Virginia Beach, Va. – Paula Johnson, assistant principal of Landstown High School, was recently named the 2013 Outstanding Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP). A 24-year-veteran of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), Johnson was cited for her extensive work in collaborative leadership and professional learning communities, her dedication to college readiness and her personification of personalization.
“Receiving such a distinction is a true reflection of the training, guidance and leadership I have received as a teacher, instructional leader and administrator in Virginia Beach City Public Schools,” Johnson said. “I am beyond honored.”
Johnson began her career with VBCPS in 1989 as an Ocean Lakes Elementary School fourth-grade teacher. In the fall of 2001, she became one of the original members of the Technology Academy mathematics department at Landstown High School. She went on to serve as the school improvement specialist for Lynnhaven Middle from 2005-2006, before returning to Landstown High in July 2006 as an assistant principal.
During her time at Landstown, Johnson has played an integral role in piloting an AP Human Geography course, increasing student enrollment in Advanced Placement courses and has been credited as the driving force behind the growth of the school’s Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.
Superintendent Dr. James G. Merrill praised Johnson for her contributions to VBCPS.
“Ms. Johnson is an inspiring leader and innovator who contributes significantly to this school division,” Merrill said. “She works tirelessly to improve educational opportunities for students and professional initiatives for staff, always encouraging those around her to strive for excellence. We are proud of her accomplishments.”
In his letter of recommendation for Johnson, Landstown Principal Dr. Brian Matney explained that she is known best for “…extending herself in an effort to get to know and establish relationships with students, cognizant that there is no better way to reach them and to ultimately share important life lessons.”
Johnson will be officially presented with her state award at the annual Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference scheduled for June 26-28 in Hot Springs, Va. As the state honoree, she now will be considered for the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ (NASSP) National Assistant Principal of the Year title which will be announced at the NASSP Conference in March.
Johnson is the second consecutive VBCPS winner of the state distinction. Dr. Sandra Brown, now principal of Virginia Beach Middle School, was the state honoree in 2011. VASSP did not select a recipient in 2012.