Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson

Obituary of Ralph Arnold Johnson

Ralph A. Johnson, formerly of New Albany, Ohio passed away at his home in Aiken, South Carolina surrounded by friends and family on October 5, 2019 from complications of ALS.

Dr. Johnson is the former Superintendent of New Albany Schools and the Director of Leadership at the ESC of Central Ohio.

He was born April 7, 1947 in New York City to the late Ralph A. Johnson Sr. and Grace Marion (Coggins) Johnson. He is survived by his adored wife Terry Lynn (Wise) Johnson formerly of Upper Arlington, Ohio, his sister Grace Hanser and brother Kenneth.

He completed his PhD at Ohio University. He graduated from high school at The Stony Brook School in New York. He was the Co-Captain of his high school football and wrestling team. He went on to Captain his college wrestling team, and was four time state collegiate champion and two-time SEC conference champion.

Until his illness Dr. Johnson was Director of Leadership at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio where he provided executive training for practicing school superintendents as well as a variety of consulting services to school boards. Dr. Johnson has also served as the former Superintendent In Residence at The Ohio State University, College of Education. At Ohio State, he was responsible for coordinating the accelerated licensure program for Ohio Superintendents and directing the National Academy of Superintendents.

He served for 13 years as Superintendent of New Albany Schools. New Albany has consistently ranked among the leading school districts in Ohio. Dr. Johnson led several funding campaigns that resulted in the successful construction of a new 200-acre campus with thirteen buildings and a new performing arts center. He is especially proud of his collaboration with fellow educator Bill Resch in the creation of a 90 acre nationally recognized nature preserve adjacent to the campus that serves as a teaching laboratory. Upon his retirement, the community established an endowment in his name with the New Albany Community Foundation to further advance art and leadership programs for students.

Dr. Johnson has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education. He has presented at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) national conferences; the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA); the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA); and has served as a consultant to numerous school districts in the Midwest.

Dr. Johnson served on the Executive Board of the Ohio Alliance for Adequate School funding; the Executive Board of the Franklin County Educational Council, the Executive Board of the New Albany Community Foundation, ex officio; the Metropolitan Educational Council, the Executive Board and Past President of the Ohio Franklin County Superintendents' Association, and the Advisory Board (Kitchen Cabinet) to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of Ohio.

Dr. Johnson served on several education commissions in Ohio, as well as a Board Member of KIPP, Central Ohio. He was a founding Board member of the New Albany Community Foundation.

Dr. Johnson received numerous recognitions:

John G. McCoy Award, by the Founder and Past Chairman of the Board of Bank One for public service to the community in helping to develop the $18,000,000 New Albany Performing Arts Center. New Albany City Council Recognition for “Leadership in Developing the New Albany School Campus.”

Ohio House of Representative Resolution and New Albany Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award for “Service to Community in Leading the School District to the designation of 'Excellent with Distinction.”

He was also awarded the Ohio Arts Council Administrator of the Year Award for “Leadership in the Arts” in developing the Alliance for the Arts and playing a leadership role in helping to develop the New Albany Performing Arts Center. 

The national University Council for Educational Administration recognized him for “Excellence in Educational Leadership” as New Albany’s Superintendent.


Dr. Johnson has been chief consultant to numerous school districts in Ohio facilitating executive level searches. One of his most satisfying accomplishments has been to help former students and colleagues advance to leadership positions.

Dr. Johnson co-authored with Charles Parsons Ohio Superintendent Evaluation System. He also authored a monograph for Treasurer evaluations, The Ohio Treasurers Evaluation System.

Dr. Johnson was a member the New Albany Country Club, The Reserve Club at Woodside, Aiken S.C., and Sam’s Club.

At his request, no services will be held.

The Historic George Funeral Home, 211 Park Ave., SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803.649.6234), has charge of arrangements.

Expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting www.georgefuneralhomes.com


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