O’Connor named Johnston’s new Athletics and Activities Director

Mike O'Connor photoJOHNSTON, IA. (March 25, 2022) —Mike O’Connor has been selected as the Johnston Community School District’s new athletics and activities director, filling the vacancy created by Josh Tobey leaving for Norwalk at the end of this school year.

O’Connor will officially start his new role July 1, 2022. He has served as the assistant athletic director at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines for the past 10 years.

“At this point in my professional career, I am ready to accept the challenge of leading an activities department,” he said. “I will continue to build upon the Johnston Community School District’s established record of success through fostering relationships, setting high expectations, and working with all involved to create the best experience possible for students.”

O’Connor also served as Dowling’s head boys basketball coach for 15 years and head varsity boys tennis coach for 10 years. He’s a past Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML) central coach of the year in both basketball and tennis, and Iowa Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) coach of the year in 2019. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership with evaluator approval from Drake University, and worked as a P.E. and health teacher for 10 years.

“As a head coach, I have gained great insight into the expectations and demands of being a coach, which will assist me in guiding and supporting the coaches, teachers, and moderators within the Johnston district,” O’Connor said. “Additionally, I understand the importance of developing and fostering strong, supportive relationships with students, parents, and the school community in order to build effective, high quality activity and athletic programs.”

In his new role, O’Connor will be part of the Johnston Community School District’s administrative team. He’ll be the administrative adviser organizing, supervising and maintaining Johnston’s award-winning program of student activities and athletics.

“Mike brings a wealth of leadership and experience in central Iowa athletics, and we are excited to welcome him to our Johnston Dragons team,” said JCSD Superintendent Laura Kacer. “His record as a teacher, coach and assistant athletic director shows his passion for school activities and athletics, and his dedication to ensuring that all students have opportunities to participate in our programs.”

Like Dowling, Johnston is part of the western division of the Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML). The selection of O’Connor will go before the Johnston Board of Education as early as April 11.