A Hays County native who grew up on her family’s 3,500-acre cattle ranch along the Blanco River, Ms. Johnson attended tiny St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Wimberley through third grade and then transferred to public schools in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. She graduated from Jack C. Hays High School in 2002 and attended Parsons The New School for Design in New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree.
The youngest mayor in Kyle’s 134-year history, Ms. Johnson was 26 years old in 2010 when she was elected to complete the unexpired term of her predecessor, Mark Gonzales. Overwhelmingly elected to a full three-year term in 2011, Johnson presided over the city council during a period in which the city’s population increased an average of 4.4 percent a year, growing from 28,016 in the 2010 census to 31,760 by June 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While mayor, Ms. Johnson led efforts to form the Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council and oversaw construction of a new public library. She campaigned against the Legislature’s public education funding cuts in 2009 and campaigned for Hays CISD’s inclusion into the Austin Community College district in 2010.
In July, Johnson joined the U.S. Department of Education as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach. She assumes the role previously held by John White and will be joining ED’s OCO State and Local Engagement Team under the leadership of Deputy Assistant Secretary Joe Walsh.
She also sat on the board of Hope and Love for Kids, a nonprofit organization that raises money for school supplies and Christmas presents for poor children.