Youngstown Early College gets new dean

The current dean is being reassigned to an elementary school position.



YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown Early College is getting a new dean.

The city school board has named John Wilson, current executive director of development and community outreach for the Warren City School District and director of that district’s alternative school, to take the helm at YEC in August.

Wilson succeeds Larry Johnson, who has served as the school’s dean since its inception in 2004.

Dr. Wendy Webb, Youngstown schools superintendent, said Johnson, who has an elementary education background, is being reassigned as an elementary school principal this fall. Which building he will serve hasn’t been determined, she said.

Wilson was given a one-year, $84,424 administrative contract.

“I’m taking a big step,” Wilson said, noting he’s leaving Warren after 30 years of service, first as a science teacher at Harding High School and later moving into the administrative ranks.

“He’s a good asset,” Webb said, noting that he is working on his doctorate at Youngstown State University.

What the YEC is

Youngstown Early College is a collaborative effort between the city schools and Youngstown State University to provide a transition to college for bright but underachieving urban students who might not get that access in the traditional high school setting.

The program meets in Fedor Hall at YSU, and students who do well in basic high school courses can also take college courses in their sophomore, junior and senior years, earning college credits free of charge, provided they meet YSU requirements.

Physical education, biology, math, social studies and language arts courses are open to them at the university.

The program, which admits only freshmen each fall, has grown in popularity and had a little more than 200 students last school year. It was the first year that the school had a waiting list of freshmen.

Some changes needed

Although YEC was the only Youngstown high school to achieve an “excellent” ranking on the state’s local report card last year, the program does need to make some changes, according to a private consultant hired by YSU.

Some of the students lack the educational foundation or maturity for college classes, the consultant said, suggesting that all students be required to take ninth-grade math, history and English before enrolling in college courses for those subjects.

The consultant also recommended a more structured four-year curriculum be put in place along with stronger transitional support.

Still, YEC is on its way to becoming a high-quality program, the consultant said.

The KnowledgeWorks Foundation, based in Cincinnati, has been a financial supporter of the program. The foundation said its analysis shows Youngstown Early College is producing some impressive results in terms of college credits earned and performance on state achievement tests.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.