Educator Profile    Educators

Mark A. Johnson (NE '04)


Sunrise Middle School
Kearney, NE

At the time of the Award, Mark A. Johnson was:

Windy Hills Elementary School
Kearney, NE

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): 5

Biographical Information

Mark Johnson has spent his entire educational career in Kearney, Nebraska. He taught fifth grade for 12 years at Windy Hills Elementary, was an elementary principal at Glenwood Elementary for two years, elementary principal at Bryant Elementary for 13 years, and has just recently started a new position as a middle school principal at Sunrise Middle School.  He received the "Milken National Educator Award" in 2004, was a “National Blue Ribbon Award" winner in 2010, and was named “Outstanding Principal of the Year” for the state of Nebraska in 2011. He served as the state president for NAESP in 2016 and currently serves as the Federal Relations Representative for NAESP in Nebraska. He is also a national speaker and a school climate specialist. He co-founded "Mission Monday" with his colleague, Sam Stecher. They have written two books together: "Mission Monday" and "It Happens in the Hallway". For more information, go to

Personal Message

The value of a teacher in the role of a student's education is immeasurable. Educators have an impact on the lives of children that extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. However, I believe we are not the most important person in the education of a student. Teaching according to this principle will earn more learning for the teaching investment. It will cause students to realize they are the most important person in their own education. When they discover this truth, they are empowered to accomplish anything. For more information, go to

Related Connections

Article: Why Great Teachers Blog (and How You Can Get Started)

Milestone: Mark Johnson (NE ’04) is President-Elect of Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)

Mark A. Johnson In The News

Johnson Moves from Bryant Elementary to Sunrise Middle School Principal
The Grand Island Independent  |  Mar 27, 2021  |  Grand Island, NE

Additional Information


2006 M.A., Educational Administration, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

1993 B.S., Elementary Education, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

School Climate, Positive Relationships