March Alumnae Spotlight, Johanna Hochhalter Logan, Merry Mac of 2000

In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
Before I began school at Ursuline, I was a young student who was often afraid to take risks, speak up, or be in the spotlight. I didn’t know what it meant to be a leader. While I was in school at UA, I became heavily involved in as many activities as I could. As a student here, I was a very active member of Queen’s Players, Student Council, and the Retreat Team, just to name a few. Ursuline helped me see the value in coming out of my shell and getting involved; as a result, I had experiences that I’ll carry with me forever. Today, as a middle school teacher at Ursuline, I hope that I can help students see that potential within themselves. I try to create a space where they can be themselves and take a few risks. I want them to know that if they try something new, great things can happen. I also want them to know that if they fail, they are surrounded by others who will love and support them. With any luck, students can build on these experiences when they start high school.
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy.
The most significant value I learned at Ursuline is Courtesy. Since graduating from Ursuline, I have carried with me a deep-rooted understanding that kindness and respect are so, so important. Sadly, they are often overlooked and forgotten, especially in today’s climate. At Ursuline, I was taught to believe that each person is to be treated with respect. I was taught that this concept does not cease to be true when you encounter someone you might not care for or with whom you may disagree. This concept does not cease to be true when we are stressed or having a bad day. St. Angela herself said, “You will accomplish more by kind words and a courteous manner than by anger or a sharp rebuke …” I keep these words near to my heart and try to use them as a guide for all of my interactions with others. If I fail, as I inevitably do from time to time, I know I can come back to St. Angela’s words.
Describe Ursuline in one word. Explain.
In one word, Ursuline is home. Home is a place you belong, a place that brings you joy, and a place to which you can always return. Ursuline is all of those things to me. After a wrong turn in my teaching career, I found myself working in a school that did not bring me joy. I prayed for the right job to come along. By the grace of God, I landed at Ursuline, the place I used to imagine teaching when I was still in high school. Even though I’ve only been working here since August, it feels like I never left.
Johanna Hochhalter Logan attended Ursuline Academy for four years and graduated as a Mac of 2000. She then attended the University of New Orleans and was on the Dean’s List. She graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Johanna immediately embarked on a career in Catholic education. While teaching, she gained her teacher certification from the University of Holy Cross. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Educator Award, an award given by a local Catholic high school to teachers who have excelled in preparing their students for high school. She has had the pleasure of moderating clubs such as Student Council, Junior Beta, and Kindness Club, all with the purpose of helping students find unique and meaningful ways to serve others. After a move across the lake and four years teaching in St. Tammany Parish, Johanna is thrilled to be back home in New Orleans and teaching at Ursuline. Johanna is married to Bennett Logan, and together they have two boys: Everett, who is 6 years old and in kindergarten, and Ian, who will be 2 years old in April.