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David Portnoy To Take Helm Of The Emery/Weiner School | InstantNewsWestU.com

David Portnoy To Take Helm Of The Emery/Weiner School

February 20, 2009

This fall, Emery/Weiner’s Head of School will begin the school year with one significantly different attribute: a bowtie. David Portnoy, an educator and leader in independent schools, has been chosen to lead Emery/Weiner as its new Head of School for the 2009-10 school year.  Stuart Dow, the current Head, announced this past September that this year would be his last. 




An honors graduate of Yale University, Portnoy’s educational background also includes a law degree from UCLA, a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate in School Leadership and Administration from Seton Hall University.  He has served as Associate Head of School and Head of Upper School at Beth Tfiloh, a N-12 Independent Jewish Community School in Baltimore, Maryland, for the past 10 years. Portnoy also served on the faculty and counseling staff of the Gilman School in Baltimore and taught middle and high school at the Harvard School in Los Angeles (now Harvard-Westlake).  He is married to Rabbi Shira Lander, a professor of Religious and Jewish Studies, and they have two sons, Zachary and Maury.


“From the first time I stepped onto the Emery/Weiner campus, I was struck by the energy, the warmth, and the spirit of the School,” Portnoy said.  “The special relationships among students, teachers, administrators, parents and alumni helped me to appreciate ‘the EWS Difference.’ I am excited by EWS’s unique blend of passion, excellence, joy and community. It is my privilege and pleasure to be joining the Emery/Weiner family.”


In the fall of last year, the President of Emery/Weiner’s Board of Trustees, Bobby Lapin, appointed a Head of School Search Committee, chaired by community leader Joe Williams and comprising members of the School and greater communities, to identify a new Head of School.  The Board also retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a national independent school search firm, to lead the search.  Portnoy quickly emerged as the ideal candidate.


“Dr. Portnoy’s extensive experience in independent and Jewish schools, his passion for educating children, and his unquestionable integrity make him the clear choice for Emery/Weiner’s next Head of School,” said Williams. 


“As our greater community navigates challenging economic times, we are indeed fortunate that Emery/Weiner embarks upon this coming transition from a position of great strength,” Lapin said. “We are blessed with a talented administration and faculty.  Our student body continues to grow in number and achievements, and our Board and parent communities provide much-needed support.”


Eight years ago, Emery/Weiner began with a ninth grade class of 31 students; today, it enrolls more than 460 students in grades 6-12.  As the fastest-growing Jewish day school per capita in the country, Emery/Weiner recently initiated a $10.5 million expansion of facilities and endowment to accommodate its increasing student population.


InstantNewsWestu Staff

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