Mike Johnson is in his fourth year on the Denver School Board. He is the Treasurer the district, chairs the Finance and Audit Committee and serves as a member of the board of the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Luminary Learning Network Innovation Zone and the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning. Mike has served on the boards of the Denver After-School Alliance and the City’s Be Healthy Denver initiative and on DPS’s Arts Strategic Planning Committee, Whole Child Task Force and Mill Levy Oversight Committee.
Mike is the first in his family to go to college. He worked his way through college and Georgetown Law School with the support of dedicated teachers, need-based scholarships and loans. Mike has practiced law for over 40 years and is one of Colorado’s best known and respected public finance lawyers, representing states, school districts and other local governments and businesses throughout the United States. His clients include the State of Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado’s Building Excellent Schools Today state-wide school capital construction program and more than 20 Colorado school districts. Mike served as DPS’s finance lawyer for more than 15 years until he resigned to run for the school board in 2013.
Mike’s three daughters attended DPS schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Sarah graduated in 2011, attended Bryn Mawr College and is a second year elementary school teacher in Boston. Abby graduated in 2015 and just finished her freshman year at Reed College. Corley graduated this May and in the fall will begin a five year dual degree program in music performance and history at Oberlin College and Conservatory.
Mike got involved in the schools in his neighborhood when Sarah started kindergarten at Steck Elementary in 1998 to make sure his children received the quality education that was his pathway to success. In the 19 years since, Mike has volunteered in his daughters’ schools as a classroom assistant, field trip chaperone, chair of the school governance committee (CSC) and member of two principal selection committees and various fundraising committees. At the district level, Mike has served on the district’s School Improvement and Accountability Committee, the design committee for a new school, a regional planning committee, the Mill Levy Oversight Committee and the committees that designed and campaigned for the 2005 ProComp ballot question, the 2012 bond and mill levy ballot questions and the 2016 bond and mill levy ballot questions.
In the community, Mike has served as the president of his neighborhood association, on the boards of Mile High Early Learning Centers, Allied Jewish Apartments and the Colorado NARAL Foundation and as a member of Mayor Hancock’s Transition Committee.
Mike lives near Cheesman Park with his wife, Carol Friesen, his three daughters (when they are home) and the family’s small, but fierce, dog, Mickey.