Brandon Johnson is back in the Mansfield School District, and he knows there is a "whole' lot to do in his new position as principal at Lake Ridge High School.
And he's got a "whole" lot of excitement for his new gig as his goal is to educate and prepare the "whole child" for life in the world ahead of them.
Johnson recently returned after a couple years as principal at Burleson's STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) Academy. He was previously in the MISD from 2008-13 and for a short while in 2014-15, starting as a teacher and coach at Brooks Wester Middle School and later as an assistant principal at Linda Jobe Middle School.
He also spent a year in 2013-14 as an assistant principal in the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. But among all his travels, no place more like home than Mansfield, so given the chance he wasted no time in saying yes to return.
"I was interested in returning to Mansfield ISD because it is a great school district which provides phenomenal choices for its students," Johnson said.
And he loves fitting right in with those choices.
"I believe that my experience with a non-traditional school approach will help guide me in leading Lake Ridge High School to continued success, putting students first and creating a great learning experience," Johnson said.
"Lake Ridge High School will be well-served by its new principal, Brandon Johnson," MISD School Board President Raul Gonzalez said. "He is innovative and thinks outside the box. Principal Johnson's focus is to prepare his students for the world by developing their future-ready skills and leadership."
Johnson, 35, is a Carrollton-Newman Smith graduate and is from Dallas. He has a bachelor of science from TCU and a master of education from American College of Education.
And, as he and his wife Dani has two young children, 3-year-old daughter Olivia and 1-year-old son Knox, helping shape the lives of young people is first and foremost with him. He understands the challenges facing students today are far different from those he saw when he was in school.
"I believe that high school students have so many things competing for their attention now that it’s hard to focus at times. My high school experience was very different," he said. "I think the biggest challenge for today's students is choosing areas of focus in school and out of school. I plan to support Lake Ridge students in the pursuit of their passion."
That would be the "whole child."
"The whole child approach focuses on the long-term development of all students. It ensures that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged," he said.
"I would like to see a greater focus on the whole child and not just assessment."
While working at Burleson ISD, Johnson helped implement instructional intervention programs to ensure academic success among all students that include collaborative spaces and simple changes like flexible seating for improvement in the learning environment.
"I expect he will continue these innovations at Lake Ridge," Gonzalez said.
Johnson is also not adverse to social media. While he realizes the dangers that go along with it, he also knows that it can be used for positive results. In short, it's not going away, so get the most good out of it as possible.
"I think that social media has been great for education," he said. "Social media has allowed public schools to tell their wonderful stories of educating young minds."
And yes, that would be the "whole mind."
"MISD puts students first," Gonzalez said. "We walk the walk and talk the talk. Great things are happening, like making great hires like Brandon Johnson. "