Gateway: Living

Students are seeing double at Key Peninsula Middle School

Identical twins Megan Emm Wickstrom, left, and Morgan Emm Johnson are thrilled to be working together for the first time as teachers at Key Peninsula Middle School.
Identical twins Megan Emm Wickstrom, left, and Morgan Emm Johnson are thrilled to be working together for the first time as teachers at Key Peninsula Middle School. Special to the Gateway

Twin sisters Morgan Emm Johnson and Megan Emm Wickstrom, 32, are thrilled that they can work together for the first time as teachers at Key Peninsula Middle School.

Andrea Bowman, assistant principal at Key Peninsula, taught at the same middle school both girls attended in seventh grade. She laughed a little when she found out they were both teachers.

“They had people to inspire them,” Bowman said, and she took it as a compliment that their experiences in school were positive and helped encourage their career choice.

Both women are bubbly and energetic, Bowman said, and while they may not have had experience teaching middle school, they had what was needed to be teachers.

“They’re like never-ending buckets of energy,” she said.

The pair graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in 2008 and received their teaching certificates for kindergarten through eighth in 2010. They graduated with their master’s in 2011. The twins started their careers as student-teachers at Artondale Elementary.

Johnson and Wickstrom love teaching for many reasons, but the biggest one is the impact they can make in students’ lives on a daily basis.

Johnson loves making connections with students and “having that light come on, but really having them want to aspire to be something more.”

Wickstrom enjoys being a positive role model for students, and she put an emphasis on being able to support kids who need it and making sure they feel wanted at school.

Both teachers are trying to bring in technology to the classroom as well to help teach students a different way.

To help bring technology into her science class, Wickstrom says the school is using an online science curriculum called Amplify. She uses this to help teach her sixth-graders about environmental science.

The curriculum shows students the impact different factors have on the environment, such as adding cars and people or taking away vegetation from a farm.

“Kids are able to understand the footprint and environmental impact that they’re placing,” she said.

Johnson, a physical education teacher, is currently working with the Peninsula School District to bring in technology resources for students, such as iPads with apps on them to help each student track their own growth when it comes to their physical health.

“Some students work better with visuals,” Johnson said.

Bowman said the sisters have always cared and looked out for others even when they were in middle school, so it’s no surprise to see them doing this now.

The sisters both taught at elementary schools previously with Johnson at Kitsap Lake and Wickstrom at Crown Hill, but jumped at the chance to work together in a middle school setting to experience working with students at a different level.

The twins don’t plan on stopping at teaching, though. They both want to make even bigger impacts on the lives of teachers and students in curriculum.

“We like working with kids but we really want to make a profound impact with the district,” Wickstrom said.

Working in curriculum, they would see curriculum adoptions for the district, implementation, and working with setting up professional development.

Johnson said once she moves into curriculum, she wants to help support teachers and give them the resources they need to help their students.

“I would like to have the impact of inspiring teachers to make a greater difference than they already do,” she said.

Wickstrom wants to help more teachers think outside of the box and bring their students to a new level.

“Right now, technology is so up and coming that a lot of teachers have a hard time incorporating it because there’s so much out there, so if we can provide them with the support and ability to do that, that would help,” she said.

Johnson always knew she wanted to teach, but Wickstrom was unsure of what she wanted to do, so she decided to follow her sister to education, and they haven’t looked back.