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EdD 20th Anniversary Panel

Dr. Johnnie Thomas

Currently, Dr. Johnnie Thomas is superintendent of Rich Township School District 227. He began his work at District 227 the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Dr. Thomas is raising expectations for district 227. He has applied and was accepted from College Board for our students to participate in the Pre-AP program to be at all three campuses. Only 100 schools, were accepted across the country into this program. In addition, with partnership with the community he has completed a mission and vision that is aligned with the strategic plan for the district.

As former superintendent of Community High School District 155, Dr. Johnnie Thomas was responsible for the successful delivery of comprehensive educational services to nearly 7,000 students who attend four high schools and an alternative education campus located in McHenry and Lake Counties. He is the eleventh superintendent in the district’s 95-year history and its first African-American leader.

Dr. Thomas’ ascent within public school systems began with his role as a School Social Worker with Chicago Public Schools District 299 – a position filled with encounters that intensified his desire to improve educational outcomes for all children. Several administrative positions with Valley View District 365-U followed this post, leading to his role as Executive Director for Student Services for Valley View from 2005 to 2009. Prior to his current role as superintendent, Thomas served three years as associate superintendent for student services at the 13,000 - student Township High School District 214 where he led collaborative efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate services for special education students and faculty.

These combined experiences strengthened Dr. Thomas’ capacity to collaborate, negotiate, strategize, manage crises, and lead, thus preparing him to successfully spearhead efforts to build a state-of-the-art football stadium, circumvent a teacher strike, shepherd the passing of the district’s first-ever $20-million bond issuance, balance the previous deficit budget, and restructured the organization to align with the district’s strategic priorities– all within his first 18 months as superintendent.

Dr. Thomas is an advisory board member of the Loyola University Chicago School of Education and serves on boards for McHenry County Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Special Education Department of McHenry County. He is the immediate past president of the McHenry County Superintendents Organization and previously served as a board member for the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education and as vice president of the DuPage Township Youth Taskforce board. Thomas is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, American Association of School Administrators, and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Dr. Thomas, a native of Chicago, received an EdD from DePaul University, a MSW from Loyola University, and a BA in sociology from Southern Illinois University. He was recently featured in DePaul Magazine as one of ‘14 under 40 Alumni Making a Difference’ and in 2014, he delivered the keynote address for the School of Social Work at Loyola University commencement ceremony.

Dr. Judy Floeter

Judy McCann-Floeter is an educational leader who is passionate about improving public schools; promoting a collaborative culture, empowering students and staff and attending to those social issues that many of our students confront. She considers herself to be both a champion and an advocate for teachers and students. She is currently the principal of Jefferson Elementary School, a 4th and 5th grade center in Harvard, Illinois. Prior to her 13 years as an administrator, McCann-Floeter taught 6th grade in Cary, Illinois for five years.Before her return to education in 2000, McCann-Floeter spent 15 years as a systems engineer in the insurance industry pioneering new and more efficient underwriting systems using state-of-the-art technologies. McCann-Floeter graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, received her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University, and in 2015, earned a Doctor of Education Degree from DePaul University. Her dissertation is entitled: Securing the Blessings – Cultivating Active Citizens: Public School Principals’ Perceptions of How They Nurture a Democratic Way of Life. 

McCann-Floeter is devoted her students and teachers. She is a researcher who is continually seeking to improve learning for ALL students, to build a more positive and productive school culture and to develop in students the habits of active democratic citizens. McCann-Floeter has served as the district’s Performance Evaluation Review Act (PERA) chairperson, Complaint and Discrimination Manager. She is the secretary for Midwest Principals’ Center’s governing board and executive board, and has taught masters’ level courses at North Park University. McCann-Floeter enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, quilting and gardening.

Dr. John H. Dozier

Serves the University of South Carolina as its inaugural chief diversity officer and senior associate provost for inclusion. He is responsible for leading strategic diversity and inclusion efforts that are focused on creating learning, living and working environments that embody the university's values. He has the additional responsibility of leading university efforts in community engagement – connecting and engaging faculty research, scholarship and student learning interests with communities and community organizations throughout South Carolina.

Prior to the University of South Carolina, he spent 10 years with the City Colleges of Chicago serving as vice president of academic and student affairs for Kennedy-King and Wilbur Wright Colleges, chief information officer for the 120,000-student college district, and ultimately as president of Kennedy-King College.

Since returning home to Columbia seven years ago, he has made such a mark on the local landscape that Columbia Business Monthly recognized him as one of Columbia’s 50 Most Influential People in 2013.  In 2015, South Carolina State University recognized him as a distinguished alumnus. In 2016, he received the Richard A. Rempel Faculty Award from the University of South Carolina. He serves as immediate past chairman of the board of trustees for EdVenture Children’s Museum, member of the board of trustees for Historic Columbia and vice-chair of the Hand Middle School Improvement Council.  He and his wife, Victoria, own Columbia’s first and only world language-learning center, The Language Buzz, where they provide Spanish, French, Mandarin instruction and cultural experiences.

John is a graduate of South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He also holds Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Education degrees from DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois).