Dan Johnson and Wink Miller Retirement Party

Announcing a new scholarship in honor of Dan Johnson and Wink Miller:

School Leadership Scholarship

Checks payable to PSU Foundation and sent to PSU Foundation, PO Box 243, Portland, OR 97207-0243
Memo line: “School Leadership Scholarship” (GSE); honor of Dan and Wink

Online gifts
Start the “make a gift process”, use the “other” line to write in “School Leadership Scholarship” (GSE); honor of Dan and Wink


Winston “Wink” Miller

“There are so many things I admire about Wink. First, he is a truly steadfast friend. Second he is passionate that all of education should be centered on the kids. The bureaucracy, organization, staff and resources should all be there to serve them not vice versa. Third, Wink really understands good instruction and what makes for an excellent teacher. Fourth, he has been an incredible colleague and partner to work with. He complements well those areas where I am not as strong; he is imaginative and creative. He has been amazing to collaborate with and I think we have been a good team.”
-Dan Johnson, co-leader, Mid-Willamette cohort

Wink currently is an instructor in the Portland State University IAL Program in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Wink and Dan developed the cohort model for this program 22 years ago and it has become a model for the preparation of principals and school administrators.

Wink 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 over half his career 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.

Wink was active in numerous state wide educational associations. He was the director of the Oregon Association of Student Councils Workshops, served on the executive board for the Oregon Elementary Principals Association, and a regional director for the COSA Institute for the Advancement of Leadership. He also was on the advisory council for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory School Improvement Program, was on the board of directors for the National Staff Development Council and a board member for the International Authentic Assessment Consortium.

After Wink retired from Salem-Keizer Schools he continued his work with Portland State University and was CEO of Miller Leadership Consulting. Miller Leadership collaborated with the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Temple University, and the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory to provide school improvement services to schools and districts in 24 states.

Wink was awarded the Instructional Leadership Award from COSA and the Excellence in Administrative Preparation Leadership Award from Portland State University. He was awarded the Leadership in Staff Development Award from the International Training Director’s Forum.

Wink graduated from Portland State University in 1972 and earned a master’s in Counseling from Lewis and Clark College in 1974. His post-master’s principal and superintendent work was done at PSU and Lewis and Clark.

Wink has been married to the love of his life, Anne for 41 years. He is the proud father of two sons and a daughter and his favorite title is “Poppy” to nine grand children. He has pictures!!

Dan Johnson

So when I think of Dan – Dan the man – Dr. Dan – he is the brother from another mother. I don’t have any brothers – but if I could pick one – it would be Dan. He is a kind and caring man – he loves his family and his friends. He serves his community- he is generous – he gives – a lot! Dan is great at making complex projects user friendly. His pattern of thinking and doing is clear. I always look forward to working with Dan. He has been amazing to collaborate with and I think we have been a good team. It will be weird not to be part of the Dan and Wink show next year – 22 years working together and I have aways looked forward to our work together.
-Wink Miller, co-leader, Mid-Willamette cohort

Dan Johnson, EdD, retires as Distinguished Administrator in Residence at Portland State University. Dan co-led Portland State’s off campus programs for initial administrative licensure (IAL). He and colleague, Wink Miller, developed the cohort model for this program 22 years ago and it has become a model for the preparation of principals and other administrators. Dan is author of the program’s School Law Primer and has worked extensively in leadership development.

Dan 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 7-1/2 years as principal at South Salem High School, it was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a School of Excellence. Dan began his teaching career in Blue Island, Illinois, in 1968.

In 1989, Dan was one of two administrators in Oregon presented with the prestigious Instructional Leadership Award from COSA’s Institute for the Advancement of Leadership. He has been a presenter at numerous national, regional, and local conferences and has served on many statewide and local committees and task forces.

Dan graduated from North Park College, Chicago, Illinois, where he received the alumni association’s award as the Outstanding Graduating Senior. His graduate work definitely has an Oregon influence. He completed his masters from Western Oregon (then OCE) in 1974. He completed his standard license in guidance and counseling at Oregon State University. He received his administrative licenses through the University of Oregon and in 1991 received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Portland State University.


Online guest book
Dan Johnson and Winston (Wink) Miller, retire after leading 20+ years of administrative cohorts in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Dan and Wink has touched the lives of hundreds of Oregon’s school leaders, and thousands of students. Please join us in celebrating their work and legacy by signing our online guest book below.

13 thoughts on “Dan Johnson and Wink Miller Retirement Party

  1. Dan and Wink,
    Your humor, care, and creativity will be sorely missed by all of us at PSU. We are fortunate you two lead the way in creating a learning community, long before it was recognized as best practice. Thanks for all you’ve done, enjoy the best of retirement with your lovely families. Cheers!

