Greenwich Public Schools' Western Middle School Principal Gordon Beinstein has been named the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) 2019 Middle School Principal of the Year. Karen Packtor, Assistant Director for CAS, said in her notification letter to Mr. Beinstein, "You were chosen for this award from a group of skilled and dedicated administrators, thus giving testimony to your tremendous success as an instructional leader and building manager. As evidenced by your impressive application packet and superb site visit, you are a deeply respected and influential change-agent in your school and community."
Superintendent of Schools Ralph Mayo said, "Mr. Beinstein is one of the most caring individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of working with in my forty-two years of public education. There are no obstacles or problems that will impede him from reaching the goals that he has set for himself, his students, his staff or his administrative team. He has demonstrated that with the appropriate instructional strategies, and building culture and climate, all students can learn at high levels and achieve success. The district is extremely proud of Mr. Beinstein and congratulates him on this well-deserved recognition."
Mr. Beinstein's student, teacher, administrator and parent nominators each referenced the phenomenal improvement in achievement and school culture since his arrival in 2013 in the Middle School Principal of the Year application. They attribute the school's successes to Mr. Beinstein's focus on creating a culture of collaboration, innovation, data-driven goal-setting and open communication.
Western has risen from the 147th ranked middle school in CT in 2013 to the 66th in 2018. Based upon the 2017-18 Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) results, and out of the 270 middle schools across the state, WMS ranked:
- 3rd in the Overall Accountability Index.
- 5th for high levels of ELA academic growth
- 19th for high levels of MATH academic growth
- 7th for high levels of ELA academic growth for high needs students*
- 15th for high levels of MATH academic growth for high needs students.*
*The state defines 'high needs' as those students who are in Special Education, receive ELL services, or qualify for free/reduced lunch
Annual school climate surveys reflect 98% of parents responding look favorably on their child's experience at Western under Mr. Beinstein's leadership. Parent surveys also show that Mr. Beinstein's focus on student needs is impactful, with 94.5% of WMS parents saying their children enjoy coming to school; 94.5% feel their children are appropriately challenged academically; 96.5% strongly agree that staff know/care about their child; and 97.5% say their children feel supported by staff.
His parent nominator said, "Gordon leads by example, communicates regularly with parents, is responsive to their concerns, values input and builds open honest relationships with staff, students, parents and the community at large. His passion for education energizes and inspires others to do and be their best."
Mr. Beinstein will be honored as the Middle School Principal of the Year at the CAS recognition dinner on October 23, 2019 at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, CT.
About the CAS Principal of the Year Program: The CAS principal of the year program is designed to spotlight the achievements of individual school leaders and at the same time increase public awareness of the critical role that principals play in the education of our youth. The program honors middle and high school principals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, a passion for educational excellence, a commitment to their students and staff, and service to their communities.
Bio Brief: Gordon Beinstein
Gordon Beinstein began his career in education at Central Middle School (CMS) in Greenwich, CT in 1988. Over the next fourteen years he taught Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies, and acted as Team Leader and Social Studies Department Chair at CMS. From 1990 to 2002, Mr. Beinstein served as the Director for the Town of Greenwich Summer Camp, Kamp Kairphree. In 2002, he became an Assistant Principal at John Read Middle School in Redding, CT (2002-2003) and then at Middlesex Middle School in Darien, CT (2003-2009). In 2009, Mr. Beinstein was appointed Principal of Harborside Middle School in Milford, CT. Under his leadership, Harborside experienced a three-year increase in academic achievement in grades 6-8 and all subject areas on the Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMT). In 2013, Mr. Beinstein was appointed Principal of Western Middle School.
Mr. Beinstein received a Bachelor of Science in History from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT in 1988; a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT in 1992; and a Sixth Year Degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT in 1997.