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Pepperdine University Names Dr. Tom Johnstone Superintendent of the Year
Dr. Johnstone has more than 30 years of experience in education
Johnstone assumed the helm of the Wiseburn School District in 2008, after more than 28 years of service in the Lennox School District where he launched his education career as a middle school social studies teacher. He went on to assume roles as a school counselor, an elementary assistant principal and principal, a director of curriculum, and ten years as the assistant superintendent of human resources.
“I love working in the field of education, and every day of my 33 year career plays an impact on my role as a superintendent,”
Johnstone’s nomination for the annual award came from GSEP Emeritus Professor of Education, Diana Hiatt-Michael, EdD, who oversaw Johnstone’s doctoral dissertation in 1997.
“I have nothing but superlatives to share regarding Johnstone’s leadership capability and commitment to the education of every child,” said Hiatt-Michael in her nomination letter. “He expects the best from everyone and they deliver because he serves as the role model and supporter.”
Highlights of Johnstone’s achievements:
• Last year he secured legislation to develop a unified high school district and purchased land to build a high school
• As assistant superintendent in the Lennox School District, the district saw many students accepted into top universities throughout the country including Harvard
• Doctoral dissertation on parent involvement in school has been cited by numerous researchers and policymakers and was the basis of national parent involvement legislation and grants
Johnstone earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Santa Clara, a master’s degree in Latin American History from UCLA, and a master’s degree in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. He received a doctorate in Institutional Management in 1997 from the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
Nominees were evaluated based on how well they demonstrated success in the following six areas: visionary leadership, instructional leadership, family and community involvement, ethical leadership and building leadership capacity, organizational management, and advocacy.
The Superintendent Advisory Council will honor Johnstone and other California superintendents at a dinner reception on January 31 in Monterey, Calif. The event coincides with the Association of California School Administrators’
About the Superintendent Advisory Council
A consortium of state superintendents gathers four times a year for training, advocacy and discourse regarding issues related to education. The superintendents also advise the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology on teacher credentialing, administrative training, and master’s and doctoral programs. Each year, in tandem with the Association of California School Administrators annual symposium, the Council hosts a dinner in Monterey, Calif. to present the Superintendent of the Year award as well as the Superintendent of Distinction award. The council also expands career opportunities for GSEP students by networking with educational leaders to establish student teaching and administrative fieldwork placements, as well as full-time employment. A “Key Strategies for Educational Administrator Advancement”
About the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP)
GSEP is an innovative learning community where faculty, staff, and students of diverse cultures and perspectives work collaboratively to foster academic excellence, social purpose, and personal fulfillment. Through its integrative coursework and practical training, GSEP prepares students to serve the needs of others through skilled leadership. GSEP offers six master's and four doctoral programs across its five graduate campus locations throughout Southern California and online. Programs are fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the American Psychological Association. For more information, visit: gsep.pepperdine.edu