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Principal Gemar Mills Makes Remarkable Progress at Newark High School

Principal Gemar Mills

With a story that sounds a lot like Lean On Me – the hit 1980’s film that starred Morgan Freeman, huge and remarkable progress is being made at Malcolm X Shabazz High School in crime-ridden Newark, New Jersey. All of this thanks to Gemar Mills, the school’s 30-year old principal.

The school once had major problems with the students including violence, drugs, vandalism, and fire alarms going off daily – even though there where no fires. Because of this, the school was rumored to be on the verge of closure. So to implement an effective change, Princial Mills tried something new. He applied football-style structure and discipline to the entire student body and his staff.

And according to the performance numbers, it appears to be working. In fact, the school has seen major improvement and Mills is becoming a national icon for his work in education.

About Principal Gemar Mills
Mills, who was once known as a high school football star, began his career at the young age of 22 as a high school math teacher and managed to acquire a 70 percent standardized test pass rate after only three years. By 25, he was serving as the Department Chairperson of Mathematics and in just one year was able to bring the department from functioning at 17% to 26%.

By 27-years-old, he was promoted to vice principal of the school, and by 28-years-old he was principal. Because of his rapid progress with the school, he has been recognized by major news outlets like NBC News, CNN, the NJ Star-Ledger, and more. He’s also working on a book called The Turnaround: 180 Days of Change, which he hopes will be a widely used resource for educators around the world.

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