Commencement Speaker~ Lee A. Johnson

Caldwell High School is pleased to welcome back Alumni Honorable Lee A. Johnson as the commencement speaker on Saturday.

Lee A. Johnson was born and raised in Caldwell, Kansas, the fourth generation to farm, ranch and operate businesses in southern Sumner County. After graduating from Caldwell High School in 1965, Johnson obtained a degree in business administration from the University of Kansas in 1969.  He then served two years’ active duty in the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, attaining the rank of sergeant, E-5.

Following his active-duty service, Johnson became a licensed, multiline insurance agent, managing the family’s agency in Caldwell, where he was active in many community organizations, even serving as Caldwell’s Mayor during the bicentennial year of 1976.


In 1977, he entered Washburn University School of Law and graduated summa cum laude in December 1979, ranked second in the 211 member class of 1980. While a student, Johnson also served one year as the school’s placement director.


After law school, Johnson practiced law in Caldwell, first in partnership with Don B. Stallings and later as a sole practitioner.  At various times, he served as City Attorney for Caldwell, Argonia, and Hunnewell, as well as counsel for the local school and hospital districts.  He served as counsel and member of the board of The Stock Exchange Bank, and his community service included 16 years on the Sumner Mental Health Board with one term as president. He served one term as Sumner County Bar President.


In 2001, Johnson closed his Caldwell law practice and moved to Topeka when Governor Bill Graves appointed him to the Court of Appeals. In January 2007, Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed him to the Supreme Court, where he currently serves.


Justice Johnson and his wife, Donna (CHS class of 1965), have been married since 1969, and have two adult children: Jordan (CHS class of 1999) and Jennifer (CHS class of 2001). Their parents were also CHS granduates: Glenn (1940) and Lorraine (1940) Johnson; Bill (1940) and Mary Jane (1942) Washburn.

Commencement is at 4:00 this upcoming Saturday.