photo by: Contributed

Kathy Johnson

The Lawrence school district’s longtime finance director will retire in early 2022.

The district announced in a news release Friday that Executive Director of Finance Kathy Johnson, who has served the district for 32 years, will retire in February. The district will begin a search to fill the position immediately.

Johnson joined the district in May 1989 as director of budgeting and accounting. She has long been responsible for preparing the district’s multimillion-dollar annual budget, among several other financial issues. During her tenure, the Lawrence community also approved six bond projects to improve district facilities, totaling $351.3 million.

Along with her administrative position, Johnson also coached high school gymnastics for 13 years, including three consecutive Lawrence High state championship seasons from 2004 to 2006 and a Free State High state title in 2009.

Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in a news release that Johnson has been an “invaluable resource” to the school district when state funding issues complicated the district’s budget over the years.

Prior to joining the school district, Johnson served as a certified public accountant with Schehrer, Harrod, and Bennett, CPAs, for five years. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas, where she earned All Big 8 honors in gymnastics.

She remains the KU women’s gymnastics record holder in floor exercise, vaulting, balance beam, and all around events. She also holds state high school records as well. She was inducted into Shawnee Mission Northwest High School’s athletics hall of fame in 2018.