Richard is a lifelong Elgin resident, raised on Elgin's east side. Born to a father from Duluth, Minnesota and a mother from Guayaquil, Ecuador who both valued education and instilled that value in their son.
His interest in public service started early, as he was a member of class council for 3 years in high school. He also spent many hours volunteering in local soup kitchens and helping out his fellow students as a peer mediator. It was through this service learning that he developed a love for public service and education. He decided to pass on his love for education by becoming a high school teacher.
After high school, Richard graduated from Roosevelt University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences for Teacher Education. He later received his Master’s degree in Education - Curriculum and Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University. Because of his strong belief in being a lifelong learner, he enrolled in law school in 2009. After 5 years of teaching full-time during the day and attending classes at night at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Richard graduated in 2014. He took the bar exam in July of 2014 and passed on the first attempt.
Richard has taught in Elgin District U-46 since 2002. While there he has been a teacher, sponsor, coach, mentor and committee member. In 2016, he was elected President of the Elgin Teachers Association, the second largest teacher's union in the state. He has emphasized communication, collaborative work and advocacy during his time as President.
Richard believes that his background, his leadership experience and ability to work with all people as strengths he would like to bring to the General Assembly as a State Representative. His background as an educator will fuel his passion for a first-rate education for all children, and his ability to work with a diverse workforce will enable him to work through bipartisanship in Springfield. He will work tirelessly for working families and will stand up for issues that affect the people he represents. He will help Illinois move forward.
Richard Johnson and his wife, Karly Kirkpatrick live on the west side Elgin with their daughter Annikka and their three dogs.