Chaffee, Mr. Johnson was a teaching fellow at the Lawrenceville School and then taught there for an additional year. Then, he taught computer science at a charter school in East Boston. When he was looking to move in with Ms. Doyle, he decided to come to the Island because “it was a really good fit,” he said.
Having his 16-month-old daughter Franny has also changed his time at Loomis. Born in January 2021, when Loomis went online, she was very much isolated. As things are opening up more, he enjoys watching Franny explore the campus and interact with other students.
At Loomis, Mr. Johnson holds a myriad of titles. As an English teacher, a worker in the computer design engineering department, a computer science teacher, an associate director for digital computational learning, and the academic technology coordinator, Mr. Johnson holds a myriad of titles at Loomis.
As someone who teaches different subjects, he understands the difficulty of task-switching, especially during terms in which he taught English and computer science back to back. Hence, he carries a unique understanding as a teacher of students going from one class to another.
“That is something that I keep in mind about my students, and how my students might be in different brain spaces at the start of every class,” he said. Mr. Johnson’s diverse range of work on campus ushers a cheerful polytonality full of playful and experimental tunes like those in his favorite music albums.