Atlanta Education Fund’s president moves to New York

By Maria Saporta

The founding president of the Atlanta Education Fund, Hosanna Mahaley Johnson, has accepted a new position in New York.

Johnson has been named executive director of social justice and district innovation for Wireless Generation, which helps develop innovative technology for classrooms from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The Atlanta Education Fund was started nearly three years ago by a group of top local business leaders including John Rice, vice chairman of General Electric, who chairs the organization. The fund was established by the community to help support improvements in the Atlanta Public Schools system.

Before coming to Atlanta, Johnson started as a middle school math teacher in California. She then spent eight years working on education issues in Chicago, including as special assistant to Mayor Richard Daey. She also worked for Chicago’s Public Schools, where she served as chief of staff to the top executive.

Johnson has been quite active in national education circles, such as serving as a facilitator in Harvard Business School’s Public Education Leadership Program.

She met Wireless Generation CEO Larry Berger when they both were inaugural fellows of the Aspen Institute-New Schools Venture Fund Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Program.

In a statement, Berger said he recognized that Johnson was one of the “rising stars in education.”

According to a release, Wireless Generation creates innovative tools, systems and services to help educators be more strategic in their teaching. It has developed software to help better assess how a classroom is performing and how to make data-based instructional decisions.

As to what the future holds for the Atlanta Education Fund. I have just emailed GE’s John Rice, but I haven’t heard back. Word has it that they’re looking for a successor.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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