John B. Weinstein, a scholar of East Asian languages and culture, has been appointed to lead Bard High School Early College Newark, a public high school and college program run in conjunction with Newark Public Schools.
Weinstein, who was appointed by Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson, worked for the last year as dean of the Newark school, responsible for developing the budget, overseeing faculty recruitment, mentoring teachers and fundraising.
“I am honored and excited to take the helm at BHSEC Newark,” said Weinstein. “We all learned a great deal during our first year. I’m looking forward to working with our entire BHSEC Newark team, including our excellent new faculty hires, in building BHSEC Newark as we enter our second year. I appreciate Superintendent Anderson’s support and belief in this project, which is so important for Newark's students.”
Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) integrates high school and the first two years of college within the framework of an urban public high school, offering its students access to intellectually-stimulating, academically-rigorous college courses taught by college-level faculty dedicated to teaching young scholars.
Modeled on highly successful schools in New York City and Queens, the Newark school opened last year in the former Camden Street Middle School on Bergen Avenue with a freshman class and a class of juniors beginning their first year of the college curriculum.
“John is a natural choice to lead BHSEC Newark because he understands what is necessary to intellectually engage young students,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “We are thrilled that Superintendent Anderson has put her trust in John to be one of her leaders in Newark Public Schools.”
Weinstein will replace Raymond Peterson, who came out of retirement last year to lead the Newark school during its inaugural year. Peterson was also the first principal of BHSEC in New York, which opened in 2001 as the first public early college in the country.
“John has developed as a strong leader during the course of the last year,” Peterson said. “I feel confident handing the reigns over to a very capable and talented educational leader.”
Weinstein said he could not have had a better mentor than Peterson.
“Serving on Ray Peterson’s leadership team, at the same time that I was teaching Chinese to more than half of the 9th grade students, has given me a dual perspective as teacher and administrator,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein received his undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University in 1993 and earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in East Asian languages and culture from Columbia University. In 1997, he was awarded a full Fullbright Scholarship to study in Taiwan. Weinstein recently completed a master’s degree in educational leadership from Montclair State University.
Weinstein has been a teacher within the Bard community since 2001. He was among the inaugural staff at BHSEC New York City, where he taught Chinese and theater. The following year, he joined the faculty of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA, where he taught Chinese and Asian students until spring 2011.
While at Simon’s Rock, Weinstein also directed the writing and thinking workshop, a hallmark of the high school program that teaches young students critical thinking skills necessary for college-level work.