Ivan Johnson

I chose Friends School because it aligns with my values as a person and educator; putting the heart and mind first. I am so excited to be a part of a learning community which promotes connection and has students work through topics and questions that are relevant, leading to a Friends School graduate who sees themself as an agent of change.

Before coming to Friends School, I was the Dean of Student Life and Chair of the Performing Arts Program at Oakwood for 6 years, where I focused on designing and leading educators and students through experiential-based curriculum. As a professional avant-garde artist and musician, creativity and pushing the bounds of what is expected has always been crucial to my approach to music and education. While working as an educator, the idea of learning by doing has always been central to my pedagogical philosophy. 

A Los Angeles native, I studied music at the California Institute of the Arts (BFA/MFA) and have performed all over the world with an eclectic range of ensembles and made his solo debut at the 2003 Athens Music Festival in Athens, Georgia. I was the head of the Jazz program and Director of Summer Studies at the Oakwood High School in Los Angeles for 12 years, and co-founded the Academy of Creative Education, a summer arts-intensive camp for 4th-12th-grade students.

Challenging minds. Nurturing spirits. Honoring individuality.