The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund announces the appointment of William "Billy" Johnson as the Director of Educational Strategy. "I am pleased that Billy has agreed to take on this new position, to help us continue to evolve our strategies for reaching equity in education across Connecticut," said David Addams, executive director of the Memorial Fund. "In March, he will begin his work, meeting with those in education, philanthropy, our grantees, and, in particular, community leaders including families and youth who are working diligently to see that children have every opportunity for an equitable education."
Certified by the State of Connecticut to be a school superintendent, Mr. Johnson has most recently served as Assistant Superintendent in Windham, Director of Instruction for New Haven, Principal of the Domus Academy in New Haven and Principal of the Julia Stark Elementary School in Stamford.
Mr. Johnson is known as someone who always thinks strategically, is sensitive to students' and communities' needs, and understands how systems neglect children. A native of New Haven, he lives in Hamden and is married with a 3-year-old daughter.
Prior to becoming Director of Instruction in New Haven Public Schools, as a consultant he created the strategic roll out plan of the restorative practices initiative with American Federation of Teachers and the New Haven teachers union, to examine ways of minimizing the incidence of suspensions. The work aims to keep students engaged in school rather than lose valuable educational time in class.
Mr. Johnson has two master's degrees, in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University and Special Education from the University of Connecticut. He started teaching in Middletown Public Schools and then served as an administrator at Amistad Academy in New Haven. He is an Adjunct Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Bridgeport, a Board Member of the City Wide Youth Coalition in New Haven and a Deeper Learning Equity Fellow.
Last year, Mr. Johnson was on a panel on Race and Education sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of Educators for Excellence, which was covered by the New Haven Independent.
"Please join us in welcoming Billy to his new challenge," said Mr. Addams, "and reach out to support this opportunity to think critically about the ways that we can affect education on behalf of children who are faced with the specific obstacles of race and poverty in Connecticut."