Superintendent Dr. Johnson-Shirley Featured in NWIESC Newsletter

superintendent profile

Lake Ridge New Tech Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Johnson-Shirley was featured in the November issue of the Northwest Indiana Educational Services Center (NWIESC) newsletter! Below is her profile in the publication:

Dr. Sharon Johnson-Shirley has worked for the Lake Ridge New Tech School Corporation for over 23 Years, and as Superintendent for over 14 years.  Her positions in the corporation have included: Principal, Curriculum Director, and Assistant Superintendent. She also taught in the Gary School District for 14 years. She shared that she would be remiss if she did not share the spotlight with Team Lake Ridge. She said, "Their efforts are the reason that I can be recognized today."

In the last year, as most schools, Lake Ridge worked hard to survive the Pandemic. They took matters into their own hands by hosting the first mass vaccination clinic on a school campus and were able to provide shots to over 2100 people. Governor Holcomb gave them a shout out at one of his meetings to let them know that the work to help save lives did not go unnoticed.  Dr. Johnson Shirley shared, "Our thought process at Lake Ridge was, if we became part of the solution, the sooner we could return our students back to school in person, safely."

Dr. Johnson-Shirley is most proud of the work that her team completed virtually.  How many school districts can claim that they completed a new strategic plan during the pandemic?  Lake Ridge hosted parents, community, students and staff to make sure that it was all inclusive. They hosted multiple food distribution sites weekly throughout the community to feed their entire school community. They also spearheaded many other initiatives including: 

* Utilizing their COVID relief funds to ensure that students thrived academically, socially, and emotionally.  
* Creating a plan to improve air quality at their Schools with an HVAC renovation project.
* Creating a plan to improve health, safety, and security with an entry redesign and restroom refurbishment project.
* Installing touchless water bottle filling stations at all schools.
* Adding additional nursing staff to assist in contact tracing.
* Addressing student learning gaps by employing academic interventionists, behavior interventionists, and home school liaisons.
* Providing additional professional development for teachers.
* Addressing SEL issues raised by the pandemic by partnering with community organizations to assist where needed.

What Dr. Johnson-Shirley finds most rewarding about her job is that they provide a family atmosphere. Their motto is; we are one and we live by this creed.  We seek to find solutions to problems no matter how hard, and we never give up.

When asked about her future dreams, she shared, "My future dream is that we get equitable resources to provide a high quality education for all and give the staff all the tools they need to make it happen."

In her spare time, Dr. Johnson-Shirley enjoys spending time with her husband, supporting her sorority initiatives, attending live plays, and reading.  Everyone knows her favorite pastime is shopping, even if she is not buying.