Award recognizes innovation, distinguished service in the community college sector.
Dr. David N. Johnson, president of Johnston Community College, is the 2017 recipient of the I.E. Ready Distinguished Leader Award.
Each year, N.C. State University’s College of Education honors one of its alumni for exceptional leadership at a community college with the I.E. Ready Award. Dr. Isaac Epps Ready led the North Carolina Community College System in its earliest days and went on to serve as Professor Emeritus in N.C. State’s Adult and Community College Education program.
The I.E. Ready Award honors N.C. State alumni who have built student success, implemented evidence-based practices and achieved impressive results, adopted entrepreneurial approaches to leadership, and created key external partnerships with their communities.
Johnson was presented the award during a ceremony Oct. 3 at the Friday Institute on the campus of N.C. State University.
One of Johnson’s biggest accomplishments during his presidency at JCC is implementing the “one college” organizational philosophy which aims to alleviate institutional silos by merging curriculum and continuing education divisions and services into one instructional unit. Under Johnson’s leadership, JCC was also named a Top 150 Community College by the Aspen Institute and was a Bellwether finalist in 2016.
“Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership, Johnston Community College has made important strides in meeting the labor market needs of Johnston County in fields like biotechnology, manufacturing, and cardiovascular technician services, said Dr. Mary Ann Danowitz, dean in the College of Education at N.C. State. Based on gap analyses conducted, Dr. Johnson is spearheading Johnston Community College’s efforts to raise additional resources, increase student success, and improve the campus and organizational climate. These and other efforts have led to Johnston Community College being recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 150 community colleges in the United States.”
Johnson became JCC’s third president in 2009. Before returning to his home state of North Carolina, Johnson served various community colleges in Virginia for almost 20 years. Immediately prior to coming to JCC, he was provost of the John H. Daniel Campus of Southside Virginia Community College. In addition, he held several positions at Wytheville Community College as well as executive director of the Crossroads Institute.
A native of Raleigh, Dr. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Campbell University, a master’s of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University.
Johnson is the current president of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP) for 2017-18. He served as the NCACCP treasurer in 2016-17 and secretary in 2015-16.
Johnson is married to the former Betty Lynne Wallace who is associate professor in the physician assistant program at Campbell University. They have two sons, Wallace, a graduate of Duke Divinity School and associate pastor of Orange United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC; and Isaac, a graduate of Johnston Community College and a current music composition student at Campbell University. The Johnsons make their home in the Cleveland community of Johnston County and enjoy entertaining their twin grandchildren, Lillie and Liam.
Cut line: Dr. David Johnson, president of Johnston Community College, is pictured with from left Lyn Austin, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees; Dr. Twyla Wells, executive director of the JCC Foundation; Dr. Terri Lee, director of research and institutional effectiveness; and Dr. Evelyn Kelly, dean of foundational studies and academic support.