IL Superintendent Summer Spotlight: Dr. Suzanne Johnson, U-46

This summer, we will get to know more about our Equity First superintendents; many of whom are active in our FIF coalition. Advance Illinois’s Equity First coalition is an alliance of superintendents across Illinois that advocate for public policy that promotes equity in public education for students. The group gathers to discuss education policy and school community issues to help inform Advance Illinois’ education policy agenda and statewide policy broadly.

In this week’s blog we converse with Elgin, Illinois superintendent Dr. Suzanne Johnson from school district U-46. 

Why did you go into the education field? 

As a passionate educator, I strive to create educational opportunities and outcomes for diverse student populations via differentiated and robust instruction while building student autonomy. 


How does EBF funding play a role in the success of the students you serve or the school district? 

I believe EBF assures equity by explicitly allocating additional resources to areas of greater need, and address climate and culture issues by establishing structures and guidelines for strong, positive communication among all district stakeholder groups. EBF provides more resources to support equitable resources at all levels for all students. EBF has also supported interests to increase primary learning opportunities thereby impacting student achievement. EBF strives to allocate funds based on need rather than enrollment alone. 


Tell us about your school district. What are some accomplishments you want to highlight from your school district? What have been some of the challenges you’ve had or are addressing in your school district? 

School district U-46 is a Dual Language district providing Dual Language programming for students PreK – 12th grade. Our Dual Language students experience great success on the AP Spanish Language and Composition test. Additionally, I am proud of our work to implement play-based full-day kindergarten for all students across the school district. Our current focus and collective effort is that we will not locate deficits in our students, but rather seek out deficits in our systems that generate our results. Each of our systems must be measured and improved. It is our moral imperative to change until all our systems measurably work for all children in school district U-46. 


What resources and supports can further benefit your school? Or what resources/supports have made a positive difference? 

Additional support for early learners would impact our school district positively. 


 Fun fact about yourself: 

I am a graduate of school district U-46, and I have spent my entire career in U-46.