José Fuentes most recently served as Principal of First Avenue School in Newark. With more than 1,200 students, First Avenue School is home to a robust and comprehensive autism, inclusion, and bilingual program. Prior to serving as Principal of First Avenue School, Mr. Fuentes was chosen to lead Chancellor Avenue School, one of eight turnaround schools in the city of Newark.
As principal of Chancellor Avenue School, Mr. Fuentes implemented a blended learning model in grades third through eighth and equipped the school with one device per every two students. Mr. Fuentes oversaw the expansion of the school from 400 to 560 students. The school’s culture improved significantly, and district and state achievement data rose steadily. Mr. Fuentes is a member of the Peer Oversight Committee, which oversees the district’s implementation of the teacher evaluation system.
Before becoming principal, Mr. Fuentes worked at McKinley Elementary School in Newark as a fourth and fifth grade teacher, grade level chairperson, and was Chairman of the School Leadership Council. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Columbia University and his Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. José is originally from El Salvador and went to elementary school and high school in North Bergen, NJ. He is the proud uncle of Eli, Lukas, and Valentina.