Johnson earned his master's degree at FPU in 1984 and his preliminary credential administrative services credential 1990. He is also a graduate of Reedley College and California State University, Fresno.
The decision was announced February 17 at the national AASA conference in Denver. Johnson was one of four finalists among 49 state winners.
Johnson has spent his entire 35-year education career in the Central Valley, beginning at American Union Elementary, a single school K-8 district in western Fresno County, where he taught for 16 years and spent seven years as superintendent/principal.
In 1999, Johnson became assistant superintendent of human resources at Sanger, a rural district of 10,800 students. The highly diverse student population includes 82 percent minority enrollment, 76 percent free- and reduced-lunch recipients and 24 percent English language learners.
Johnson was named superintendent in 2003, and within two years Sanger became one of the first districts in California to exit "program improvement" status under the No Child Left Behind Act. Since then the district has shown some of the highest overall achievement gains in the State: 13 schools have been designated as State Distinguished schools, 12 schools have been designated as Title I Academic Achieving schools, two schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools and all 13 elementary schools have been honored for outstanding character development programs.
The annual Superintendent of the Year program is open to all U.S., Canadian and International school superintendents. A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the winner's name to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.
About the sponsors
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. For more, visit www.aasa.org.
ARAMARK Education provides a complete range of food, facility, uniform and other support services to more than 500 K-12 school districts in the U.S. For more, visit www.aramarkschools.com.
ING is a global financial institution offering services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. The ING Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. For more, visit www.ing.com/us and www.ing-usafoundation.com