2009 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
William H. Johnson, Ed.D.
Rockville Centre Public Schools
For over two decades, the name Bill Johnson has been synonymous with the Rockville Centre School District.
During Johnson’s years as superintendent, the district has been part of nearly every list of “best schools and/or districts” at the regional, state and national levels for excellence. South Side High School became an all-Regents high school seven years before the state requirements, achieving a Regents graduation rate of 99 percent for general education students and 89 percent for special education students.
But his reach extends far beyond Rockville Centre. Frustrated with the lack of measurable data on state aid, he chaired the State Aid Data Analysis Group, which shares information on the impact of state aid on county and state school districts and regions.
This information helps to form the county’s educational plans as it is shared at legislative hearings, with the media and at annual meetings of administrators, board members and PTAs.
A longtime advocate for inclusion of students with disabilities, Johnson began his career in education in 1967 as a special ed teacher. In 1970, he became an assistant professor of special education at Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education. He first came to Rockville Centre in 1980 as the director of special education and moved up the ranks, serving as an administrator and assistant superintendent before being named superintendent in 1986.
Johnson is a past president of the Nassau County and NYS Council of School Superintendents and is currently co-chairperson of the NYS Council of School Superintendents Curriculum Committee. He served on the Salerno Commission on Financial Reform in 1988 and was appointed by Governor Pataki to the Commission on Education Reform in 2005. Johnson was included in the Long Island Press top 50 list of most influential Long Islanders in 2004. He was named NYS’ Superintendent of the Year in 2005 by the American Association of School Administrators and one of Long Island’s “Top 60 over 60” in 2008. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Bernard’s College, a master’s degree in special education from Fairfield University, and a doctorate in special education research from Teachers College, Columbia University.