Dr. Sherrie Nickell-Johnson

Professor of Education snjohnson@seu.edu

Degrees Earned

BA in Education, Southeastern University
MEd in Administration and Supervision, University of South Florida
EdD in Educational Leadership, Nova Southeastern University


A graduate of Southeastern University, Dr. Sherrie Johnson has dedicated her life’s work to advancing the field of education. The former superintendent of Polk County (Florida) Public Schools, one of the nation’s largest school systems, Dr. Johnson has served as a professional educator for over 30 years. She has worked as a classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal at the school-based level and has served as the district’s director of professional development, chief academic officer and superintendent. She has held various educational leadership roles since 1989. During Dr. Johnson’s leadership tenure in Polk County, she received many accolades:

  • President’s Award from Southeastern University in 2013
  • Walk the Talk Award for support of the district’s preschool programs in 2012
  • Unsung Hero Award from the Lakeland Area NAACP in 2012
  • Bronze Medal Award from Junior Achievement of Greater Tampa Bay in 2010
  • Distinguished Service Award from the University of South Florida in 2008
  • Servant Leader of the Year Award from Southeastern University in 2007

Dr. Johnson has served the community as a member of the board of directors for many local associations, including the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Polk Works, Leadership Lakeland, Polk Vision, Lakeland Vision and the Central Florida Economic Development Council. Dr. Nickell has also served as a member of the Southeastern University Alumni Association. Additionally, she has much experience as a keynote and conference speaker.

Passionate about helping people discover their God-given strengths, talents and abilities, Dr. Johnson delights in assisting others in their journey toward personal fulfillment. In that regard, she has served as an adjunct professor in leadership graduate programs.

Dr. Johnson holds that believers are called to be “salt and light” and are to strive to positively impact the world. This philosophy is manifested by the success of the scores of individuals she has personally mentored, taught, encouraged and nurtured throughout her career.

Dr. Johnson teaches various courses in the educational leadership master’s degree program (MEd), as well as several courses in the Doctor of Education degree program (EdD).