Farmington Schools IT Director Receives Prestigious Fellowship

Michael Johnston will receive a year of leadership training, including an international experience in Finland.

Michael Johnston, information technology director for Farmington Public Schools, is among 12 Michigan educators selected for the Gerstacker Fellowship at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). 

Johnston held technology positions with private firms before joining the district in 2000. He will be honored at the Jan. 29 Board of Education meeting.

The 12 Fellows will receive concentrated leadership training over a one-year period, including a capstone international experience that introduces them to three communities in Finland, a country that consistently ranks among the highest achieving nations for educational performance.

Others selected for the honor, which is funded by an endowment from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland, include:

  • James Bailey, principal of Hemmeter Elementary School in Saginaw Township Community Schools
  • Talissa Dixon, deputy superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools
  • Jeff Lauer, career development administrator for Midland Public Schools
  • Annette Lauria, principal of Beer Middle School in Warren Consolidated Schools
  • Penny Miller Nelson, career and technical education coordinator for Midland Public Schools  and the Midland County Educational Service Agency
  • Kim Offenbecker, principal of Hampton Elementary School in Bay City Public Schools
  • Karla Parker, English language arts teacher at Swan Valley Middle School in the Swan Valley school district
  • H. Miundrae Prince, assistant chancellor for human resources, equity and accountability for the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan in Detroit.
  • Kristy Spann, principal of Oakwood Elementary School in the Brandon school district in Ortonville
  • Eric Whitney, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Romeo Community Schools
  • Rebecca Wilkins, mathematics core curriculum content coordinator for Saginaw Public Schools

The participants were selected based on past academic and service accomplishments, along with outside recommendations. They were nominated by supervisors from their home school districts.

Source: Farmington Public Schools press release


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