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Former South Whidbey High principal Mike Johnson resigns to take job in Arlington
LANGLEY — South Whidbey school administrator and former South Whidbey High School principal Mike Johnson will announce his resignation at tonight's school board meeting.
"I have accepted a new position in the Arlington School District as the executive director of personnel, effective on June 30," Johnson said. "This is a great professional and personal opportunity for me."
The Arlington district — located in the Stillaguamish River Valley approximately 40 minutes north of Seattle — currently has 600 employees serving 5,500 students in one high school, an alternative high school, two middle schools, five elementary schools and a support center for home-schooling families.
The Arlington school board voted unanimously Monday night to extend a job offer to Johnson.
After serving as principal at Sequim High School, Johnson arrived on Whidbey Island in 1999 to take over as head of South Whidbey High School. Following his daughter Erica's graduation, he moved into the role of director of teaching and learning at the district's service center in 2007.
That year also saw the high school chosen as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, one of only two institutions so honored in the state.
In his new position within the district, Johnson had oversight responsibility for curriculum, new textbook acquisition, technology assessments, personnel and special education.
Last June, after the board decided to close Langley Middle School and transfer students and programs to the high school campus, Johnson was chosen to lead the facilities committee that would determine the scope and cost of the transfer by 2012.
District Superintendent Fred McCarthy will propose changes within the district relating to personnel and the consolidation process at tonight's meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the elementary school.
"In the economic climate we are in, we will continue to downsize and consolidate administration," he said. "Our administrative team is very dedicated and talented."
Over the years, Johnson was a member of South Whidbey Kiwanis, served on the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and was a member of both state and national associations of secondary principals.
Johnson said the district has made incredible gains over the past few years to improve curriculum, instruction and technology.
"I have enjoyed my 11 years in the South Whidbey School District," Johnson said. "We have an incredible staff, experienced and knowledgeable. The district is also very fortunate to have excellent students who are thoughtful and hardworking. Specifically, I want to thank the SWHS staff for their dedication and support while I was principal."
He added that, though he will miss the staff and students of South Whidbey, he's looking forward to the new challenges in his career.
For his part, McCarthy said Johnson's talents will be missed.
"He is a quality administrator, a personal friend and has dedicated years of his professional career to the students and staff of South Whidbey," McCarthy said. "His presence will be deeply missed in the daily life of our school district."