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Kendra V. Johnson

Johnson, Kendra
Kendra Johnson recently assumed the role of chief academic officer for Trenton Public Schools in New Jersey (July 2014). While she also is a licensed attorney in the states of Maryland and New Jersey, she considers herself a career educator, having served as classroom teacher, department chairperson, assistant principal, principal, director of Title I, instructional director, chief academic and innovation officer, and adjunct college professor over a seventeen-year career in public education. She has expertise in the areas of school reform and transformation and school improvement. Furthermore, she provided legal advocacy for the parents of students with disabilities and those facing inequitable disciplinary consequences. To that end, she sees herself as a visionary leader in urban education because she is convinced that education is the vehicle by which many underserved student groups will realize social mobility. She also believes that education will enable those same students to claim a productive and influential role in making their future—and their children’s future—a better one. Her personal journey growing up in a small, racially divided, and socioeconomically challenged midwestern town where there were seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school significantly shapes her outlook today. The idea that daily high-quality instruction is the pathway out of poverty only for urban school students is an idea she challenges. Instead, she contends that daily high-quality instruction is the pathway out of poverty for any rural, suburban, and/or urban student.