Marc Johnson, retired superintendent of the Sanger Unified School District that was part of a 37-year career in public education as a teacher and administrator, is the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium’s K-12 liaison.
Marc continuously networks with and supports school district superintendents in the nine-county region while promoting CVHEC’s goal to increase Central Valley college attainment rates through the advancement of strategy efforts that have the greatest impact on success for ALL students in the region such as the expansion of dual enrollment opportunities and CVHEC’s College Next pilot program.
Marc retired from Sanger Unified in June 2013 after 14 years as superintendent, but he has continued his service to students as a consultant with Solution Tree since 2009. He also is a published author and the executive director of the Fresno Compact.
His tenure with Sanger Unified, a success story in its own right, provided the opportunity to establish the district — located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley of California with 13,000 students who mirror the demographics of the region — as a model for improving student achievement.
Serving a high minority, high poverty and high second language learner population, the district in 2004 was one of 98 California school districts designated 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 that PI status thanks to the continued improvement in student achievement in all groups, but in particular with EL Learners.
And while Sanger Unified has seen dramatic improvements in all its schools, most impressive has been the increase in student achievement at sites that had been traditionally underperforming — a turnaround linked directly to the district becoming a “Professional Learning Community.” That shift to becoming a collaborative culture — where every adult in the organization understands that they are a part of a team that is responsible for ensuring learning for all and developing a results orientation — is a transformation that has led the district from Program Improvement status to recognition as a high achieving district at the local, state and national levels.
It is accomplishments such as the SUSD experience that Marc, who — in addition to site and district recognitions, was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 2011 — brings to the table when he stimulates K-12 and higher education partnerships via CVHEC.