Educational administration faculty Wink Miller and Dan Johnson retire

Two faculty members of the PSU Educational Administration program were feted at a retirement party held at the PSU Salem Center offices in June, 2012. Professors Winston “Wink” Miller and Dan Johnson began the successful cohort model in Salem and are retiring this year.

The Initial Administrator Licensure (IAL) program serves students in several sites across Oregon, including the Mid-Willamette Valley. These two faculty developed the cohort model for this program 22 years ago and it has become the standard for the preparation of principals and school administrators.

Wink Miller, MA, was an administrator in the Salem-Keizer School District for 26 years. During his career, he worked at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and spent much of that time in various central office positions. He was assistant principal at Sprague High School, principal at Wright and Highland Elementary Schools, director of staff development, area director for the McKay, McNary, and North Areas of the Salem-Keizer District, director of elementary education and assistant superintendent with responsibility for more than 50 schools and all educational services in the district. He was also active in numerous state-wide educational associations. After retiring from Salem-Keizer Schools, he continued his work with Portland State.

Dan Johnson, EdD, retires as Distinguished Administrator in Residence at Portland State University. Dr. Johnson co-led Portland State’s off-campus programs for initial administrative licensure with Wink Miller. Dan is author of the program’s School Law Primer, and has worked extensively in leadership development. He was an administrator in the Salem-Keizer School District for 25 years. During his career he was a middle and high school principal, area director, and director of instructional services for the District. During his 7½ years as principal at South Salem High School, it was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a School of Excellence.

In 1990, Dan and Wink began offering the administrative licensure program in Salem.  Their accomplishments with this program—in addition to the numerous awards from COSA, PSU, Rotary, and others include:

  • Designing and executing the first cohort program
  • Leading educational administrator programs for 22 years
  • Educating and facilitating the licensure of more than 500 administrators
  • Challenging, mentoring, and modeling the importance of doing the best work possible for kids
    • Several recipients of the 2012 state-wide administrator awards are graduates of the Salem program—last year’s middle school principal of the year, this year’s elementary principal of the year and many others
  • Helping to identify innumerable practitioners to teach courses and serve as site coordinators for programs in the mid-valley area

They were always on the cutting edge. Dan co-taught the first cohort of initial superintendent students, and he designed the first online Introduction to the Educational Administration course, gathering input from everyone who taught the course at the time. Dan provided advising to all of the off-campus programs around the state—Southern OR, North Clackamas, Salem, and even Coos Bay. Dan also served as one of only three Administrators in Residence in the GSE.

“There is little distinction between how Wink and Dan live their lives professionally and personally—they are both wonderful collaborators, team builders, mediators, and are sincere, honest, reflective people,” says Associate Dean Cheryl Livneh. “I feel very lucky to be able to call them colleagues, but more importantly, friends.  I have learned so much from them. Thank-you.”

Dan and Wink retire from PSU after leading 22 years of administrative cohorts in the Mid-Willamette Valley. They have touched the lives of hundreds of Oregon’s school leaders, and thousands of students.

School Leadership Program Scholarship
A scholarship has been set up at PSU to honor the work of Dan and Wink. Those wishing to contribute can do so via the foundation website. For more information, contact the GSE development office at 503-725-4789.

Online guest book
Please join us in celebrating their work and legacy by signing our online guest book below.

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