GovLoop Member of the Week – Michael O. Johnston

Happy Sunday GovLoopers! This week I got a chance to chat with the man behind the GovLoop group, Community Education Professionals, Michael O. Johnston. An active GovLooper, especially when it comes to topics such as education, Michael was more then happy to take some time and share some thoughts on GovLoop, education and a few other topics.
Thanks so much Michael and have a great week GovLoopers!

1. What has been the biggest thing you’ve drawn from participating in

From participating in Govloop I’ve met many very fascinating people all across the world with a variety of life and career backgrounds. Also, by being a part of Govloop I have had the opportunity to share what I have learned and have also gathered a mass amount of knowledge that others have contributed to the network.

2. Has being an active GovLooper helped you in your job?

Being an active member of Govloop has not helped me in my job, but it has broadened my knowledge in other fields that I am not as familiar with. However, there are many very knowledgeable individuals on Govloop that are in the education field (Example: Kitty Wooley, a very helpful Govlooper). With that being said the topic of education and community education are two areas I hope for knowledge to be shared in both blogs and groups.

3. What is the best thing about being Webmaster for the Iowa Community
Education Association?

First I would like to say that my “position” as a webmaster for Iowa Community Education Association (ICEA) is pretty much a self-given title. As an intern my responsibility for ICEA is to make sure their website up-to-date, and being responsible for their website I am the liaison that collects information for the website and distributes it to the right individuals. However, the best part about being the webmaster for ICEA is that I have learned a lot, have had many opportunities to attend community education workshops, and by being the webmaster for ICEA I have met many local professionals.

4. What was your goal in starting the GovLoop group, Community
Education Professionals?

If I am interpreting this question right, my goal when joining Govloop was to real insight from professionals already in government since I am a graduate student in a master of public administration program at Iowa State University, and hopefully be able to share some of my insights (which I have been highly successful in both).

My goal in starting the Community Education Professionals group is actually that it is a blog for the Iowa Community Education Association and is intended for both local and national community educators to share information with one another. The field of community education, as I have learned firsthand, does not have the friendliest hours for professionals to be able to gather and share best practices. Thus, by having a blog that is able to be obtained any time of day it allows professionals to post on the blog or read what others have posted whenever they have spare time.

5. How do you think Govloop can help educators?

Govloop can help educators by allowing them to share best practices amongst one another, as well as can be used as a platform to share information that could potentially be read by leaders in government. The field of education is a science and with that being said there is no one best way, therefore, education is best practiced when knowledge is collected from many professionals who are considered as highly skilled educators.

6. How did you end up in this career?

All throughout my education I have enjoyed all of my teachers, and believe that the next generation should have the same relationship with their teachers. However, after school is my area of interest because that is when youth needs learning and structure the most. As research has shown 3- 6pm is when crime, drug use, and pregnancy is at its peak. Thus, by making available fun and structured environment to youth during this time, I believe we can lower youth activity in crime, drug use, and sexual activity.

7. If you could choose any other career path, what would it be?

If I could choose any other career path it would probably be something in criminal justice, maybe S.W.A.T., F.B.I, or something like that. Only because I’m big fan of the many exciting television shows and movies about this profession and if these are a true representation of the career, then work would be exciting every day and the adrenaline rush that came with it would be fun.

8. What are you reading right now?

Can’t say I have been doing any reading of books, but my daily reading materials usually consist of following many very interesting individuals on twitter (i.e. @LoneStarSchools, @Usedgov, @Afterschool, @TopicsEducation, @EdLaborNews, @GYSD, @EducationWeek, and of course @Govloop himself), the local newspaper, and many fascinating blogs on govloop.

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Great interview with one of my favorite GovLoopers Michael brings an energy and passion for gov’t that will serve him well. Can’t wait to see how his future in govt unfolds….

Adriel Hampton

Michael, great to hear more about you! Keep up your great work – pulling communities together around education is a noble endeavor. Children of all ages (adults, too!) need roll models like you.

Robert Domaingue

Michael, I think you rightly point out that Community Education is a vibrant field where creative individuals can make a real difference in the community. I wish you all the best in your studies and continued work in the field.