On 27 March 1918 the Ballarat Technical Art School Principal report stated:
- I regret to state that an old pupil and ex-assistant teacher on the art staff, Mr Donald I. Johnston has been severely wounded for the second time at the front.
- I am pleased to report that Lt Donald Ivan Johnston, late student and assistant teacherunder me and subsequently assistant to the Art Inspector Mt Carew Smyth, who enlisted on the 5th February 1916, hs been awarded the Military Cross for distinguised service in France, where he was recently severely wounded. 
With the replacement of Herbert H. Smith in 1940, Donald I. Johnson became the Head of the Art School. Johnson resigned on 23 February 1948 having been appointed an Art Inspector with the Victorian Education Department.
- SCHOOL PRINCIPAL HONORED.
- More than 100 old students, teachers and others associated with the Ballarat Technical Art School assembled at a gathering at the Alexandria on Saturday night in honor of Mr. H. H. Smith, who has retired from the school after 35 years as principal. Mr. D. Johnston, acting principal, and a former student, handed over a portrait in oils of Mr. Smith painted by Mrs. Amalie Colquhoun, of Melbourne, another former student, who was also among the visitors. The portrait will be hung in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
- ↑ Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Jubilee Booklet, 1920.
- ↑ Ballarat Technical Art School Principals Report, 1918-1919.
- ↑ Ballarat Technical Art School Principals Report, 1918-1919, 26 April 1918.
- ↑ The Age, 08 April 1940.