In Memoriam: Paul Johnson
April 9, 2020
The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) is incredibly sad to share the passing of Paul Johnson, ACC’s Multimedia Manager of 12 years.
In 2018 we interviewed him about his work and he shared his love of “finding the connection between technology and instruction in the classroom.” Paul said that he enjoyed the people he worked with, ACC’s “positive impact on our community,” and knowing that “Someday [his] children will take a class at ACC.” Paul always found joy in learning new technologies with his team of highly skilled and dedicated employees.
Paul liked hiking the Green Belt with his wife, Amber, and their children, and spending time gardening. He loved a good story and finding ways to have a laugh at work. We’ll miss him.
Colleagues are encouraged to post memories of Paul Johnson in the comments below.
Here are a few we’ve already collected:
“I knew Paul for many years and always admired his wonderful work ethic, commitment to excellence in service, and unending positivity in all that he took on. He was a role model in leadership for his staff, his peers and the supervisors he had through the years. I am grateful he was part of our TLED team — he will be missed by many, not just in TLED but throughout the college.” -Susan M. Thomason, AVP Instructional Services
“Deepest condolences to his friends and family. Back in my Facdev days Paul was my tech partner that helped make ACC’s General Assembly and other project magic happen! He was one of the nicest, smartest, can-do people I know.” -Christina Michura, Associate Dean of Student Affairs
“I always enjoyed working with him: he was always willing to help with a smile on his face. He will be missed; rest in peace.” -Leah Jensen, Business Analyst
“Paul Johnson was a technology integrator. Most people don’t realize how much he was responsible for ACC’s classroom technology. I was the director but he was the manager that made it happen. His hard work made me look good to the administration so many times. He could tackle a project and bring it to fruition almost overnight. He was not only responsible for the technology infrastructure at South Austin, Round Rock, Highland, Elgin, Hays, Cypress Creek, and San Gabriel, he also upgraded and maintained the classrooms on the older campuses. He also ran the technology at the general assemblies and the recordings of the ACC Board of Trustees Meetings. He even overhauled the technology in the ACC Board Room. I know I’m making it sound like he was Superman but he also ran the audio at the ACC campus groundbreakings and open houses. He was truly on ACC unsung heroes. RIP, Buddy. You’ve made a major impact on how students are educated in Central Texas.” -Herb Coleman, Adjunct Faculty
“He was so laid back and a total jokester and at the same time completely dedicated to his work and finding creative solutions for our teaching and learning spaces at ACC. I’ll miss his infectious smile.” -Courtney Grams, Faculty Communications Director
“It’s an easy contest – Paul Johnson was by far the best boss I’ve ever had: friendly, easy to talk to, straightforward, knowledgeable, and a tireless advocate for the needs of his team. His radical empathy and sense of solidarity with each of us on the TLED Multimedia/Install crew never seemed to waiver, and undoubtedly shaped us into better workers and kinder people. Watching him sit down and program or work on some back-end element of technology always amazed me. My first week at ACC he found out I grew up in a rural Ohio community and he wove me tales of his rural adolescence just south of the Ohio River. We also bonded over the fact that he was a graduate of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio – a place I frequented and often hiked around. Too, I always admired the way his dedication to service and progressing the greater good bled through into his work life. Thank you for inspiring me to integrate my values with my labor, and for being a true servant leader.” -Ethan Roberts, Media Technology Specialist
“Paul was the best boss I’ve ever had, and it’s not even close. There are so many things I could say about Paul here at ACC. He always had our backs, he would do his best to set us up for success in any situation, he had what seemed like an encyclopedic knowledge of all technology and his ability to put together a classroom or event of any size in his head in what seemed like minutes was incredible. What I’ll remember most about Paul though, is how much he cared. If you ran into him at a campus and he asked “How’s it going?” it wasn’t strictly about whatever project or event you might be working on, he wanted to make sure we were ok in our personal lives as well. He enjoyed hearing about our lives outside of work as much as he enjoyed sharing his own with us.” -Jay Brooks, Technology Specialist
“I was not on Paul’s team but I will say I remember one day late on a Friday I reported a classroom projector problem at HLC I could not resolve and Paul, busy hands-on manager that he was, showed up to fix it himself, then afterwards stopped by the office to relax a little and chat. I remember he always spoke highly of his team. He was very proud of his team and the work they do. One of my last times meeting him he expressed his joy of living in the moment rock climbing with his sons. My condolences to his family and to his team.” -JT Tyler, Faculty Instructional Support Specialist
“The A/V Installer part of Paul’s team has come together to contribute this remembrance of him:
Paul was the boss that if you saw him or heard him talking (& inevitably laughing), you reached out, took the stairs, or texted him to see if he had a minute. You wanted to see him. He was exceptional at hiring & building a team full of very talented people. His leadership style supported us to be able to work both independently & come together as a team to support ACC as the list of accomplishments chronicled by Herb Coleman shows.
Paul was an inspirational & positive force who’s down to earth energy made knowing him & working alongside him a benefit to our lives. We will always be honored to have had Paul as our manager. He was truly a blessing in our lives & we will always miss him. Paul was a very kind person & able to help anyone who needed help. He made sure we had a safe work environment with the proper tools & training to get the job done. We learned many things from him & he even made learning Crestron programming fun. Our team will always remember him for tacos on corn tortillas & coffee which he liked for breakfast or lunch. Paul would say, “I’m always hungry for tacos.” If one of us lost a silly bet with him–you owed him a taco & if he would owe you one if he lost!
Paul made our world a better place and it is so very hard to lose him because he is still so needed. Our hearts, our thoughts, & our love go out to his wife, Amber, his sons, & his family. RIP boss.”
Sincerely, Osmundy, Marcus, Cathy, & Victor
“I have had the pleasure of working with Paul for the last nine years. He was super laid back and a genuinely kind fellow. I remember he made an exception to the rules and allowed a video conference call for my initial interview as I was out of state, a service that thanks to Paul is now commonplace at ACC. He was a fantastic supervisor and a natural leader, avoiding drama at all costs. He had the intuition to put together teams of people that he could trust and who trusted him, to delegate tasks effectively, and the faith and courage to step back and let those teams work independently. Paul made me feel appreciated as a team member and that has been invaluable. I don’t know how he did it, managing teams with such a wide range of technical expertise in such an effortless way, an expert problem solver. He was always extremely supportive in both work and personal matters, pulling me aside and asking how I was doing if we had not spoken in a while, a truly caring individual who put family and happiness first. He will be sorely missed by his teams and by ACC. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this difficult time.” -Stephen Orsak, Media Technology Specialist