Michael A. Johnson is a former teacher, principal, and school district superintendent. An internationally recognized formal (school-based) and informal (outside-of-schools) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Career Technical Education (CTE) educator; and a School Leadership Educationalist. He served as an expert peer-review panelist for “request for funding” proposals submitted to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation. A member of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science Assessment Exam Development Committee, designers of the first NAEP national science exams. A presenter and panelist at numerous professional conferences, symposiums, and meetings like the NYS Governor’s Conference on Developing New York State’s Action Plan for Science and Engineering Education, Research and Development, Albany, New York; 1990, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting: “Science and Mathematics Assessment in the Service of Instruction,” the National Press Club, the National Urban League National Conference: “Science and Mathematics Education, Tools for African-American development,” Philadelphia, PA, the New York Academy of Sciences, and as the keynote speaker at the International Conference for STEM Administrators and Educators, City College, Norwich, England.
The subject of many international books, dissertations, research studies, electronic and print media stories, and articles including PBS’s “Who Will Do Science?” (1990) and the Nightly Business Report, PBS: “Phelps: An example of a school of the future”, 2008. The New York Times Magazine, “Scores Count.” Bulletin, National Association of Secondary School Principals – “Standards-Based Education”: Are Academic Standards a Threat or an Opportunity, 1997, Cross and Joftus pgs. 15-16; Savoy Magazine 2012: “CISCO/Phelps High School Developing the Next Generation of IT Leaders.” “Bridging the gap between cultures”; Li Xing and Tan Yingzi; China Daily; 2011. The Washington Academy of Science; Journal (v. 97, no 3); “STEM/CTE Education: Phelps as a new model”; Dr. Cora Marrett (NSF); Dr. Sylvia M. James (NSF); 2012. Johnson also serves as a consultant and grant writer/reviewer for universities and school districts’ STEM-CTE projects/programs funding proposals. In those efforts, he is working hard to build strong and sustaining STEM-CTE operational and systemic pedagogical “bridges and infrastructure” for the PreK-16 educational systems role in building and expanding the national STEM-CTE career “pipelines”.
The author of many newspapers, magazines, and journal articles, including two American Association for the Advancement of Science Journal articles: “Assessment in the Service of Instruction” and “Science Assessment in the Service of Reform.” Johnson was appointed a member of the NYS Education Department Commissioner’s Advisory Council on Equity and Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education (1989-1990). The recipient of hundreds of awards, citations, and proclamations, for example, Resolution of Recognition U. S. Senate Floor; Congressional Record-Senate; S9581; U.S. Member of the Senate; Mary Landrieu (La); The Global Diversity Innovation Award; World Diversity Leadership Council; Boston, Mass; U.S. Department of State Award: “For Contributions Fostering Global Understanding Through Language Learning and Support of the National Security (Chinese) Language Initiative,” Washington DC. Multiple Proclamations in Recognition of Dedication and Excellence in Education, U.S. House of Representatives, NYS Senate, NYS Assembly, and the City Council of New York.
As a principal, he created the first majority Black and Latino students national F.I.R.S.T. Robotics and Cyberforensics academic competition teams. As a superintendent, he extended STEM learning to the early childhood, elementary, and middle school levels by building dedicated applied STEM Labs and assigning specially selected and professionally developed science teachers to those labs. As a superintendent, he also provided access to larger numbers of Black and Latino students to the district’s expanded Gifted and Talented, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced Placement (AP) programs; while building lower-grades “STEM capacity” by significantly “ramping up” the quality and efficacy of elementary mathematics education; thus having more students prepared to take 8th-grade Algebra (the “STEM gatekeeper”).
He is a former NYC Mayoral appointee as a Trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library. Instrumental in leading the designing, development, and building of two Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—Career Technical Education (STEM—CTE) high schools: Science Skills Center High School, NYC and Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering High School, Washington DC. In addition, Johnson has served as an adjunct professor of Science Education in the School of Education at St. John’s University. An author of a book on school leadership: Report to the Principal’s Office: Tools for Building Successful High School Administrative Leadership.; and is presently completing his second book on school administration and leadership: Report From The Principal’s Office (Fall/2021).
