Campisano to direct Program in Teacher Preparation


Christopher Campisano Photo: Denise Applewhite

Christopher Campisano, the coordinator of higher education programs at the New Jersey Department of Education for the past four years, has been selected as the director of Princeton's Program in Teacher Preparation, effective July 12. He succeeds John Webb, who will retire at the end of the current academic year.

In his current post, Campisano works with institutions of higher education across the state to ensure that teacher and school leader preparation programs maintain consistently high standards. He previously served for eight years as a program development specialist with the state Department of Education, overseeing professional development opportunities, curriculum development and program improvement services for school districts across the state.

The Program in Teacher Preparation -- which is open to undergraduates, graduate students and alumni -- trains individuals to serve as teachers. In addition to offering an undergraduate certificate, the program manages the Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), which helps low-income, high-achieving high school students prepare for college; QUEST, a professional development program for local elementary and middle school teachers; and Teachers as Scholars, an intellectual enrichment program for local elementary and secondary teachers.

Deputy Dean of the College Peter Quimby, to whom Campisano will report, said that during the national search, Campisano "stood out for his sophisticated knowledge of teacher training, his ability to inspire passion in others, his deep understanding of accreditation and assessment policies and, above all, his unwavering dedication to improving public school education for young people across the state and nation."

Campisano will serve as the fifth director in the program's 43-year history. Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel praised Webb, who has led the program since 2000.

"John Webb has been an extraordinary leader and advocate for teacher preparation, both at Princeton University and beyond," she said. "During his tenure as director, among other signal achievements, the certificate program has been thoroughly revamped; the program has won national accreditation; Princeton has taken significant leadership in articulating standards for teacher preparation, both in the state of New Jersey and nationally; and the program has launched the highly successful Princeton University Preparatory Program."

Miguel Centeno, professor of sociology and international affairs, who helped establish PUPP, was part of the search process for Webb's successor. He said Campisano "combines a deep commitment to teaching as a valued and incredibly significant profession with long experience" in policymaking.

Campisano has been a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, the College of Staten Island, Hunter College, the College of New Jersey and the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He began his career as a social studies teacher at North Brunswick Township High School. A graduate of the College of New Jersey (then Trenton State College), Campisano holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University.