Moffat Family Charitable Trust Grant Benefits Scranton Elementary Students

Johnson College received an $8,991.00 grant from The Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust to be used for a STEM Outreach Expansion Project. The goal of the project is to bring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to school-aged children in Northeast Pennsylvania.

The College hosted a workshop at McNichols Plaza Elementary on Wednesday, January 10th to utilize a portion of the STEM materials they were able to purchase through the grant. As a part of the McNichols Plaza STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) Night series, Johnson College staff facilitated the use of littleBits with children in 3rd to 5th grade and their parents.

The inventive kits are explained on their website as, “Kits composed of electronic building blocks that are color-coded, magnetic, and make complex technology simple and fun. Together they’re interchangeable in millions of different ways to empower kids to invent anything.” Using directional cards, and guidance from staff and parents, students created circuits similar to flipping a light switch, ringing a doorbell and controlling volume on a radio. Each combination of circuits produces a different outcome and has a real-world application for young children to understand. All of the directions and pieces to the kits are kid friendly with bright colors and describing words to guide the activity.

Amanda Montoro, a teacher at McNichols Plaza, was excited to welcome Johnson College to the school. The elementary school recently received a grant from Race to the Top for Education that focuses on parent involvement, which inspired STEAM Night. “Our love of STEAM education led us to develop a plan of having 4 STEAM Nights this year where parents could come out with their children and experience STEAM for themselves.  Any time we can collaborate with families, the children always benefit.” She emphasized the importance for STEAM experiences for elementary aged children and how the school will incorporate all grades through this programming this year. “STEAM programming is important for children of all ages.  The reason we have divided the grades this month is that students in grades 3-5 are a bit more independent and can handle different types of activities than students in the younger grades.  We plan to have another STEAM night for grades PreK-2nd in a couple weeks. STEAM programming promotes problem solving skills and higher levels of thinking for all students.  Our hope is that with more STEAM programs, our students will become independent thinkers and will not rely on others to tell them what to do or how to solve problems in their everyday lives. ”

“STEM careers are in-demand, and students can learn about the newest technology with help from Johnson College staff and the support of the Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust,” said Tracey Pratt, Manager of Development at Johnson College. “Our goal is to have local students become familiar with STEM at a young age and find value in these principles so they can better understand career opportunities and goals throughout elementary and into high school. Of course, we also want students and teachers to become aware of the technical education opportunities available at Johnson College.”

For more information, or to inquire about having a STEM activity at your school, please contact:

Tracey Pratt
Manager of Development

Katie Leonard, M.A. Announced as President-Elect

The Board of Directors of Johnson College have selected Katie Leonard to be the next President & CEO of Johnson College, effective July 1, 2018.

Ms. Leonard currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the College and began her tenure in January of 2007 as the College’s Coordinator of Grants and Annual Fund. From there, she had continued success in the areas of fundraising and community outreach which led her to become the Director of Development, Director of Institutional Advancement, and then on to Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Senior Vice President of College Advancement. Over the last ten years, Ms. Leonard’s contributions to the College have been innumerable. In her time with the College, Ms. Leonard formed industry relationships, reestablished the alumni program, increased annual giving, and initiated the College’s rebranding in 2011. She executed the College’s first-ever capital campaign in 2013 which raised, comprehensively, over $5 million to build the new Health Science Technology Center on campus, the largest building project to date.

At an all-college meeting on Thursday with faculty and staff of the institution, Ms. Leonard expressed her excitement to her peers: “My vision for Johnson College is one with a significantly larger and more diverse student body that will be immersed in industry from day-one, preparing for the jobs of the future. As a campus community, we have laid the foundation for the Johnson College we wish to see in the future and together, we will continue to work on bringing that vision into focus. We have started down this path together and we will forge new paths together. We will set high expectations, be willing to hold each other accountable and never, ever settle for the status quo. I look forward to leading us as we evolve into the Johnson College we are envisioning.”

Additionally, David Boniello, alumnus of the class of 1984 and chair of the Board of Directors said: “We [administration, Search Committee, and Board of Directors] have spent the last nine months preparing for new leadership at Johnson College by seeking the best candidate to hold the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. As a graduate, community member, and representative of this institution, this decision was very important to me – and something myself and the rest of the Search Committee have taken very seriously. We have come to a decision as a committee and have the support from the entire Board of Directors. The President and CEO is a person who must be a fearless leader, a champion for positive change, and someone who holds our Johnson College values true. Katie embodies these qualities and we look forward to working with her as we move Johnson College forward.”

Ms. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from York College of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from Mansfield University, and is pursuing her doctor of education through Capella University.

Before bringing her talents to Johnson College, Ms. Leonard held multiple positions in York, PA, working with government officials and non-profit organizations. In York, she was the Executive Director of Downtown Inc., York’s Main Street Program. Ms. Leonard has also made great contributions to the community outside of her roles with Johnson College. She serves on the board of directors of NeighborWorks of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s LIFE Board, and is a past board member of the Lackawanna Home Builders Association.