SARASOTA COUNTY – Brandon Johnson, the principal of Lamarque Elementary School in North Port, has been appointed as the new principal of North Port High School. Sarasota County Superintendent of Schools Lori White announced the appointment Wednesday.

Johnson, 35, succeeds David Jones at NPHS. Jones was NPHS principal from 2012 until his appointment as Sarasota High School principal Aug. 1.

Johnson has been principal of Lamarque since 2014. During his first year there, the school grade improved from a C to an A.

He holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va. Johnson began with the Sarasota County Schools in 2005 as a teacher for children with special needs at Emma E. Booker Elementary. He also served there as a fourth-grade teacher and as a resource for teachers of special-needs students.

He became an assistant principal intern at Emma E. Booker Elementary in 2010. He subsequently served as an assistant principal intern at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus and as assistant principal at Brentwood Elementary School.

As an elementary school administrator, he was responsible for developing and supporting Positive Behavior Support initiatives and school improvement plans. He was a summer school administrator, data coach, test coordinator and volunteer coordinator. He served on district committees to create a new elementary report card and to update the Student and Family Handbook.

He also has served as a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Stock in Children. He was a member of the NAACP Youth Advisory Counsel.

Sarasota County Schools Executive Director of High Schools Steve Cantees said : “Brandon is the perfect fit for North Port High School. He is a passionate, tireless worker for all students. He knows the North Port community and will serve the students and families of North Port High with same dedication and purpose as he did those at Lamarque Elementary.” Executive Director of Elementary Schools Laura Kingsley said Johnson is an inspired instructional leader who does an outstanding job of helping all students and staff reach their highest potential.

Johnson said: “I am truly blessed to be the new principal at NPHS. I can’t wait to start working with the staff and students at our wonderful school. I look forward to building relationships with our families and the community in the coming year. Go Bobcats!!

“I have truly enjoyed my time at Lamarque and will miss the students, staff and families. In my time we have seen an increase in student achievement, brought back the exciting 5K race and have partnered with Arts Now to bring the fine arts to life. The new principal at Lamarque will be lucky to lead such a wonderful staff and hardworking students.”

Johnson will begin his transition from Lamarque to NPHS on Friday. Kingsley said retired Tatum Ridge Elementary School Principal Sandra Russell will serve as interim principal at Lamarque until a new principal is hired. Kingsley plans for the new principal to begin work the second week of September.