Sue Johnson

Born in Albany, NY, Sue grew up in Raleigh, NC, surrounded by books, telescopes, and a multitude of science-oriented materials – a rich environment for learning. Sue was awarded a full academic scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa her junior year and earned her Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry.

Combining her interest in science with a desire to serve others, Sue was awarded a full academic fellowship to the UNC Center for Development and Learning as she earned her Masters of Public Health in Nutrition. After graduation, she worked as a nutritionist in a center for children with learning disabilities, a researcher in the UNC Hospitals Department of Orthopedics, and a Wellness Counselor at Duke Hospital Employee Health and Wellness.

While Sue enjoyed working in public health, she found her true passion for education. A lifelong learner, Sue homeschooled their four children from kindergarten through 12th grade, teaching subjects as diverse as American History, Research and Writing, Calculus, Chemistry, and Biology.

She also invested in her community, serving as a BSA Assistant Cubmaster, teaching English to spouses of international students at Duke, and serving on the advisory board for a national forensic debate league. An avid UNC Women’s soccer fan, Sue earned USSF and NSCAA National Soccer Coaching licenses while coaching youth travel teams to more than fifty championships and undefeated seasons.

When their youngest child expressed an interest in the law, Sue researched the subject and began coaching high school debate, mock trial, and moot court. Her students soon earned individual and team awards at more than a dozen national and international competitions.

In 2011, Sue accepted a position overseeing the NC high school mock trial program, where she engages in hands-on, day-to-day program administration as well as in curriculum development, budgeting, and strategic planning. Since 2012, Sue has authored mock trial cases used in NC and in other states across the U.S. For her efforts promoting legal education, Sue was recognized in 2014 as a Woman of Justice Legal Professional Honoree. In 2016 she earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.

Sue was a driving force behind the creation of a summer mock trial camp and an outreach targeting schools in underserved areas of North Carolina. Her leadership was instrumental in North Carolina’s successful hosting of the high school mock trial championship in 2015. Sue continues to invest in the broader legal community, serving as a Candidate Member of the American Mock Trial Association (collegiate) Board of Directors and overseeing invitational moot court and mock trial events.

Sue is excited to be part of Leadership Initiatives’ vision to provide students with real-world experiences that help them to become world-changing leaders, both now and in the future.