Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, NBCT Executive Leadership Strategist & Coach
Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, NBCT is a nationally recognized education and leadership innovator. She has devoted her career to supporting children and families, particularly in urban settings. She is a fierce advocate for the success of every child and is known for her inspirational and compassionate leadership.
Dr. Johnson served as superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools from 2010-2015. In that role, she led a team of 7,000 educators and staff to ensure the success of 36,000 pubic school students. She was a steady hand at the helm for many ups and downs in the district including urgent pressure from the community to improve educational outcomes—especially for low-income students and students of color— and shrinking financial resources at the tail end of the recession. She implemented bold solutions to improve education outcomes and close the achievement gap for Minneapolis students, including:
Ending nonviolent suspensions for young children and promoting positive behavior solutions for all students;
Implementing a district-wide instructional model, an educator accountability and support system and a revamped service model for English language learners;
Streamlining and co-locating central office services to be more responsive to school needs;
Initiating a move towards greater school-based autonomy and accountability in the district to promote innovation and student-centered solutions; and
A transformation of the district's relationship with high performing charter schools, including a unique collaboration with the Harvest Prep Network to open Mastery School.
Dr. Johnson is a a National Board Certified teacher who taught 5th grade and was a building principal. Prior to her superintendency at Minneapolis Public Schools, she held academic leadership positions with the Memphis Public Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools. Her doctoral research focused on the experience of African American women in superintendent roles and how they built their leadership capacity and resiliency. She is regularly invited to speak at the national and local level on issues that impact students and leaders. She has been interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio, Twin Cities Public Television and CNN and has published commentaries in the Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Johnson is currently an Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she teaches in the department of Educational Leadership, training the next generation of principals and superintendents in Minnesota. She continues to add her voice to community issues through service on a number of nonprofit boards and her strategy and leadership consulting with Portage Partners Consulting.
In her free time, Dr. Johnson is an avid reader of leadership books and true crime novels. Last year she welcomed her first grandchild into her life.