School Bond Issues Community Meeting

Steve Johnson, deputy superintendent of operations for Bozeman Public Schools, describes the expansion needed during a public meeting in this 2015 file photo.

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A longtime employee and leader within the Bozeman School District who has helped fill in during the recent absence of the superintendent will retire at the end of December.

Steve Johnson, the district’s deputy superintendent of operations, will retire on Dec. 31 after almost 35 years with the school district.

Johnson, along with fellow deputy superintendents Casey Bertram and Marilyn King, have taken on the role of superintendent while Superintendent Bob Connors has been on administrative leave pending a performance review by the board.

His years of service to the district will be highlighted in the school board’s Monday meeting. The board’s proclamation honoring Johnson describes him as a “28-year old ‘kid’ when he was hired” in 1986.

Throughout his time with the district, Johnson has also been involved in settling union contracts and part of the district’s consensus process for negotiations.

“While the agreements themselves will expire, what remains is the spirit of trust, open communication, and mutual problem solving that Johnson modeled during those discussions,” the board’s recognition said.

In his role as deputy superintendent of operation, Johnson has also seen remarkable growth in the district.

During his 35 years with the district, student enrollment grew from 4,138 to its highest in 2019 at 7,111 students. Four new elementary schools, two new middle schools and one new high school were built during that time.

Johnson has taken on many other roles throughout the county outside of the school district. He is a Green Coat Ambassador of the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Lions Club, and a board member for Bozeman Fiber and the Bozeman Schools foundation, according to the school board.

His work with the district’s budget also resulted in recognitions and awards. The district received the Government Finance Officers’ Associate Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for 30 years, and it recently received the Association of School Business Officials’ Meritorious Budget Award.

Johnson has received an award from the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce in 2009, an Outstanding Business Official award in 1996 and one of the highest award from the Association of School Business Officials in 2011.

Dana Johnson, his wife, retired as Bozeman High School’s administrative assistant in 2018 after 29 years.

“While his employment with the district may be ending, Johnson’s contributions to the district and community are long term and will continue to pay dividends well into the future,” the board’s recognition said.

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Liz Weber can be reached at or 582-2633.

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