Jefferson Grad Dan Johnson Named Principal of the Year
New Jersey Principal and Supervisor’s Association awards Dr. Johnson with the 2012 award for visionary leadership.
Meeting Dan Johnson is an experience one doesn’t forget. He towers over most adults and has a handshake that can reach up to your forearm. He is quick to smile and practically bursts with pride when speaking about his staff and his students.
On any given day, you can find Johnson in the back of an assembly, watching his students light up during a presentation or sitting with a student with special needs showing all of the compassion of a caregiver.
Teacher, doctor, coach, father, principal. Dr. Dan Johnson is all of that and more.
And that is why it was no surprise to anyone in the Chester Consolidated School District when Johnson was honored with the New Jersey Principal and Supervisors Association’s 2012 Award for Visionary Leadership as Elementary School Principal of the Year for the State of New Jersey.
“This is a well deserved honor that Dr. Johnson has worked diligently for on behalf of the children of Chester for the past four and a half years,” said Chester Superintendent Dr. Christina VanWoert. “He defines visionary leadership in the manner in which he has served as an instructional leader for our staff and as a champion for our children.”
Along with this award, Bragg School will receive $3,000 from the NJPSA to use as needed by Dr. Johnson and the Bragg School staff. According to VanWoert, that brings the total of grants and awards that Johnson has won for Bragg School over the last four and a half years to $53,000.
“This award is given to principals who truly are Visionary Leaders, as determined by a distinguished state-wide panel of colleagues, and who are able to focus their staff and students on improving instruction across the spectrum of student achievement,” VanWoert said. “ Visionary Leadership is defined by administrators who bring the best practices in educational research to their practical application in our classrooms and who work through a process of team building and collaboration.”
According to VanWoert, Johnson and his team of teachers were the only elementary school in the state asked to present their Professional Learning Community (PLC) Model at a conference after Bragg School was named one of only fifteen model PLC schools in the state.
“Having recently completed his Doctor of Education Degree at Seton Hall University, this marriage between theory and practice is an area in which Dr. Johnson and his staff excels and for which our Chester students benefit enormously,” VanWoert said.
Predictably, when Johnson found out about the award he was quick to shift focus off of himself. “I think it is nice that the work we are doing at Bragg is being recognized on a state level,” Johnson said.
For her part, VanWoert sees the honor as a reflection of the overall atmosphere of quality, caring, and dedication of the professionals who spend each and every day devoted to the children of the Chester School District.
“They are in good hands indeed,” the superintendent said.