Katie Leonard, Ed.D., President & CEO
Dr. Katie Leonard is the President & CEO of Johnson College, NEPA’s only technical college. She started at the College in 2007 in fundraising and marketing. During her tenure she gained experience in all areas of the College, leading to her role as Executive Vice President, where she oversaw all college operations. After a nationwide search, Dr. Leonard was selected as Johnson College’s 8th President & CEO in January of 2018.
Under Dr. Leonard’s leadership as President & CEO, Johnson College has joined the rankings of premiere technical education, being ranked #10 on Forbes Top 25 Two-Year Trade Schools. Over the last four years, six new programs, Building Property Technology, Civil Design Technology, Industrial Technology, Mechatronics, Heavy Equipment Technology and Welding, Fabrication, and Manufacturing Technology have been developed and have started accepting students. She has been instrumental in the creation of the Center for Industry and Community Engagement, and the development of special programs like RISE: Readiness in Skilled Employment.
During her tenure as President & CEO, the College has received over six million dollars in grants awarded, and total donor investments in the College have reached over seven million dollars, including the College’s largest gift from an alum to date, 1 million dollars from Mr. Ideal T. Saldi ’49 and his wife, Frances. Construction is set to begin on the College’s largest building project to date, which will be named in honor of Mr. Saldi. Dr. Leonard is passionate about the College’s connection to industry and as a result, the College continues to enhance its relationships with new, and long-standing, industry partners. She is committed to continuing to develop ways to get students into the workforce faster through programs like Industry Fast Track, an early college experience, and through Industry Immersion experiences.
In 2021 the College reached record enrollment for the third year in a row and was granted accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). In the fall of 2022, the College reached its fourth year of record enrollment.
In February 2023, the College partnered with Greater Hazleton CAN DO to address the demands of industry in the Greater Hazleton region by announcing the College’s first-ever satellite campus, Johnson College at the CAN DO Training Center, located in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazle Township. This new campus will offer an array of certificate and degree programs beginning in late August 2023. These will include academic certificates in Welding Technology, Industrial Technology, and Building & Property Maintenance and an associate degree in Electrical Construction Technology. It will also offer continuing education certificates in areas including Medical Assistant, Computer User Support & Security Specialist, and Class A CDL Driver Training. Students will be able to complete all programs and certificates at the Hazleton campus.
Also, in 2023, through a partnership with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, Dr. Leonard announced the launch of the College’s Aviation Technology 2-year program. Students participate in classes and labs inside a hangar at the airport.
Dr. 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 a doctorate of education from Capella University. Before bringing her talents to Johnson College, Dr. Leonard held multiple positions in York, PA, working with government officials and non-profit organizations. Prior to moving to NEPA, the last position she held in York was as the Executive Director of Downtown Inc., York’s Main Street Program.
Dr. Leonard has also made significant contributions to the community outside of her roles with Johnson College. She is past Board Chairperson and continues to serve on the board of directors of NeighborWorks of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She also serves on the boards of Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, and, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and serves as a Trustee for her undergraduate alma mater, York College of Pennsylvania.
“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.”
To contact Dr. Leonard, please reach out to Ann Nealon Sparacino, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO at email@example.com or 570-702-8929.