H. Grady James, IV
Welcome to Hawthorne Avenue School. It is our goal to make Hawthorne a point of pride in the South Ward community and Newark as a whole. Our primary focus is on delivering a high-quality and culturally relevant education to our students in a safe, structured and stimulating environment. As we welcome our students with open arms, so too do we welcome our family and community members. We appreciate that families have other public schooling options for their children, both traditional neighborhood schools, as well as independent and chain charters.
What makes us unique? We are “educating to liberate.” As a school leader, I do not believe that it is sufficient for students to achieve honor roll, perfect attendance, and to be proficient on the state standardized test. The education that we provide to our students must be so powerful and culturally relevant that we change the entire community from the inside of the building out. Providing students with the knowledge and power of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, knowledge of self through African studies, and embodied the principles of Kwanzaa are critical to this mission. I have been principal at Hawthorne Avenue School since 2009. Likewise, our vice principal Ms. Porter joined us in 2009. Our dedicated staff, many of whom grew up here in Newark, has the lowest rate of turnover of any South Ward school. It is this consistency and passion to bring out the best in our students that allows us to build long term and deep relationships with our students and families. It is also what helps to produce higher cultural awareness and rising student achievement year after year.
Lastly, education equals power. Power to achieve. Power to succeed. Power to lead. Power to bring about change. Hawthorne Avenue School students are provided the academic and social tools of empowerment that they will need to thrive in a world that is not always welcoming.