This NSU alumnus earned his doctorate while saving a school
When Karlton Johnson arrived at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach as the school’s new principal, he faced a serious challenge. He had to transform Blanche Ely from top to bottom.
Eight years later, the school’s overall graduation rate had climbed to 90%, the highest in its history. Through John-son’s committed leadership, Blanche Ely received numerous awards and recognitions. Some 96% of its magnet students attend four-year colleges and universities, and many receive scholarships.
Johnson’s passion and commitment to his school is palpable. For him, life is about learning. “My favorite quote is: ‘To learn is to know, and to excel is to achieve.’ I live every day,” he said.
Johnson, with a master’s degree in educational leadership already under his belt, earned his doctorate in education with a concentration in organizational leadership in 2015 from the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education at Nova Southeastern University (NSU).
“This is a major accomplishment that I approach with grace and total appreciation,” he said. “My doctorate degree from NSU helped open many doors.”
Johnson was named 2016 Principal of the Year for Broward County Public Schools by the district and was named one of south Florida’s 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders this year by Legacy Broward and Palm Beach. He credits NSU with helping him become a better leader.
“The faculty and professors helped me expand my skills,” he said. “They worked closely with me to help identify academic and professional opportunities.”
“Maintaining operational and management responsibilities as a high school principal while completing a doctoral degree was not an easy feat,” Johnson said, but earning his doctorate from NSU was one of the most exciting times of his life. NSU’s flexibility enabled Johnson to uphold his professional commitments while working to advance his education.
“The flexibility was remarkable,” he said. “NSU provided me with tremendous assistance in the areas of research and literature.
“The NSU Fischler College offers the best opportunities for doctoral students,” said Johnson, whose goal is to become a superintendent. “Reaching my education goal gave me clarity on what I ultimately want to accomplish. It helped me crystallize and articulate my desires.”
NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tam-pa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. For more information on Nova Southeastern University, visit www.nova.edu.