Maura Solari Johnson: School Administrator
Much of Maura Solari Johnson’s life has been devoted to special education issues. A large influence was her father’s service of over thirty years as a special education teacher and administrator in the Boston Public Schools special education programs, but perhaps a bigger motivational force was the birth of Maura’s sister, Jean, in 1960. Jean had profound cognitive and medical disabilities, yet was able to spend all of her thirteen years at home with her family. In was routine, during that period, to institutionalize children with any sign of disability, so it was a brave choice that Maura’s family made.
Maura began her career in the Boston Public Schools when special education legislation (Chapter 766) and court ordered desegregation were simultaneously implemented. Both of these events had a profound impact on her views on education and inclusion. Following in her father’s footsteps, Maura has spent over 40 years working in special education. She has experience as a teacher in both urban and non-urban settings and at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Her current position is Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for the Malden Public Schools.
In her work, Maura has particularly enjoyed collaborating with parents and colleagues in creating and modifying programs and services to promote more inclusive opportunities for students. Maura is particularly proud of her three children, all of whom are quite passionate in their volunteer efforts in special education, and two of whom are special educators.