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Art Johnston

Art Johnston portraitArt has been a member of the Duluth school board since 2009 and represents the 4th District (West Duluth). He was reelected in 2013.

Art grew up on a family farm in northern Minnesota and and worked for many years as a commericial fisherman. He currently is semi-retired from being a structural engineer on a regional design team for the federal government.

Professional Resume

  • Professional Engineer (P.E.) licensed to practice in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida.
  •  Past President of  the Duluth Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • Specializes in building design, bridge design, construction, contract administration, indoor air quality, historical renovation, and energy conservation.
  • Now semi-retired, but still working as a engineering consultant  for federal and state governments and as a private consultant.
  • Member of the  National Federation of Federal Employees Union and the International Assoc. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (retired). Organized three local chapters.  Chief steward for Wisconsin for 10 years. Legislative chairperson for the national union for six years.  Specialized in federal budgets, political action, and grievances.
  • 7th Senate District DFL Executive Committee Director
  • Instructor for tower rescue and safety.
  • Works on a commercial dive team on bridges and dams.

Community and Educational Service

  • Member of Denfeld Citizen Advisory group
  • Member of the PTA
  • Great Literature reader and volunteer at Key Zone at Laura Mac
  • Attends and supports many school groups like the Denfeld Music Boosters and school picnics; and volunteers at many school activities like the Parent Teacher Conferences and music performances
  •  Attended all the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBSA) annual meetings and network with many school board members across the state and association officials
  • Attended Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV of the MSBA school board development seminars
  • Met many times with and have developed a personal relationship with key leaders of the Minnesota Department of Education
  • Frequently meet with the Education Finance committee's members of the Minnesota Legislature
  • Community Education instructor at Lincoln Park Middle School
  • Supporter of First Witness Child Abuse Resource Center and Woodland Hills Academy
  • Alternate school board member on the Educational Equity Advisory Committee and attends most meetings
  • Delegate Alternate, Minnesota School Board Association
  • School board liaison to the Duluth Park and Rec Board
  • Morgan Park Community group member
  • Commodore, Barker's Island Yacht Club
  • Instructor for community education class for Celestial Navigation


  • Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, University of Wisconsin, Superior  high honors
  • Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, Michigan Technological University summa cum laude


Parent of two sons;  one a graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato and an automotive engineer working for Polaris Industries; the other with a PhD in musicology from the Univeristy of Michigan and working  for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Partnered with Jane Bushey who is an LPN and paraprofessional in the Duluth Schools.  Jane has two children:  her son has an MBA and works in the financial market in Chicago; and her daughter is finishing her masters in Spanish Education and works as an interpreter in the Minneapolis school system.

Foster parents with partner Jane Bushey.

Long term property owner and taxpayer in Twin Ports area.


Sailing, downhill and cross country skiing, pickup hockey and volleyball, caving, SCUBA diving, amateur radio, road rally driver and mechanic, tower climbing, rock climbing, energy conservation and alternative energy (lived for 15 years off the grid in northern Minnesota).


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