Superintendent Marc Johnson
Sanger Unified School District
Marc Johnson is the Superintendent of the Sanger Unified School District, where he is in his thirteenth year in the District and ninth year as Superintendent. Sanger Unified is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley of California. The District’s 10,800 students mirror the demographics of the region. The district serves a high minority, high poverty, and high second language learner population. In 2004 the district was one of 98 school districts in California to be named a Program Improvement District due to the low performance of the English Language Learner population. Two years later the District was one of the first districts in California to exit PI status due to the continued improvement in student achievement in all groups, but in particular with EL Learners. Professional Learning Communities have served as the catalyst and vehicle for continuing improvement and the District is now in its sixth year of District wide implementation of PLCs.
Marc has been involved in Public Education in the Central Valley for over 35 years. He began his career in a single school K-8 district where he taught for 16 years, served as Jr. High Vice Principal and finally as Superintendent/Principal for 7 Years. He came to Sanger Unified in 1999 as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and also served as Associate Superintendent before being named Superintendent in 2003. Shaping the culture of the district has been a 12 year effort. He has worked tirelessly to build and strengthen a culture of collaboration throughout his district. The District’s success over the past 5 years has generated opportunities for Marc to share Sanger’s success story throughout the State of California. Additionally, over 100 districts from throughout California have visited Sanger Unified to see first hand the power of collaboration. Sanger Unified has also been invited to become a member of the California Collaborative for District Reform and was also one of the seven California Districts that participated in a collaborative effort to write California’s application for Race to the Top Phase II funding and continues that collaborative effort as a member of the California Office to Reform Education, CORE.
Sanger Unified has seen dramatic improvements in all of its schools but most impressive has been the increase in student achievement at sites that had been traditionally underperforming. In the last 5 years a total of 13 Sanger schools have been recognized as California State Distinguished Schools and in the last three years 17 schools have been recognized as Title I Academic Achieving Schools and two Schools have been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools. The District’s middle school has recently been name a “School to Watch” due to their continuous dramatic improvement over the last five years. All thirteen of the District’s elementary schools were honored by the Bonner Center for Character Education at California State University Fresno for their outstanding school-wide Character Education programs in the spring of 2010 and the district has been recognized as the outstanding Community of Caring District in America by the National Center for Community of Caring at the University of Utah.
Marc received his Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University at Fresno and his Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in Math Science from Fresno Pacific University. Marc received the Kremen School of Education Noted Alumni recognition in 2010 and was named the Distinguished Alumnus of Reedley College that year also. Marc was recognized as the California Superintendent of the Year in the fall of 2010 and in February of 2011 was named the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of American Administrators. Marc was also recognized as the Sanger Chamber of Commerce “2011 Citizen of the Year” and received the 2011 “Child Advocacy Award” from Comprehensive Youth Services of Fresno.
Marc and his wife Penni have been married for 35 years and have made their home in Reedley. They have been blessed with three children, Alyssa, a labor and delivery nurse at St. Agnes Hospital, who is married to Doug Nasalroad (and the mother of Marc’s three grandchildren who are the joy of his life, Derek 6, Ryan 4, Aubrey 2), Mikael who is a lieutenant in the Navy and a JAG officer assigned to China Lake Naval Weapons Station, and Ashlea who is a graduate student at Fresno State.