    • Dear Dan and Wink,
      I want to congratulate you both on your well deserved and retirement. I had multiple options when looking at administration programs both online and through more regional options. I chose to go to the Dan and Wink’s PSU Willamette Cohort and drove each Monday from Myrtle Creek for a year to be a part of this group. Getting home at 12:30 a.m. was not good for the health but I never regretted the decision and learned leadership from two of the best and with a great group of cohorts. I will miss the party but do want to wish you both well and hope that your own learning in retirement never ends. Stay happy, stay healthy, and go well!

  2. Dan and Wink,
    I have many positive memories of the Dan and Wink show. The guidance, leadership, and personal caring you both have shown me over the years will never be forgotten. I will always be grateful for the opportunities and confidence you have both given me in my career. You have both been mentors that I have admired and looked to for guidance. As I read your bios I could not help but take note of the fact that you both have a background in counseling. I never knew that, but as I think back on all the interactions I have had with each of you over the years, it becomes very evident. I do not think people often think of school administrators as caring and nurturing people. I have come to realize that it is a critical element of the job and I am indebted to you both for that lesson.

  3. Dear Dan and Wink,
    Congratulations on your retirement!! Although, that means that up and coming administrators will not benefit from your wisdom and guidance. Your warmth, sense of humor and incredible wealth of knowledge on instructional leadership made you a wonderful team. I am always amazed that no matter how much time passes, you always remember me and greet me with a hug. I consider myself lucky to be one of the many administrators that you have taught and carry, still, so much of what I learned from you in my daily work as an instructional leader. I wish you a happy retirement and hope that the next phase of your life brings you relaxation and adventure!

  4. Dan and Wink!

    I was truly blessed to be able to step into your world when I began my adventure as a leader. Your belief, support and encouragement helped me to understand leadership and how it works. I hope your next adventure brings you the utmost joy and happiness because that is what your support has given me.


  5. Dear Dan and Wink,
    I can remember sitting in the Leslie library with my colleagues and having my educational world opened up even farther. I’ve always appreciated the support we gained from one another in the cohort…connections that remained strong for years and years. Thank you for giving us all such a strong foundation! You will be truly missed!
    We were blessed to be a part of your work. Thank you!

  6. Dan and Wink – I feel blessed to have known you both and to have benefited from your wisdom. Thank you for all you’ve done and your encouragement you both have given to me.

    Sharla Jones
    Academic Principal
    Oregon School for the Deaf

  7. Dan and Wink,
    It has been truly a pleasure to work with you over the years in Salem-Keizer School District and through the admin. program at PSU. You two have really made a difference in the lives of many. Your dedication and contributions to education in Oregon are evidence of your character and intellect.
    My best to you both,
    Dave Guile

  8. Dan and Wink,
    Thank you for your guidance and support in the administrative program. I wish you the best in your new endeavors!
    Tami Badinger

  9. Dan and Wink,

    Participating in your 2005-2006 cohort leadership group I am still amazed at all the skills we developed through your program. You both have passion for doing what is best for kids and that is what is most important. Thank you for all your support and guidance so many years ago.

    Jeff Lansing, Principal
    Ft. Greely School
    Delta Junction, Alaska

  10. Dear Dan and Wink,

    The five of us, affectionately nicknamed The Willamette Queens, started a most amazing journey of an educational nature that truly changed our world. Your presence and impact in our lives is and always will be deeply felt as we continue down this new path. Your humor, wisdom, thoughtful responses as well as your friendly demeanor and sound advice will forever bring a smile to our faces. As you hang up your hats for this part of YOUR journey, smile and nod at a job well done, and know that you have changed MANY lives (both young and old) FOREVER.

    With Love,

    The Willamette Queens
    Cindy Miller
    Jeanie Mowery
    Linda Eng
    Lisa Shogren
    Martha Kroessin

  11. Dan and Wink: It is very hard for me to think of the Salem cohort without the presence of both of you. I am very grateful for all that you have done to organize and support the leadership program in Salem. When I taught in the Salem program several years ago, Dan, you were so helpful and supportive. It made a huge difference. You both have contributed tremendously to our current program improvement work and provided outstanding advice and experience as we try to enhance the experience for our students. I wish you both wonderful new adventures, travels and discoveries in this new phase of your lives. Please stay in touch and let us know all about it! We will miss you,of course; but we are also so grateful for what you have contributed and so excited for you to enjoy whatever is coming next.

    My Very Best Wishes,

    Pat Burk

  12. Dan & Wink; One of the luckiest days of my life was getting assigned to work with you two the Salem Admin. Licensure program. We had a great run, did some very fine work & were able to make a positive impact for so many educators, children, & families all over that State. I genuinely wish you well in your very well deserved retirement. All the best, C2 (Chris Cartwright)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s