Lecester Johnson Bio

Board Member & Chief Executive Officer Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School

Lecester Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School. She has led Academy of Hope since 2006 when it was a community-based organization (CBO). During her tenure at AoH, she expanded the school’s footprint from one location to two, transition the school from a CBO to an adult public charter school in 2014, expanded its workforce programing to include healthcare and IT pathways and increased the school’s annual revenue from $650,000 to over $16 million annually.

Today,  Academy of Hope serves more than 800 learners from across the District of Columbia and recently launched the AoH Foundation to support the school through graduate services, research, evaluation and eventually teacher training.

Prior to joining Academy of Hope, Ms. Johnson developed and operated several award-winning workforce development programs across the region. She spent her early career in direct service working with individuals with emotional and cognitive disabilities in community based residential and supported employment programs. She has been a certified vocational evaluator and served as a career and transition specialist in Fairfax County Public Schools.


A longtime advocate for adult education, Academy of Hope along with other adult education providers founded The DC Adult and Family Literacy Coalition.  The coalition achieved several policy wins including the District awarding a high school diploma for passage for the GED and completion of the National External Diploma Program.


Ms. Johnson holds a Masters (MA) and Education Specialist (Ed.S) degrees in Transition Special Education from The George Washington University.  She has also been recognized for her many contributions including the Amtrak Pioneer Award; the Dick Omang Award for Best Practices in Vocational Evaluation; Georgetown University’s John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award; the Meyer Foundation’s Exponent Award; the Bradt Nonprofit Leadership Award from the Greater Washington Community Foundation and most recently she was a 2022 finalist for 1954 Luminary Award in Education by the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education Group.