With the new deal, the board has reaffirmed that it believes MPS continues to move in the right direction despite the enormous challenges the school district faces with the achievement gap and financial uncertainty at the state and national levels. With the vote, the school board endorsed Johnson's leadership in transforming MPS and managing its approximately 34,000 students and more than 6,000 employees.
Speaking on behalf of the board, Chair Alberto Monserrate said the board was proud to have reached a balanced and fair agreement that shows its confidence in the superintendent's leadership, protects the interests of taxpayers in tough economic times and increases accountability at the top of the organization.
"Our superintendent has chosen once again to lead by example and shown that her number one priority is increasing student achievement for all our students and that she's willing to be held accountable to that goal," said Monserrate. "We look forward to three more years of the superintendent's leadership. We are confident that we will reach our strategic plan goals with her and that we will work collaboratively and with urgency to make sure all our students reach their full potential."
In her comments to the board, Johnson thanked the directors for their support and vote of confidence. She said she remains committed to leading a results-driven organization that focuses its time, talents and expertise on providing the best possible learning environment for all of its students to succeed.
"We still have lots of progress to make. We must accelerate our results. Too many of our students are achieving at levels far below their potential," Johnson said. "I am committed to the success of every child. I am committed to our efforts to strengthen teaching and learning in our classrooms. I am committed to stronger engagement with families and the community. I am committed to this organization, Minneapolis Public Schools, and equally if not more committed to the children we serve."
The new contract is similar to her existing one. There is no change to the $190,000 base salary. The superintendent's potential performance bonus pay, which solely relies on her annual performance evaluation, increased from $30,000 to $40,000.
In addition to her years as MPS superintendent, Johnson served as deputy superintendent of MPS from August 2005 to June 2010. From April 2004 to July 2005, she held the position of deputy superintendent of Memphis City Schools, the largest school system in the state of Tennessee. She was principal at Elizabeth Hall Community School in Minneapolis from July 1999 to March 2004 and she taught and served as an assistant principal in the Saint Paul Public Schools from 1991 to 1999. Prior to her work in the education field, Johnson was a financial analyst in Minneapolis.
In May 2011, Johnson completed her doctorate in education policy and administration at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of St. Thomas in 1992 and her Bachelor of Science degree in communication disorders from Alabama A & M University.
Johnson was honored in 2012 with both the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA) District Leadership for Excellence in Communications Award, presented annually to one superintendent in Minnesota for outstanding leadership in school public relations and communications, and the University of St. Thomas Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award, presented annually to one individual for leadership and service to St. Thomas, the community and in his or her field of endeavor.