Sterling Heights

Sterling Heights' educator makes 2019 notable leader list

Dr Christine Johns has been recognized as a leader in her field.Utica Community Schools (UCS) Superintendent Christine Johns has been named one of this year’s Notable Women in Educational Leadership by Crain’s Detroit Business.

Johns is among 35 educators selected for their career accomplishments, track record of success in the field, contributions to their community, and mentoring of others.

UCS Board of Education President Robert Ross says that as a university professor, he has witnessed the impact Johns’ leadership has on young students.

“I see first-hand how UCS students are competitive and truly prepared for success in their post-secondary education,” Ross says.

Johns, who has served as superintendent of UCS since 2006, was also named one of Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan in 2016. She has been inducted into the Macomb Hall of Fame and was named a Tech Savvy Superintendent of the Year by eSchool News.

“Dr Johns is laser-focused on students,” says William Young, president of Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars, a program through which Johns has led efforts to provide more than $330,000 in scholarships to UCS students.

“She uses her skills as a clear communicator and thoughtful leader to expertly take her district and students to the next level," says Young.

Johns’ leadership has led to numerous opportunities for UCS students, including the Seal of Global Language given to students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in at least one world language; a partnership with to expand opportunities in computer science for K-12 students; and Stevenson MADE, a four-year academy that combines academic content with instruction in welding, machining, automation and design engineering. 

Through her work, UCS received two U.S. Department of Education grants, totaling more than $13 million, to launch new programs. 

“Our students experience unparalleled success thanks to Dr Johns’ vision and her commitment to excellence,” Ross says.

“Her leadership has improved opportunities for our students while influencing education policy throughout Macomb County, the State of Michigan and our nation.”

Watch Metromode’s interview with Christine Johns here.
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Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at