Judith Johnson, prominent Hudson Valley educator, dies at 80

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Judith Johnson, one of the most prominent educators in the Hudson Valley, has passed away. She was 80 years old.

Her son says Johnson died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City from complications stemming from a recent surgery.

For four decades, Johnson worked as a teacher or administrator in multiple school districts. In the early 2000s, Johnson became the first African American and first woman to serve as superintendent in the Peekskill school district. She also served in the U.S. Education Department under President Bill Clinton.

In 2015, Johnson was appointed to the New York State Board of Regents. The state Department of Education issued a statement reading in part, “Together with our colleagues on the Board of Regents, we mourn the passing of Judith Johnson – a visionary, pioneer and true educational leader. Judith was dedicated to the pursuit of educational equity and excellence for all children.”

During her career, she served as interim superintendent in Mount Vernon and worked as an administrator in the Mamaroneck, White Plains and Nyack public schools.

Johnson is survived by two children and a granddaughter.

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