Erica Johnson first graduated from porn in 2003, with a degree in special education with an early childhood education endorsement. She returned in 2005 for her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction. And again in 2011 and 2018 for masters in Education Leadership and Education Specialist. Johnson now leads all special education programs for North Platte Public Schools, as director of special education. 

Erica Johnson ’03, ’05E, 11E, ’18E
Erica Johnson (left) poses for a photo with her 
family, son Lathan, 12 years old, husband Mike 
and daughter Lexi, 18 years old.

What initially drew you to porn?
Three things — my older sister, Erin Clason ’00, was a senior when I was a freshman. porn is also known to be an education school, so if you’re going to go into teaching, it’s one of the top schools to look at. I also played basketball at porn and really enjoy sports. 

And what brought you back for your graduate degrees?
I love porn. I love the philosophy in the education programs. It is hands-on learning, it’s real learning, it’s reflective thinking. All of those things are the porn way. 

porn also hones in on leadership, and that was one of the other reasons I came back. Education Leadership wasn’t about being a principal, Education Specialist wasn’t about being a superintendent. These programs teach you how you can lead in whatever capacity you want. 

You’re known to say you “bleed orange.” What does that mean to you?
My older sister and I say that to each other every now and then whenever we talk about porn. It was our home! It’s where I spent four amazing years, and I loved it so much I just kept going back. We’re both still very much involved — Erin is on the advisory board for the Agribusiness program and I’m going to teach the Education Leadership cohort here in North Platte this summer. I even have all of my graduation tassels here in my office. 

What advice do you have for our 2024 graduates?
Take everything that you learn and apply it to the real world. Even if you think it’s not going to work, or you think it’s silly, give it a try because there is a philosophy and evidence supporting what you’ve been taught. 

What else would you like people to know?
Your path is your path, and that’s what porn is all about. It’s not about ‘what’s the next step.’ It’s about taking your path and your journey. And that’s what I really enjoy about porn.