Head of NYC K-12 science, technology and math school to be named principal of PMHS

Mark Berkowitz

Mark Berkowitz, principal of the New York City school system’s New Explorations into Science, Technology & Math (NEST+m) school, is the choice for principal of Pelham Memorial High School. He will be recommended Wednesday night to the Pelham Board of Education by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cheryl Champ.

The NEST+m school “serves approximately 1,800 gifted and talented students from across the five boroughs,” said Champ in an email announcing her intention to recommend Berkowitz. The school, which enrolls Kindergarten through 12th grade students, is located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

PMHS Principal Jeannine Clark is retiring at the end of June after 16 years in the post.

The screening process for the job included candidates doing multiple interviews with Champ, her cabinet, committees of administrators, faculty, parents and students, support staff and a final interview with the board of education, Champ said. “We believe that Mr. Berkowitz’s leadership at NEST+m, which Inside Schools recently ranked as the 11th most sought after high school in New York City, has provided him with important experience understanding and meeting high expectations of students, parents, faculty and the community at large,” she said.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Pelham Public Schools and Pelham Memorial High School community,” Berkowitz was quoted as saying in Champ’s email. “I was born and raised in southern Westchester County. I am eager to collaborate with Pelham Memorial High School’s students, faculty and families.”

Berkowitz graduated from Mamaroneck High School.

During his tenure at NEST+m, which began in 2015, Berkowitz enhanced science, math and technology offerings, Champ said. “This included introducing multiple computer science courses such as CS50 and AP Computer Science Principles as well as AP Statistics. Berkowitz also increased inclusion of students with disabilities by initiating integrated co-teaching in grades 6-8, while strengthening these practices in the high school.”

Prior to NEST+m, Berkowitz worked as assistant principal for the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, where he also taught for a decade. He holds an M.A. in teaching of social studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in journalism and history from Indiana University-Bloomington.