Chief in Residence
Dr. Bryan Johnson is a member of Chiefs for Change and a chief in residence. He provides coaching, advising, and thought partnership to fellow members of our network and participants in our Future Chiefs leadership development program.
Johnson is the former superintendent of Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga,Tennessee, a system with 45,000 students and 79 schools. During his tenure, the district saw historic levels of improvement. It jumped from 130th to second in the state for student academic growth, making Hamilton County Schools the fastest-improving district in Tennessee. The district also reached the state’s highest level for student academic growth in all areas for two consecutive years, the second of which was during the Covid-19 pandemic. Other notable gains include increasing the number of Reward Schools, or those earning the state’s highest distinction, from five to 32; increasing student scholarship dollars earned from $20 million to more than $120 million; and increasing achievement for high school-assessed subjects by 7 percent or more. During the pandemic, Johnson worked with community leaders and the school board to launch a 10-year commitment to close the digital divide by providing free high-speed internet to all 28,500 economically disadvantaged students in Hamilton County.
His professional experience also includes roles as a teacher; school administrator; director of secondary schools; and chief academic officer. Johnson has received numerous accolades for his leadership, including being named one of four finalists for AASA National Superintendent of the Year in 2021, the 2021 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year, and a 2020 Education Week Leader To Learn From. In addition, he was recognized as a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association, Outstanding Young Alumnus at Austin Peay, and Humanitarian of the Year for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Southeastern Region.
Johnson holds degrees from Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, and Trevecca University, where he earned his doctorate in educational leadership.