Christine Johnson, Ph.D., Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) Chancellor, brings a unique and extensive breadth of experience to her work for the CCS district, Washington's community and technical college system and all local, regional and national endeavors in which she becomes involved.
Focused on student success, Dr. Johnson draws upon her more than 30 years of teaching, administrative, leadership and policy-shaping experiences in K-12 and higher education to initiate innovation and foster continuous improvement in education on behalf of students.
Dr. Johnson knows firsthand what is required of great teachers, principals, academic officers, and college presidents. She taught high school Spanish and English as well as graduate education at the University of Colorado, Denver. She was a high school principal in Denver, and an executive director of K-12 education for Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, CO. As director of urban initiatives for the Education Commission of the States, Denver, Dr. Johnson co-authored the development of excellence criteria for districts for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Education, Research and Improvement "District Recognition" Program.
After service as chief academic officer for the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System, Dr. Johnson became president of the Community College of Denver on the Downtown Auraria Campus shared with the University of Colorado, Denver, and Metropolitan State College.
CCS chancellor since 2010, Dr. Johnson has implemented employee-suggested reorganizations in support of the CCS strategic plan, resulting in savings almost equal to the subsequently legislated cut in state funding. Thanks to her vision, a public-private partnership has been established to launch American Honors @ CCS, an online honors college; a public nonprofit partnership is streamlining workforce training and continuing education, and lean initiatives are continuously improving effectiveness and efficiency across the district.
Dr. Johnson currently serves on the executive committees of Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI) and Spokane STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). She is a member of GSI's Higher Education Leadership Group, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council board, Spokane's University District board, Washington State University-Spokane Advisory Council, and the Strategic Visioning Committee of the Washington Association for Community and Technical Colleges. Her community involvement in Spokane includes the boards of the Spokane Symphony and Daybreak.
At the national level, Dr. Johnson's service includes the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), Community College Survey for Student Engagement (CCSSE), Western Governors University (WGU) — Academic Affairs Council, and American Association of Community College's (AACC) 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and 21st Century Initiative – Implementation Team: Community College/K-12 Collaboration for College Readiness.
Dr. Johnson earned a doctorate in educational administration and supervision and master's degree in curriculum administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and bachelor's in secondary education from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.
Among the many recognitions Dr. Johnson has received are Girl Scouts of America Woman of Distinction, Colorado Pioneer Honoree by the Hispanic Chamber as the first female Hispanic president in the state, Woman of Distinction by Mexico's President Vicente Fox and a Colorado Association of Career and Technical Education (CACTE) award.