Message from the Board of Trustees: New Head of School
Dear Members of the High Point Academy Community:
On behalf of the High Point Academy Board of Trustees, it is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of Mr. Joseph “Joey” Campanella as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2022. The Board’s decision to select Mr. Campanella follows a unanimous recommendation from the Search Committee, demonstrating the compelling nexus between Mr. Campanella’s experience, interests, and skills; the responsibilities, traits, and characteristics desired for the High Point Academy Head of School position; HPA’s community culture; and HPA’s focus on academic excellence and the development of well-rounded students.
Mr. Campanella joins High Point Academy after 20 years at The Wesley School, a kindergarten-8th grade independent school in North Hollywood, where he currently serves as the Associate Head of School and Middle School Division Head. At The Wesley School, Mr. Campanella is responsible for managing the school’s day-to-day operations and is in charge of all middle school programs, including supervising 40 faculty members, supporting and coordinating faculty professional development, overseeing curriculum, monitoring the budget, scheduling, addressing all parent and faculty concerns, and leading high school placement. While at Wesley, he also spearheaded a number of educational initiatives, including creating a middle school honor code, expanding the middle school advisory program, growing the middle school enrichment and elective program, and introducing and leading the annual 8th grade trip to London. During his tenure, Mr. Campanella assisted with fundraising and served on a wide range of Board committees – including Curriculum, Technology, Admissions, Long-Range Planning, School Expansion, Professional Development, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Over his 32-year career, Mr. Campanella has served as a substitute teacher, a teacher, and a middle school dean. He has taught a variety of subjects, including English, Spanish, American Literature, Public Speaking, and Film Studies, to a variety of age levels ranging from 3rd through 8th grades. In addition to his administrative role at The Wesley School, Mr. Campanella still teaches a Film Studies class. Mr. Campanella received his BA in English from Columbia University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. Mr. Campanella also participated in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Fellowship for Aspiring Heads in 2020 – 2021. He is married with three children and is a lifelong athlete and former NCAA Division I basketball player. He Ioves watching and reviewing films, enjoys an eclectic mix of musical styles, is an avid reader, writes fiction and screenplays (when he can find the time), and is an aspiring, ever-improving cook.
The appointment of Mr. Campanella concludes an extensive national search by the Search Committee and executive search firm, Morris & Berger. The Search Committee spent many hours reviewing applications submitted by candidates from all over the United States (and a couple of international applicants), initially narrowing the number down to eight candidates interviewed by the Search Committee in September, and then ultimately down to two, high-caliber candidates. Both candidates spent time recently on campus, meeting with faculty, staff, and parents. At the end of each day, the HPA participants completed a survey offering their opinion of the candidates. Survey results were carefully reviewed by both the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees. Ultimately, the Search Committee reached a clear and unanimous decision, recommending Mr. Campanella for the position and the High Point Academy Board of Trustees agreed.
I would like to extend my personal gratitude and that of the entire HPA community to the Search Committee Co-Chairs, Mike Noll and Brent Schoenbaum, and Committee members Peter Bachman, Zack Davis, Tito Gibbs, Krista Huezo, Sarah Nguyen, Norma Richman, and Chelisa Vagim.
Moving forward, the Board of Trustees will work closely with HPA administration, faculty, and Mr. Campanella to ensure a smooth transition, which will include several meet-and-greet opportunities with the broader HPA community. Stay tuned for additional information. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of my fellow executive committee members (Candace McMullin, Fanya Thompson, and Elizabeth Woo) if you have any questions.
What stood out to the Search Committee, the Board, and the community members that met Mr. Campanella is his track record as a caring and inspirational leader, a collaborative partner, a dedicated educator, and a skilled communicator with an approachable style. We believe you will agree and cannot wait for you to meet him.
Chair, High Point Academy Board of Trustees