A little more about me…
June 1989: Sixteen (16) Science Skills Center students ages 10-14, gained national attention as the youngest students ever to take and pass the New York State 10th grade Biology Regents examination. All the students were Black and Latino-Americans. In the Following years a total of one hundred and thirteen (113) additional students (10-14) in the program sat for and passed the New York State Biology and Sequential I Mathematics Regents.
Summer 1989: Building Access to Science Enrichment (B.A.S.E-M.), a joint venture with the S.U.N.Y. Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Part of a Science Skills Center Summer Institute to increase student’s interest in Bio-Medical Sciences. Middle & H.S. students rotated through the various medical specialties. Students were able to view surgical procedures, and work with medical students in the Gross anatomy lab; Students were able to do scientific research and be mentored by S.U.N.Y. faculty.
Summer 1991: B.A.S.E-E. (Engineering-At the IBM Brooklyn Plant). In cooperation with the IBM Engineers; students worked on hardware and software robotics problems and projects.
Summer 1992: B.A.S.E.-ES (Environmental Science- On the campus at Pratt Institute School of Engineering and Sciences) summer project in cooperation with Science/Engineering faculty at Pratt Institute. Focus: Solving community environmental issues.
Fall 1993: Designed Science Skills Center High School. Mission: To open and expand the “pipeline” for students (minorities and women) who have not traditionally been identified as potential STEM career candidates.
Summer 1993: B.A.S.E.-AT (Applied Technology-On the Campus of NYC-Technology College) in cooperation with NYC-Technical College Faculty. A Six-week summer computer/engineering/robotics and IT programs.
B.A.S.E.-CE: (Chemical Engineering) at the Brooklyn Union Gas (BUG) Technology Training Center and Plant); partnership with Brooklyn Union Gas. Focus: Chemical Engineering & Physical Chemistry. Taught by BUG Chemical and Industrial Engineers.
1994: Established a Youth In Engineering and Science (YES) Center at the SSCHS. Sponsored by Polytechnic University. The University made a commitment to fund four full engineering scholarships per year, and the teaching of AP STEM courses by college faculty.
1994-2000: Designed a Robotics Learning Lab at SSCHS; acquired private funding for the project in collaboration with NSBE, BUG, and Polytechnic University. Created the first a nationally recognized competitive “majority-minority” robotics team that reached the national finals in Orlando, FL. (NY Times April 4, 2002)
2004: NYS Governor George Pataki Initiates support for the ASD’s Readers to Leaders Program and invited all state agency employees to “gift a book to the school district”. As a result, 10,000 books are donated in the effort to establish home libraries for hundreds of our most impoverished students.
A little bit more…
Educational Projects and Programs:
Designed a District wide “Design and Build” Model Bridge Building curriculum and Contest. (CSD 13)
Created: “Shakespeare Scholars Program”; where students studied the: Plays, biography, commentaries, historical period, and attended performances of Shakespearian plays. (SSCHS)
Designed and implemented an early childhood (Pre-k-2) science and technology program. (CSD 29)
Initiated district wide holiday/vacation/summer study packets for all students in the district; packets included trips to museums and other informal science education institutions. (CSD 29)
Created: “teaching Mathematics’ through Chess program”; and initiated a district wide Chess tournament. (CSD 29)
Placed advanced Robotics and applied technology/engineering labs in all middle schools. (CSD 29)
Designed Curriculum for new science and technology labs, in 10 elementary schools in the district. (CSD 29)
Created a district science museum evening trips for parents and students; through private funding. (CSD 29)
Instituted a School and District wide Science Fair participation program for all schools. (CSD 29)
Instituted a School and District wide Technology Fair participation program for all schools. (CSD 29)
Created the capacity for Middle Schools participated in the national FIRST Robotics- Lego competition.
Created teaching and learning standards for elementary science specialist teachers. Expanded the number of specialized science teachers in the elementary schools, and the number of dedicated elementary science labs/classrooms. (CSD 29)
Designed and Instituted: Readers to Leaders: Read 100 Books and Soar Campaign in all schools. (CSD 29)
Served as primary science education as advisor for Scan-Tech Corporations development of first K-6 Elementary Science Labs. 4 labs are built and piloted in four elementary schools in CSD 29.
Placed wireless laptop programs in middle schools for an “electronic social studies project”. (CSD 29)
As superintendent designed a Principal Performance Review (PPR), that redefined the school building leader’s
primary role as the school building’s #1 instructional leader. Albany School District (ASD)
Created a FIRST Robotics Team Albany High School. (ASD).
