The GSEP Superintendent Advisory Council has named Tom Johnstone (EdD ’97) superintendent of the Wiseburn School District, as the 2013 GSEP Superintendent of the Year.
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, and a director of curriculum. He also served 10 years as
the assistant superintendent of human resources.
“I love working in the field of education, and every day of my 33-year career has had an impact on my role as a superintendent,” said Johnstone. “I feel like the luckiest man in the world, as I continue to work in the wonderful Wiseburn community in taking education here to an even higher level of excellence.”
Johnstone’s nomination for the annual award came from GSEP Emeritus Professor of Education, Diana Hiatt-Michael, 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:
• In 2012 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.
• His 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 GSEP.
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 is a consortium of district superintendents who gather four times a year for training, advocacy, and discourse regarding issues related to education. The superintendents also advise GSEP on teacher credentialing, administrative training, and master’s and doctoral programs.