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Reflections of an Urban High School Principal

Reflections of an Urban High School Principal     

by Bernard Gassaway
Price: $12.95

152 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-10: 0-9769709-0-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-9769709-0-3

This is my story. Join me as I reflect on some of my childhood experiences growing up in the streets in Brooklyn, New York, vis-à-vis my professional experiences as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the New York City public school system. I hope you walk away with the realization that we should never give up on children, especially our most challenged. By all accounts, I was a challenged youth. With support, guidance, and divine intervention, I was able to overcome tremendous odds, not unlike the children I now serve as an educator.

About The Author

Bernard attended New York City public schools. From high school, he attended LeMoyne College, a catholic school in Syracuse, New York. He was elected President of the Minority Cultural Society in his junior year. He went on to graduate from LeMoyne with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, in 1982. Two years later, he earned his first Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany, in public administration. Bernard worked for two years at the New York City Department of Transportation. In 1986, shortly after his mother passed away, he resigned from the department of transportation to pursue what he called, “meaningful work,” and began his teaching career at Public School 40Q, in Jamaica, New York. Two years later, he transferred to Boys and Girls High School where he taught English and computer literacy. After several years as a high school teacher, and a brief attempt to start a small computer consulting business, he returned to teach at Intermediate School 59Q, in Springfield Gardens, New York. While teaching at 59Q, he completed his second Master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision at Baruch College. Shortly after, he became an assistant principal at Junior High School 192Q, in St. Albans, New York. Six months later, he transferred to become the assistant principal of pupil personnel services at Far Rockaway High School, in 1994. In April 1997, Bernard was assigned and later appointed the first African-American principal at Beach Channel High School. After his first year at Beach Channel, he was the recipient of the New York State Title I Distinguished Educator Award. In 2001, the Queens Borough President’s African-American Advisory Council selected him as Queens Educator of the Year. He also received an award for Educator of the Year from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., in that same year. After five years as principal, Bernard resigned to become the Director of New School Initiative for the New York City Board of Education Alternative Schools Superintendency. In July, 2003, he became Senior Superintendent for Alternative Schools and Programs. He was also selected as a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. In June 2005, after eighteen years with the New City school system, Bernard resigned to “continue to fight the good fight for children.” He is currently an author, child advocate, and educational consultant.


By all accounts he was not supposed to make it – but he did When he looked at his students, he saw himself Before you write the next student off, read this true story This book is a must read for all parents, students, teachers, administrators, the young and the old. This book should be a primer for all educators. Parents, students and educators will enjoy it. Bernard writes honestly of the education system. We should never view special education the same. It’s a quick read. Reviews from Students: Mr. G. writes about what I can relate to. I am living what he lived. I live in the same neighborhood. Things have not changed. This book has changed my life. I am now motivated to do well in college after reading this book. It was inspirational.