Instituted a Saturday Hands-On Science Program for students in K-8 grades. (ASD)
Designed and instituted a: 4th, 8th grades, SAT-ACT, High School Regents Exam Test Preparation Resource Bank; based on ELA vocabulary and Mathematics algorithmic strategies. (ASD)
Initiated a K-8, 9-12 Science Curriculum Pacing Calendars (ASD)
December 2003-Created a Saturday Science Academy for Middle and Elementary school students.
March 2004-Established two advanced science technology labs in elementary schools-redesigned elementary science curriculum and created a k-6 science-curriculum instructional pacing calendar.
2008: Designed a STEM-CTE Specialized Library.
2010: Instituted a Career Pathway for CISCO-IT- Networking Certification Program.
2010: Established a Cyber Forensics Program and Team at Phelps ACE-HS
A little bit more…
Science and Equity, Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s Black Family Forum, New York; 1990
Brooklyn Administrative Women in Education, “A Winning Formula: Sex Equity in Math and Science”, New York City Board of Education, Brooklyn, New York, February 4, 1993
U. S. Department of Education, New American High Schools -Jobs for the Future, Albuquerque, NM; May 1999
Albany Rotary Club: “Science Education and American future readiness” 2003.
Association of Black Educators of New York, K-12: “Mathematics and Science Achievement in all schools, for all students”; 2004
Speaker: Washington, D.C. Technology Education Summit; The Newseum; 2012
Just a little bit more (I promise)…
“Outstanding Achievement in the Community”, Prospect Heights Neighborhood Corporation (1986)
“Special Recognition Award”, Kings County Club National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club (1987)
“Recognition Award”, Women’s League of Science and Medicine (1987)
“Ailanthus Award” for Community Service, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn (1988)
“Recognition Award”, Interfaith Medical Center, Community Advisory Board, Central Brooklyn Coordination Council; (1989)
“President’s Award for Outstanding Educator”, Medgar Evers College of City University of New York, Education Conference (1991)
“Award of Excellence”, City of New York Human Resources Administration (1991)
Proclamation, The City Council of N. Y.; Council Member 35th District, Brooklyn (1992)
“1993 Bridge Builders Award”, Black Child Development Institute (1993)
“Humanitarian Award”, Youth Law Center, (1994)
“Community Service Award”, NYEX – Minority Management Association, (1994)
“Community Service Award”, Caribbean Women’s Health Association, Inc. (October 1998)
The Evelyn Brown Clarke Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Science Educator Award (1999)
Brooklyn Public Library Board of Trustees, Award for Service (2000)
“The Faithful Servant Award”, Progressive Club of Concord Baptist Church of Christ (2001)
“Outstanding Service”, American Legion, Department of New York Zone 2. (2002)
“Meritorious Award”, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club (2002)
Award: “Men In Mission” The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (2002)
“Save the Children Award”, You Can Go To College Committee of Queens, NY (2002)
“Congressional Achievement Award”, Congressman Gregory Meeks (2002)
“You Save The Children Award”, Senator Malcolm Smith (2002)
“School District Leadership Award”, Congressman Major Owens (2002)
Proclamation, The City Council of New York (2002)
Certificate of Recognition, 27th District, Queens City Council Member Leroy Comrie (2002)
“Dream of King” Community Service Award, Hip Hop Summit Youth Council (2003)
NAACP, Albany, NY; Albany Branch Award, April 2004
Architect Of The Capital Appreciation Award; 2011
U.S. Department of State Appreciation Award: “For Dedicated Support Of International Education and Exchange For the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program”; 2011
On November 12, 2021 I was honored by the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) and my former school, Science Skills Center High School (SSCHS), in a ribbon-cutting ceremony recognizing the major technological upgrading of the school’s library to a Research and Media Center (R&MC). The library was named: “The Michael A. Johnson Research and Media Center” in my honor. This new resource-rich facility will give students access to a vast world of reading and study resources covering high school students’ intellectual, inner-attainment/enjoyment, and social-emotional needs. At the same time, the R&MC will offer study research resources for term papers and projects in all academic subject areas, especially science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The R&MC will also complement the student’s in-school Advanced Placement classes and outside of school university-based college-level courses. This powerful project was championed and received ($1 million dollars in) funding from then Brooklyn Borough President (and now NYC mayor) Eric Adams.