Rick Johnson – Summit Preparatory School
After receiving a BA in psychology & philosophy and an MSW in clinical social work from Jane Addams College of Social Work in Chicago, Rick began his professional career as an adolescent psychotherapist working in community mental health. Rick’s introduction to NATSAP, and to the innovative programs NATSAP serves, came when he was recruited to be Head of School for a therapeutic boarding school in 1998. He found in therapeutic boarding schools the opportunity to use his training as a clinical social worker (in strength-based developmental approaches) to craft residential services differently from the “traditional” hospital based programs he had previously administered. This led Rick – in partnership with several close friends (including his wife Jan, LCSW) – to co-found Summit Preparatory School, a relationship-based nonprofit therapeutic boarding school which began enrolling students in early 2003. Rick serves as its Executive Director. Rick is an outspoken advocate for reasonable licensing of alternative residential programs, having participated in NATSAP-sponsored lobbying efforts in Washington D.C.; regional efforts in Helena, Montana; and having spoken and written on the subject (including publishing an article on the importance of licensing in NATSAP NEWS). In addition, Rick has also recently been recruited by the Child Welfare League of America as a member of their National Residential Advisory Committee.