Mark Johnston (he/him/his) was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. The son of two public school employees, Mark is a proud graduate of Portland Public Schools. After high school, Mark traded in his windbreaker for Rainbow sandals and headed to Chapman University in Orange, California. Mark joined Teach For America after college and taught 11th grade English for three years. Wanting to study the systems and the policies responsible for our country’s educational system, Mark attended graduate school at American University, earning joint M.Ed/MPP degrees. Mark has experience doing college access work, state advocacy/organizing, and federal policy analysis. Mark now works at Leadership for Educational Equity, where he helps the organization’s members lead equity-centered change in the policy and advocacy sectors. Mark identifies as gay and is passionate about electing more LGBTQIA+ leaders to public office.