Michael Johnston

Mike Johnston represented Northeast Denver in the Colorado State Senate where he successfully passed major legislation on education reform, economic development, immigration reform and criminal justice reform.

Before his two terms in the Senate, he spent six years as a high school principal, wrote a book about his experience as a Teach For America corps member in Mississippi entitled In the Deep Heart’s Core, and served as a senior education advisor to President Obama.

Mike is a Vail native and a small business owner who helps run his family business–The Christiania Lodge. He has co-founded non-profit and for-profit ventures across the country including New Leaders, a national principal training program for urban schools, the Urban Leaders Fellowship, which prepares young people to fight for social justice through courageous public leadership, and Traverse, a strategic consulting company focused on building policies, partnerships, and programs that transform communities.

A graduate of Vail Mountain School, Mike holds degrees from Yale College, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Yale Law School and was named to Time Magazine’s list of “40 Under 40 Political Leaders” and Forbes’ list of “America’s Seven Most Influential Educators.” Most recently, Mike was highlighted in the New York Times as one of “Fourteen Young Democrats to Watch.”

Mike lives with his wife Courtney, a Denver Chief Deputy District Attorney who oversees the office’s Juvenile Unit, and their three children – Seamus, Emmet, and Ava.



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