Senior Profile: Talented Ledyard student likes to be productive

Ledyard High School senior Britta Johnson rehearses along with the rest of the Women's Chorus Thursday during the final rehearsal before the year-end choral concert at Ledyard High School.

Ledyard - As president of the National Honor Society, president of the music council, a volunteer, an afterschool tutor, a drum major, a chorus member, a baby sitter, an employee, an artist, an actress, a girlfriend, a sister and a daughter, Britta Johnson has her academic and extracurricular plate full.

But, through it all, she somehow still manages to ask for seconds.

"I'm not a procrastinator. I'd say that's one thing that helps me get stuff done, so I don't have a problem juggling a lot of things," Johnson, 18, said one recent afternoon. "I don't like sitting and not doing anything. I like to be productive."

A lover of languages, Johnson recently won a gold medal in the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers poetry contest for her recitation of a 30-line French poem.

Her French teacher, Renée Sylvestre, had enough confidence in her three-year student to give her a "very difficult poem" to learn.

"She went to iTunes and found three different versions of people reciting the poem, decided which one she liked best, purchased the audio and continuously listened to it," Sylvestre said. "Even if you didn't know French, you would have enjoyed listening to Britta's recitation."

Johnson's family is French, and she said she "loves the language."

"My first year of French, I loved it immediately, it just came to me," she said. "I got to really practice it when we went on our class trip to Québec in February."

She is conversational in French and would like to learn Russian and Arabic if she enters into the International Justice and Security concentration at the University of New Haven.

Her interest in criminal justice stems primarily from her love of martial arts.

Involved in martial arts classes since she was 5, Johnson earned her black belt in karate at 11, and as she got older, helped teach younger students how to deal with being bullied and taught women self-defense techniques.

Johnson said that because of her interest in working with children, she would like to become a school resource officer or a DARE officer.

"I like knowing that I can help keep people safe, and doing the seminars with the kids was really important to me," she said. "For me, it was always martial arts, that came before anything."

'A people person'

When most of her peers were dreading being told by their parents to fill out job applications, Johnson had already interviewed and secured a job, so that on the day she turned 16, she could start work.

Johnson said she is in her element working as a waitress at Pizzetta in Mystic.

"I love my job. I'm definitely a people person so I like interacting with people and just love seeing all the people coming in and out," she said.

"It's a busy job, you're always moving and always doing something."

Johnson's NHS adviser Kurt Jannke said Johnson is "highly motivated," and that she easily adapts to her environment and surroundings.

"She's organized, knows how to get things done and can think on her feet and solve problems," he said.

"One of her greatest traits is that she's well-respected by her peers. She's friendly, she's happy, she's motivated, and her peers and teachers respect her. A lot of people are willing to support her because of that."


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