INDIANAPOLIS | Sharon Johnson-Shirley, superintendent of Lake Ridge Schools, has been chosen by members of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents as the 2013 District I Superintendent of the Year.
Winners are selected by other superintendents in their district who consider the qualifications and accomplishments of area colleagues and their instructional leadership in a time of limited resources.
Johnson-Shirley has been superintendent of Lake Ridge Schools since 2006.
In her first year as superintendent, Johnson-Shirley was faced with stabilizing the district financially by reducing staff, decreasing spending and removing costly programs that weren’t succeeding.
During her tenure as superintendent, she has implemented mandatory annual budget cuts ranging from $300,000 to $1.5 million. With support from her leadership team, she was able to transform Calumet High into the first New Tech High School in Northwest Indiana.
Over a six-year time span, Calumet High has changed from a school on probationary status to a nationally recognized educational institution for excellence.
Implementing academic programs funded by grants helped the district decrease illiteracy rates and increase test scores significantly.
Johnson-Shirley is a founding member of Lake Ridge Schools Educational Foundation and the Lake County School Safety Commission.
She joined Lake Ridge School Corp. in 1997, serving as assistant superintendent/curriculum director and principal of Hosford Park Elementary School.
She earned her Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees at Indiana University and her doctoral degree at Loyola University.
One of the eight district winners will represent Indiana in the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year program.
District 1 includes Fulton, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke counties.