Juan Acevedo (cropped)

Once an emerging concept, LEAD Charter School (LEAD) is steadily on its way to becoming a concrete intervention for the thousands of Newark youth who are too old for traditional high school, yet are ill-prepared for the workforce.

Much has happened since LEAD was approved for launch by the New Jersey Department of Education in 2016. Staffers and volunteers are close to completing the facility. Juan Acevedo, former assistant principal at Mastery Charter High School in Pennsylvania, will usher in LEAD’s inaugural school year as principal.

Juan has considerable experience as an educational leader. He has a master’s degree in educational leadership. As a Teach For America Corps Member Adviser, he managed and mentored first-year teachers to develop their skills to increase their impact on student achievement. For five years, Juan served as a high school mathematics teacher at South Philadelphia High School where he also progressed to the role of mathematics department chair.

The opportunity to serve as assistant principal on the Lenfest Campus of Mastery Charter School came soon after. While there, Juan oversaw the daily operations of the school maintaining an average daily membership of 554 students and led the professional development and growth of math teachers as an instructional specialist.

Juan most recently served as Merit Preparatory Charter School’s director of operations. He has been working alongside staff teams at YouthBuild Newark (YBN) and OYN to ensure LEAD’s launch year is a success. To date, LEAD has hired 81% of all staff, including 83% of instructional personnel. A furniture donation from Freeman Furniture, a corporate partner of YouthBuild USA, and volunteer support have positioned the building to likely be complete by July 30th.