A hotel all her own

Grace Johnson has eye on managing her own hotel some day

By HANNAH JOHNSON – Stillwater Gazette

Grace Johnson might like hotels more than the average person.

The St. Croix Preparatory Academy senior will be attending the University of Denver – not to be mistaken for the University of Colorado-Denver – to study hospitality management. One day, Johnson hopes to manage her own hotel.

She already has some mangement experience. She spent the last four years on the SCPA student council (president and vice president the last two years respectively), restarted a tutoring program at the school and is part of the National Honor Society.

Not only has she been busy tutoring and running the student council, she is also an avid camper and is a second-degree black belt in karate.

Johnson will be one of 21 students graduating in SCPA’s third graduation ceremony on Sunday.

Gazette: What’s fondest memory from high school?

Johnson: We are a very small class, only about 25 of us, so we’ve become like a family and we all have English class together, which is our only class with all 25 of us. It’s a lot of fun. That’s something I’ll always remember.

Gazette: What’s been your biggest challenge during high school?

Johnson: There were a lot of challenges. Two I’ll give. One was the college search and choosing a college, it was very difficult to narrow in on what schools I wanted to go to and then more academically some of the honors chemistry and biology classes were killer. Those were hard.

Gazette: Do you have a most embarrassing moment in high school?

Johnson: Oh boy, actually I have fallen a lot throughout my years here. I’ve definitely fallen up the stairs, down the stairs carrying books, slipped in the hallway when they’re mopping. I’m definitely pretty clumsy.

Gazette: So how did you decide to major in hospitality management?

Johnson: I dream of managing my own hotel someday. It started first when I took a trip to Switzerland three summers ago. Our hotel we stayed at was right next to a big hospitality management school and I fell in love with the idea of someday owning my own hotel. I love to travel. I love business and economics and statistics, so maybe one day I’ll own my own hotel. Maybe somewhere tropical.

Gazette: What drew you to pursue that career?

Johnson: I definitely like to think like a guest and what would make their experience best. The little details that you must think of when you’re running your own hotel; I like to pay attention to detail.

Gazette: What has it been like on the student council? It must be time consuming, so what did you work on?

Johnson: That has been a great experience, great for developing leadership and I’ve liked that. It was far more time consuming than I thought, especially on top of homework. We were in charge of school dances and we did Spirit Week and we worked with the school board on events and we had movie nights, and dodge ball games.

Gazette: Were you involved with anything else?

Johnson: National Honor Society, which was my junior and senior year. I was the head of peer tutoring, so I helped create the system we’re using, because we’re still a fairly new school. I matched up tutors with tutorees, so that was a really fun experience and I tutored some (students) myself too.

Gazette: Was there already a tutoring program in place at the school or did you start that up?

Johnson: There was one that kind of died off the year before, so I kind of brought it back and refined it a little, so there was a small foundation.

Gazette: What do you do for fun when you’re not doing homework, serving on the student council or National Honor Society?

Johnson: I love the outdoors. I’m a very outdoorsy girl. I do a lot of backpacking and hiking trips. When I’m not doing that I’m doing karate. That’s an activity I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.