Noel Johnson


Noel Johnson has retired after working at Mesa college for over 44 years. Photo credit: Barbara Prevost-Nedd

Barbara Prevost-Nedd, Staff Writer

Noel Johnson has witnessed the transformation of San Diego Mesa College after 44 years of working at the Facilities Department, and he retired effective Sept. 26.


When students walk into a clean and organized classroom, enjoy the aesthetics of the walkways around campus, or look at spotless windows on their way to class, they are likely experiencing the work of Johnson, who started to work at Mesa in 1974, at which time the college had only been in existence for 10 years.


Johnson, 65, shared some words of wisdom for students on campus, “study hard” he said, “seek your goals in school and beyond.”


Dave Warczakowski, 53, Johnson’s supervisor, said Johnson is an excellent employee and his presence will surely be missed. “He comes to work, does his job, and gives it his all,” Warczakowski said.  


“(Johnson) is so consistent, for me, that is such an example, he is just a one of a kind person we will miss so much,” Warczakowski continued.


Johnson reminisced about the growth of the student body on campus since 1974, saying, “there were a lot of students on campus then, and a whole lot more now.”


Back in the Spring of 1974, the student population at Mesa was approximately 8200,  and has since more than tripled to its current count of 25,972.


The physical appearance of the campus has likewise changed dramatically, according to Johnson.  “There were many building on campus when I started,” he said, “and a whole lot more now.”


The current square footage of buildings at SD Mesa has likewise increased dramatically since 1974, according to Warczakowski. He said many of the older building were replaced with larger buildings, a two story building for instance, replaced with a four story, or larger building. The current building square footage at Mesa is approximately 1,113,000, according to Warczakowski.


Richard Flores, an electrician and co-worker, who has worked with Johnson for about six years, said their team will miss Johnson; “Noel is good people,” he said.


Johnson, who loves sports, said he enjoyed attending football and baseball games at Mesa. He hopes to one day see a NY Yankees game after he retires. “I plan to rest and see some friends on the day after retirement,” said Johnson, “I also want to visit family and do some traveling.”


Johnson was celebrated with cake and beverage in a farewell celebration in his honor, for his commitment and dedication to the San Diego Community College District on Sept. 28.