Sarah Johnson has been serving in educational leadership in Northwest Wisconsin since 2004, first as an English Teacher and then as a building principal at all building levels. Sarah is passionate about leadership and developing educators into the best version of themselves to lead at home, work, and life. Sarah seeks this balance in her own life by pursuing passions such as running and writing, focusing on family with her husband who is a teacher and coach and their two young daughters, while also honing leadership skills through networking, teaching, and learning. To seek balance in her own life, she has maintained a daily running streak since July 11, 2014 and developed into a marathon runner over that time. She is known to burst out into song both in daily conversation and during meetings, so be prepared to want to join in. Sarah believes that leadership is a calling and she is proud to answer every day!
As a classroom teacher, Sarah was honored as being designated twice as The Most Influential Teacher. She has facilitated sessions in partnership with K-12 staff and technical college instructors around assessment practices. In 2015, her leadership was recognized as the building she led was designated as a Title I School of Recognition. In 2018, she was a Kohl Foundation Leadership Award State Finalist.
Sarah is a co-author of Balance Like a Pirate: Going Beyond Work-Life Balance to Ignite Passion and Thrive as an Educator, was a featured speaker at the National Principal Conference in 2018, and contributed to Peter DeWitt’s Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences that Matter Most and Adam Welcome’s Run LIke a Pirate. She has appeared on the Principal PLN and Better Leaders Better Schools Podcasts.
As an educational consultant, Sarah holds an unwavering belief in the importance of the message she shares with participants and readers of her leadership books about seeking balance, building resiliency and transforming within their own lives to be the best leaders they can be at home, work, and life.
Sarah left a position in a building to seek to teach masses in what she believes is a calling. Her passion for the message of balance and resiliency is the only thing that would have called her away from the daily work with students and staff, and she takes this message seriously. Do you need to hear it now?
Balance Like a Pirate: The Magic Behind Discovering Work/Life Balance
There’s no question that every educator faces challenges on the job with ever increasing demands that lead to stress and put us all at risk for burnout. School leaders and educators often define themselves through servant leadership, tending to put others’ needs above their own and even end up sacrificing much of their personal time for their careers. We are convicted in our belief that leaders cannot take care of others without also taking care of self as we cannot pour from an empty cup. This keynote session will inspire educators and school leaders to examine where they are pouring energies and draining themselves out as well as where they can make room to reignite flames in their lives that have fizzled. A critical outcome from this session is for educators to see that they can be the best versions of themselves by seeking balance at home, work, and life. Attendees will leave feeling relaxed as well as empowered to take intentional steps toward a more fulfilling balance. We commit to our participants to be able to return to their school re-energized to lead the way.
Women Seeking Balance to Thrive in Leadership and Life
Women carry a variety of titles and those of us in leadership understand how competing they can truly be in daily life. Wife, Mom, School Leader, Sister, Daughter, CarPool Chauffeur, and Friend...Let’s be real...even if we are fortunate to have partners who also work, it seems women tend to carry a substantial and heavy load at work and home. If we are not mindful, the variety of spaces in which we pour ourselves out can lead to identity crisis! Too often we find ourselves spinning through life and suddenly realize we have forgotten the title that preceded all of the rest. Self. Being a school leader is a challenging role for anyone, yet trying to balance it all as a woman in leadership is a layer that only women fully understand. This keynote session on seeking balance to thrive in leadership and life will leave attendees feeling rejuvenated and ready to rock those titles!
Leading with F.A.I.T.H. Over Fear
In order to lead in courageous ways, it is critical to develop characteristics that keep us from leading out of the depths from the pit of fear. In this session, we explore and unpack this concept through the acronym F.A.I.T.H. Free to be yourself, Affirmed in core values and mission, Intentionally goal oriented, Transcending titles and leading through service, and leading with Heart, growing our emotional intelligence. Leave ready to lead more courageously with strategies to avoid the fear pit trap and lead with more faith today!
Resilient Leaders: Why We Need to Be Champions for All Students
We all have personal stories that ink the pages of our lives and develop the plotline for how we came to be in our profession. With the same last name but not related, Co-Presenters Jessica and Sarah share personal stories that illustrate how even childhoods that paint an unlikely picture for success can transform into dynamic leaders in adulthood. This session highlights how kids who grow up in homes with abuse and neglect can become resilient leaders. The session weaves personal story, relationship building tips, research, culturally responsive practices, and bold acts of caring encouragement. Attendees will walk away inspired to champion for their students to become future resilient leaders. **Can be done as a solo session.
Selfcare is Not Selfish: Healthy Means More Selfless
Though we often consider ourselves last when taking care while we are taking charge in our professional lives, it is an enormous mistake. Remember the key advice we get when traveling on an airplane to place the oxygen mask on ourselves first so that we can assist others? We must begin to apply this to our daily lives before the affects of stress take their toll on our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional capacities. After building a clear case for this need, we will go through a wide range of practices and strategies for participants to build a sustainable selfcare plan that they can also bring back to their organizations to impact others. Take charge now so you can take more care later!
Sarah is available to connect with leaders and educators to discuss plans for a workshop or keynote as well as talk balance tips for starting the important transformation process. Contact her to set up a Google Hangout in your school or district!
For participants who desire an accountability partner or someone to brainstorm focus areas, Sarah is here for you. Participants can engage with her via Twitter, Voxer, or email after workshops events.