Hunter Johnson has forever made an impact on Liberty Christian School in Argyle. Coming to Liberty in 2003 as a fourth grader, Hunter was diagnosed with brain cancer last fall during his junior year.
It has been a tough battle, but after undergoing surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, Hunter continues to show the character of a true warrior.
On Friday, Sept. 9, Liberty will honor Hunter for his warrior spirit, declaring that day as “Hunter Johnson Day” and making him an honorary captain of the football game.
The Middle and Upper School students will all wear specially-made Hunter Johnson shirts, and if he is up to it, Hunter will throw the coin toss to start the game. The pep rally on Friday will be dedicated to Hunter, and participants in the game will all wear Hunter Johnson armbands.
Over the months, Liberty families have taken meals, supported in prayer, made school videos, sent cards, and visited him in the hospital. Bible classes have also reached out to Hunter, and a prayer calendar has also been created to remind the Liberty family to keep Hunter and his family in their prayers.
Hunter, who would be a senior this year, made many friends at Liberty, and teachers agree he was a student who was creative, caring, and involved.
Hunter’s fourth grade teacher, Sandy Lytle, was also new to Liberty his first year. Lytle said, “Watching Hunter grow into the young man he is has been such a pleasure. He touched my heart in an enormous way.
“I can still picture Hunter coming into the classroom with his big grin and cute freckles. After all of these years, he still has that grin, those freckles, and a delightful spirit about him. He is a light for all!”
Hunter was in the band and loved playing the trumpet. Band Director Scott Himel said, “Hunter had been accepted by another school and was in a great position to be in a nationally recognized marching band. He came to me and said he preferred to be at Liberty and be a part of building a program here and leaving a legacy for all future band students.
“He has an amazing servant’s heart and a pioneering spirit that influenced all of our band members and trumpet players.”
Teacher Lenette Lindsay had the opportunity to have Hunter for 10th grade English.
“I gave an extra credit project on Shakespeare, and Hunter chose to do a DVD video-taping of modern day occurrences that simulated some of the stories that Shakespeare wrote, and he wrapped up the project with a song he wrote about Shakespeare. Needless to say, his project was creative and entertaining.”
When asked, Hunter said he remembers teacher Sue Gallo making science fun. “She showed us a video that completely proved evolution was wrong, and that really stuck with me.”
He said he loved taking part in the cardboard race at school and enjoyed English in Nancy Perry’s class, as well as history in Missy Sharp’s class.
In addition to being in band, Hunter was also in choir, golf, and Builders Club.
When Hunter was asked what his favorite thing about Liberty was, he said, “I love that we get to talk about and learn about Jesus. My faith has grown so much! I also love the caring teachers, coaches, and great friends.
“I feel grateful and blessed by the support of my Liberty family. It helps so much to know that so many people are praying for me. All of the love and prayers help me focus on getting better instead of being sick. I want to thank everybody at Liberty.”
His mother, Karin, echoed his comments, “We are absolutely blown away by everyone’s kindness, generosity, and support. Everything that everyone is doing for our family is such an overwhelming blessing. Somehow I don’t feel we are deserving of all this … I am so incredibly grateful to everyone!”
Hunter even impacted Liberty parent Anna Kazemba who met him at Liberty’s fine arts extravaganza “Artist’s Garden” last spring, which is another favorite of Hunter’s.
Kazemba brought her 84-year-old father to sit at the front so he could see the show better and found a place by Hunter. Hunter, who had a walker, asked Kazemba’s dad if he wanted to sit on his walker because “it was a much more comfortable seat.” Kazemba’s dad, a retired college professor, was very interested in Hunter’s studies, and Kazemba said Hunter was very excited about the idea of coming back to school. “He was so peaceful, kind, and caring for my dad,” Kazemba said. “That night on the drive home, my dad and I talked about Hunter and the mark he had made in our hearts.”
Liberty is proud to have had Hunter as a student and dedicates the game to him, to honor him, encourage him, and remind him that the Liberty Warriors are cheering for him every step of the way.
Liberty students are encouraged to visit, text, e-mail, or Facebook Hunter during the next few weeks. He wants to hear from students and all of the exciting things that are happening at Liberty.