Joseph M. Wilson, J.D. attended public schools in New Jersey and Delaware and earned degrees from Amherst College, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, and Harvard. Before becoming a high school principal, he taught high school, college, and graduate school, worked as a trial lawyer, served in state government, and served on the San Jose, CA school board for almost eight years.
From 1994 through 2004, Joe was Principal of an inner city, magnet high school, Baltimore City College High School. During his tenure, enrollment grew from 800+ to 1500+. In 2000 “City” became one of the first urban high schools in the U.S. to be certified as an International Baccalaureate high school. Over Joe’s years, City earned many honors including Newsweek’s “Top American High School,” Gates Foundation’s “Breakthrough High School,” Maryland and US Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and State of Maryland’s Character Education High School of the Year. The Toronto National Post labeled City an “almost perfect school,” and Baltimore Magazine named Joe a “Baltimorean of the Year.”
Joe served as Principal of Ithaca (NY) High School from 2004 through 2009. He led the implementation of several initiatives including a rubric-based discipline system, Link Crew, AVID, the Tripod Student Survey, and Professional Learning Communities. Each of Joe’s years, IHS was a Newsweek “Top American High School” raising its student achievement index by ten percent and its equity-excellence score 32 percent.
Since retiring, Joe has served as a U.S. Department of Education “Race to the Top” Peer Reviewer, consulted on school leadership matters and became a trustee for the Ithaca-based charter high school, New Roots. He is married to the former Martha J. Norton and lives in the Town of Dryden in upstate New York.