Dr. Earl Johnson has been named a state finalist for principal of the year. Courtesy photo

Matanzas High School principal one of three finalists for state principal of the year

Dr. Earl Johnson was nominated by the superintendent for the honor.
By: 
Apr. 24, 2017

Matanzas High School Principal Dr. Earl Johnson has been named a finalist for Florida’s 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, otherwise known as the Principal of the Year Award.

Candidates were nominated by the superintendents from their respective school districts. Johnson was a principal of the year for the Flagler Schools in 2016.

Johnson is one of three state finalists for the award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the administrators' schools and communities.

In a press release posted by the district April 21, Johnson said, “I am humbled by this honor. While this selection is given to an individual principal, I am successful because of the wonderful team of teachers and administrators we have at Matanzas.”

Johnson has been principal at Matanzas High School since 2015. Prior to coming to Flagler County, Johnson spent 26 years with the Volusia County Schools, his alma mater. The former pro-football player began his career in education as a mathematics teacher and quickly rose up the ranks, spending 22 years in school administration.

Superintendent Jacob Oliva said, “Dr. Johnson has accomplished so much within Flagler Schools since he first stepped foot on the Matanzas High School campus. His selection is confirmation of something we’ve known all along: He is one of the top educational leaders in the state.”

Among the comments made by the state selection committee, Johnson was recognized for consistently seeking "innovative strategies to help his students reach their full potential." It was also noted that Johnson "initiated a partnership with Bethune Cookman University to offer dual enrollment courses, which has provided students with the opportunity to take accelerated courses while in high school. During his first year as the school’s principal, he increased the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses, expanded Career and Technical Education offerings, and created an academic pathway to meet students’ needs. His colleagues commended him for being self-motivated, driven and dedicated to his profession."

The state’s top administrators will be named in a ceremony at the Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy on June 21. The recipient of the 2017 Principal of the Year will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and $1,000 for his or her school.