Superintendent's Office

Photo of Superintendent

Andrew S. Johnsen, Ed.D.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve the students, families and staff of the San Marcos Unified School District as your superintendent. SMUSD is an amazing district with a history of excellence, and I look forward to partnering with the Board of Trustees, staff, students, families, and the greater community as we create our roadmap for an extraordinary future together.

It is my firm belief that every one of our more than 20,000 students deserves a rich and engaging instructional experience that will prepare them for future success - however they define that for themselves. No two students are alike. Each has goals, dreams, strengths and challenges that are unique to themselves, and our commitment is to ensure that every student develops the academic and social-emotional competencies that will enable them to thrive now and in the future.

I spend a lot of time on our school sites, so if you see me around please stop me and introduce yourself - I'd love to say hi!

Personal Profile

Dr. Johnsen’s career spans twenty-seven years as a teacher, principal, director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Since 2017, he has served as Superintendent in Lakeside Union School District in east San Diego County. Before assuming the role of Superintendent, Dr. Johnsen led the district’s Educational Services Department as Assistant Superintendent.

Dr. Johnsen’s journey in public education began in Los Angeles Unified teaching elementary students, working as a principal and assistant principal, and overseeing more than 100 independent charters as the district’s Charter School Division Director. In 2007, he and his family relocated to North San Diego County where he spent eight years as a principal in Poway Unified School District. In 2015, Dr. Johnsen was named Region 18 Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for his visionary leadership and student-centric approach to his work.

Throughout Dr. Johnsen’s storied career, he has undertaken an array of initiatives and outreach that have created an environment of collegiality with staff, families, and the community-at-large. Having worked in small, suburban, and urban districts makes him uniquely positioned for success in San Marcos. As a strong communicator and fluent Spanish speaker, he brings a deep sense of inclusivity and insight to the role. Dr. Johnsen’s ability to listen, build relationships and bring people together are trademarks that will elevate SMUSD’s mission to ensure all students are challenged, inspired, and poised to excel.


The Superintendent’s Office oversees all Divisions within the District, including Business Services, Instructional Services, Human Resources and Development, and Communications. As Superintendent, Dr. Johnsen will serve as the District’s Chief Instructional Leader and the Secretary to the Governing Board. His role is to carry out the policy decisions and planning initiatives of the Governing Board. His other duties include:

  • Supervision of the District’s 19 schools
  • Hiring and evaluation of the school principals
  • Oversight of the District’s budget and facilities
  • Serving as the District’s chief spokesperson and liaison to the cities of San Marcos, Carlsbad, and Vista, Palomar College, California State University of San Marcos, the San Diego County Office of Education, parent groups, service clubs, business organizations, and the media.