Mark Johnson was born in Ellensburg in 1958, the second of four brothers to Richard and Dorothy Johnson. His family arrived in Cashmere in 1968 where his father served as district school superintendent. Mark graduated from Cashmere in 1977 and attended Eastern Washington University where he received bachelors and master’s degrees in education. He began his teaching career in Wenatchee in 1981 and married Jo Anna Foland, and the couple have been blessed with three children Stacy, Tadd and Jill.
Mark went on to serve as superintendent of Nooksack Valley Schools for almost twenty-one years where his emphasis on faculty and staff teamwork has led to one of the most distinguished districts in the state. In 2009 he was named the state’s Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators. In 2010 Mark was also recognized as the University of Washington’s 2010 Distinguished Graduate upon conferral of his doctoral degree in education leadership.
Mark’s innovative approached to school improvement have always focused on a commitment to “what’s best for kids,” rather than what’s convenient for others, and his leadership has garnered significant grant support from the Gates and Kellogg foundations to close achievement gaps. He has established valued partnerships with schools throughout the region whose faculty highly regard hid experience and know-how. Asked recently to contribute a guest editorial to The Seattle Times, Mark described effective education as “an exceedingly complex and subtle art combining imagination, curiosity, empathy, and commitment.” Mark there is no better example of these values than you yourself. We hear from your close relative that you still consider Cashmere home, and are most pleased to introduce you, Dr. Mark Johnson, as the newest inductee to the Cashmere High School’s Wall of Fame.