Meet Mike Johnson
Hi, I’m Mike Johnson, your representative on the Denver School Board from East Denver. I’m proud to report that I’ve kept the promises I made when you elected me four years ago:
– Our neighborhood schools are the best in the city, our students have access to one of the widest varieties of educational programs anywhere and more and more students are returning to DPS from private schools and the suburbs
– I succeeded in reducing the size of DPS’s central office and shifting resources and decision-making to the teachers and principals who are on the ground working with students every day
– I brought greater transparency to DPS finances by publishing detailed school-by-school budgets so that you can see how your tax dollars are spent in each school
– I’ve attended hundreds of meetings with you and your neighbors to keep you up to date, to listen to your concerns and to answer your questions about our schools
I’m running for re-election because the job’s not done. I want to finish the work I’ve started and continue to be your voice on the Denver School Board and to make Denver’s public schools the best public schools in the country.
I grew up in a working class family in a small town. My mom had to drop out of school to support her family during the Great Depression and worked on the production line in a garment factory. My dad was disabled while fighting for our country in World War II and was barely able to hold down a job as an orderly in a VA mental hospital.
I’m the first in my family to go to college. I worked my way through college and Georgetown Law School with the help of great teachers, need-based scholarships and loans. I’ve practiced law for more than 40 years and am one of Colorado’s leading experts on school finance. My clients have included the State of Colorado and more than 20 Colorado school districts. I was DPS’s finance lawyer for more than 15 years before resigning to run for the school board in 2013.
I got involved in Denver’s schools as a parent volunteer when my oldest daughter started kindergarten in 1998 to make sure my kids received the same quality education that was my pathway to success. My three daughters received excellent educations in Denver Public Schools. But it required a lot of hard work and hundreds of hours of time by my wife, Carol, and me. I ran for a seat on the school board in 2013 because I wanted to make it easier for other Denver parents to obtain the same excellent education for their children.
All three of my daughters attended DPS schools in East Denver from kindergarten through 12th grade. Sarah graduated from Bryn Mawr College and is a first grade teacher. Abby is a sophomore at Reed College. Corley is a freshman in a dual-degree program at Oberlin College and Conservatory.
I volunteered in my daughters’ schools as a classroom assistant, field trip chaperone, chair of the school governance committee (CSC) and member of two principal selection committees and various fundraising committees.
In the community, I have served as the president of my neighborhood association, on the boards of Mile High Early Learning Centers, Allied Jewish Apartments and the Colorado NARAL Foundation and as a member of Mayor Hancock’s Transition Committee.
I live near Cheesman Park with my wife, Carol Friesen, my three daughters (when they are home) and our small, fierce dog, Mickey.