Focused on student success, Dr. Johnson draws upon her more than 30 years of teaching, administrative, leadership and policy-shaping experiences in K-12 and higher education to initiate innovation and foster continuous improvement in education on behalf of students.
Dr. Johnson knows firsthand what is required of great teachers, principals, academic officers and college presidents. She taught high school Spanish and English as well as graduate education at the University of Colorado Denver. She was a high school principal in Denver, Colo., and an executive director of K-12 education for Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, Colo. As director of urban initiatives for the Education Commission of the States, Denver, Dr. Johnson co-authored the development of excellence criteria for districts for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Education, Research and Improvement “District Recognition” Program.
After service as chief academic officer for the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System, Dr. Johnson became president of the Community College of Denver on the Downtown Auraria Campus shared with the University of Colorado Denver and Metropolitan State College.
CCS chancellor since 2010, Dr. Johnson implemented employee-suggested reorganizations in support of the CCS strategic plan, resulting in savings almost equal to the subsequently legislated cut in state funding. Thanks to her vision, a public-private partnership has been established to launch an online honors college, a public-nonprofit partnership is streamlining workforce training and continuing education, and lean initiatives are continuously improving effectiveness and efficiency across the district.
In addition to local and state boards, Dr. Johnson’s service includes the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; Community College Survey for Student Engagement, and Western Governors University--Academic Affairs Council.
Dr. Johnson earned a doctorate in educational administration and supervision and master’s degree in curriculum administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and bachelor’s in secondary education from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.