Two Rivers Principal Al Johnson for being named one of Bethel University’s Alumni of the Year

Congratulations to Two Rivers Principal Al Johnson for being named one of Bethel University’s Alumni of the Year! Dr. Johnson was honored at Bethel’s homecoming week earlier this month. Here are some of the excerpts from Bethel’s recognitions:

Years ago, after carving out a successful career in retail sales, Albert Johnson GS’22, Ed.D., started a breakfast club at his son’s school. As he helped empower young students to be successful in life and business, he discovered his own calling to education. “That was the best part of my job,” he says. “I would love to be able to talk and go and affect kids.” Though he’d dropped out of high school as a teen, the experience helped propel Johnson to a career as a high school principal. He earned his Ed.D. in K-12 Administration at Bethel and became the first Black administrator in West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools.

Today, Johnson is perhaps best known around the Twin Cities as the roller-skating principal. He gained local media attention after using his love for roller skating as a way to connect with students and staff at Two Rivers High School. “Why do I roller-skate? Because I’m seeking to create connection and a commonality with my kids,” he says. As he strives for Two Rivers to become one of the top high schools in the country, his goals extend beyond improving academics and closing the achievement gap. After overcoming his own trauma and hardships earlier in life, Johnson carries a deep conviction for serving staff and students who are hurting. “If I only eliminate an academic disparities gap, but kids are still hurting on the inside, I'm not achieving anything,” he says. “I work really hard at being a servant-leader, and if I am, people will feel loved, cared for, heard.”

Congratulations, Principal Johnson!