Shelby High School provided a strong foundation for Dean Johnston ’65, and he has made a career of helping others build strong foundations. While at SHS, Dean played football, basketball and baseball, ran track and was a member of Hi-Y. Afterward, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Tiffin University.
Today Dean is chief executive officer of Santa Barbara Business College and California Aeronautical University. He is past president of Hamilton College, Mason City, Iowa and Nebraska College of Business in Omaha. He is a board trustee at Compass Rose Foundation, a private education foundation in Jacksonville, Florida.
Since beginning his career as a business teacher, Dean has held numerous leadership positions. He is former chair of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and former member of the board of directors of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. He is past president of the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools and past chairman of the California Student Aid Commission’s Loan Advisory Council. He also is past chairman of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board. Dean received a gubernatorial appointment to the California Student Aid Commission that, during his tenure, awarded $900 million in grants to California students.
He is recipient of the Imagine America Foundation’s Pioneer Award and the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools Hall of Fame Star Award, bestowed for distinguished leadership in private higher education. He also is recipient of Tiffin University’s Alumni Achievement Award.
Observers an alum, “Dean has combined his zeal for education and business into a career that is helping others achieve their life goals.” Dean and his wife Jane, an SHS alumna, have sons Matthew and Jason, two grandchildren Melissa and Nathan, and live in Santa Barbara, California.
Nominator: Linda Johnson McBride ’65.