Crook County School District Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson was named Oregon’s Superintendent of the Year Wednesday.
Johnson was presented the honor at the Crook County High School library by representatives from the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA).
And they kept it a big secret from her. She walked into the building to thunderous applause, unaware of what was coming next.
“Super grateful and overwhelmed and surprised. Just thinking about how amazing our staff … our staff is incredible. It’s just remarkable to work with such an amazing district,” Johnson said.
The award highlights what is described as four essential areas:
- Leadership for Learning
- Community Involvement
“Dr. Johnson was recognized for many successes, including safely reopening schools during the pandemic before most other schools in Oregon, increasing the graduation rate at Crook County High School to 98%, successfully opening Steins Pillar Elementary School, creating a new hybrid learning program called Grizzly Mountain HomeLink, prioritizing improved school culture, and giving more voice to students and staff through yearly surveys and initiatives,” the district said in a statement announcing the award. “Those results have also led to consecutive years of enrollment growth when many districts face declines.”
Johnson will now be in the running for national superintendent of the year.
Johnson’s award continues a string of achievements for the school district.
Crook County High School Principal Michelle Jonas was named Principal of the Year in 2021.
Rob Bonner, Crook County H.S. athletic director, was named 5A Athletic Director of the Year last year.
The district says Johnson was born and raised in Burns. Most of her career has been mostly in rural Oregon schools. She has made helping young students overcome the mental health challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic one of her priorities.
And her own education isn’t done. She’s pursuing a degree in child psychology at George Fox University.