Dr. John J. Russell named a Distinguished Leader in Education by Education Update 2019
Dr. John J. Russell at The Windward School's Westchester Middle School in White Plains, NY.

The Windward School’s Head of School John J. Russell was named one of seven Distinguished Leaders in Education in 2019 by Education Update. He received his award on June 19, 2019, at the Harvard Club in New York City, as Education Update recognizes Outstanding Educators of the Year at its 17th annual awards program.

"Jay has had a distinguished career and has enlarged The Windward School to include a New York City campus. His influence in effective teaching instruction has enabled many more students to become readers,” said Pola Rosen and Adam Sugerman, Publishers of Education Update. “Under Dr. Russell's leadership, the Windward Teacher Training Institute fulfills the gaps in an educator's knowledge that no other institution provides.”

After 13 years as Head of The Windward School in White Plains, N.Y. and Manhattan, N.Y., Dr. John J. Russell will assume a new role as executive director of The Windward Institute on July 1. Under his leadership as head of school, student enrollment has nearly doubled, allowing more than 900 students with language-based learning disabilities and dyslexia to experience Windward’s transformative and proven research-based academic program of instruction. His dedication to the fidelity of the Windward academic program also led to the construction of a new facility for teacher training to ensure all Windward and non-Windward teachers receive the outstanding pedagogical professional development they need to effectively teach students. He also oversaw the development and completion of a 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art campus on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 2016. Most recently, Dr. Russell established a partnership with Windward and New Haven-based Haskins Laboratories to collaborate with researchers, practitioners, educators, and education technology specialists to improve language and literacy outcomes for children at risk for reading difficulties across languages and cultures.

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” said Dr. John J. Russell, Head of The Windward School. “This recognition also belongs to all the Windward students, families, faculty and staff members, members of the board of trustees, alumni, and friends of Windward who work hard every day to help our students achieve what few thought they could, by helping them to overcome seemingly impossible barriers and finding new ways to succeed.”

As he steps down from his role as Head of School, Dr. Russell’s commitment to Windward will remain steadfast in his new role as executive director of The Windward Institute beginning July 1. He will devote his efforts to elevating the recognition and understanding of dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities in the broader education community and champion the proven Windward Way by managing the professional development opportunities for educators around the world using high-quality, research-based teaching practices. Currently known as the Windward Teacher Training Institute, The Windward Institute will continue to grow Windward’s presence as a globally-known expert in current, scientifically-validated research in child development, learning theory, and pedagogy. In this role, Dr. Russell will also continue to serve as an advocate for all children who face the reality of the literacy crisis due to ineffective teacher training.

Joining Dr. Russell as recipients of the 2019 Distinguished Leaders of Education are: Tim L. Hall, President of Mercy College; Vita Rabinowitz, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost of the City University of New York; Félix Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor of the City University of New York; Joyce Cowin, Cofounder of the Cowin Financial Literacy program; and Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, Co-Founders of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.