Don SternbergDon Sternberg
Wantagh Elementary School
Wantagh Public Schools
Wantagh, New York

Don Sternberg believes in the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. So he has created and implemented processes to ensure that the school meets the needs of the “whole child.” “This includes academic well-being, healthy food choices, physical activity, as well as character education,” he says. Sternberg has led Wantagh Elementary as principal since 1982. The suburban K-5 school currently enrolls 822 students. Among his leadership accomplishments, Sternberg has cultivated an ethos and atmosphere at Wantagh Elementary that promotes collaboration among teachers to advance their professional development. As a result of this emphasis, master teachers share best practices and lead their peers in training. Through the school’s “Share Our Wealth” initiative, teachers select partners for the year with whom they closely collaborate. They team-teach on some occasions as well as observe each other’s instructional delivery and debrief with each other. During his tenure, Sternberg’s elementary school has earned state and national honors for educational excellence. It received recognition as a New York State Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1991, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1992, and one of 72 best elementary schools in the United States by Redbook in 1993. Sternberg has a B.S. from Ball State University in Indiana, an M.A. from Adelphi University in New York, and a doctorate from Columbia University in New York.