Johnson Selected as New Sunrise Principal

Mark Johnson has been selected as the new principal for Sunrise Middle School.  Mr. Johnson has been the principal at Bryant Elementary for the past 13 years, since August of 2006.  Johnson will replace Jeff Ganz, who was recently appointed Kearney High School principal.  Our vision is to inspire and empower lifelong learners by addressing their academic, social, and emotional needs, and we are so excited that Mr. Johnson will be at the helm of this work for Sunrise Middle School.


“Mr. Johnson has dedicated his entire professional life to serving and providing high-quality educational experiences for students,” said Dr. Kent Edwards, Superintendent.  “It was very clear during this selection process that he was the perfect candidate to fulfill the role as principal for Sunrise Middle School.  Mr. Johnson is committed to and deeply believes in the importance of a strong middle school experience.  He understands the unique role educators play in preparing  students for academic challenges and developing the necessary social skills that will empower them to change the world.”  


Johnson has been with Kearney Public Schools since 1995.  He was a teacher at Windy Hills Elementary (1995-2004), a principal at Glenwood Elementary (2004-2006), and a principal at Bryant Elementary (2006-2021).

"I am very happy to be joining the Sunrise Middle School  family. I am looking forward to this new opportunity where my passions can help inspire great teaching and learning while building positive relationships with our students, staff, and parents. I am committed to ensuring every child is provided with an exceptional educational experience where academic excellence and social-emotional wellness is a priority."


Johnson received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska - Kearney.


He has received numerous awards including the Milken Family Foundation Award, Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and New Principal Award for Nebraska.


Johnson is known nationally as a speaker for creating a positive climate and culture for organizations and schools.  He is the co-founder of Mission Monday - A plan to make your company, school, or community a better place one week at a time.  Mission Monday has become part of the Kearney Public Schools #BeKind program.


Johnson has served as a member and officer of the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.


Jeff Ganz has been principal at Sunrise Middle School since 2012 and will transition to Kearney High School in the fall of 2021.  


A search for a new Bryant Principal will begin immediately.