First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
High Point Academy, a leading K-8 independent school in Pasadena, announced that it has appointed Joseph “Joey” Campanella as its next head of school.
Campanella succeeds interim head of school, Tim Burns, and the previous headmaster of seven years, Gary Stern. He will officially assume the role on July 1.
“Joey’s experience and interests are a compelling match with the responsibilities desired for the High Point Academy head of school position, High Point Academy’s community culture, and its focus on academic excellence and the development of well-rounded students,” said Juan Gomez-Novy, High Point Academy board of trustees chair.
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 Wesley, 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 parent and faculty concerns, and leading high school placement.
While at Wesley, Campanella 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, 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.
Campanella received his bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University and a master’s in educational leadership from Concordia University. Campanella also participated in the National Association of Independent Schools Fellowship for Aspiring Heads in 2020–2021.
“High Point Academy is a wonderful and vibrant school filled with happy students, passionate teachers, and supportive parents,” said Campanella. “The strength and closeness of the school community resonates deeply with me, and I am excited to be a part of leading High Point into a very bright future.”