Ben Shifrin Marks 10 Years as Head of Jemicy School
BALTIMORE, May 22, 2012 – On Tuesday, May 15, students, faculty, staff, and parents took part in a celebration marking Ben Shifrin’s 10 years as head of Jemicy School in Owings Mills, Md. The surprise event, which took place on the Upper School Campus, included a slideshow of Shifrin’s milestones, testimonials from key members of the school community, student presentations, and a Top Ten List filled with memories and anecdotes.
Jemicy School, a nationally and internationally recognized leader in education for college-bound students who struggle with reading, written expression, spelling and/or organization, was founded nearly 40 years ago. Shifrin became head of school in 2002 and facilitated a merger with Valley Academy, helping to successfully create Baltimore’s first 1st through 12th grade curriculum for students with language-based learning differences.
“We are so excited to celebrate Ben’s 10 years as Head of Jemicy School. Under his leadership, Jemicy has blossomed into a thriving educational community where children can achieve success and experience the joy of learning,” said Mark Westervelt, assistant Head of School. “There is no one more attuned or dedicated to children with language learning differences than Ben Shifrin, and we look forward to many more years of his guidance and wisdom here at Jemicy.”
In addition to facilitating the merger with Valley Academy, Shifrin’s other significant achievements at Jemicy include:
- The creation of Verticy, a joint learning initiative of Jemicy School and Calvert School; it is the first comprehensive home school program that specifically addresses the needs of students who are struggling readers and writers.
- The acquisition of the 57-acre Owings Mills campus as the new home for the Jemicy Upper School, which enabled an increase in enrollment that permits Jemicy to serve more students with language-based learning differences, as well as expand and enhance the way the school delivers its program.
- Shifrin’s position on the Executive Board of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) has enabled him to quickly learn, introduce, and incorporate cutting-edge, state-of-the-art research-based programs, methods, and training into Jemicy’s program — keeping the school in the forefront of education for students struggling with the mechanics of language.
- Jemicy’s Professional Outreach, which provides professional training, informal instruction, materials, and mentoring to educators and parents so they may better identify, understand, and address learning differences in their students and children, has expanded and, after extensive review, provides language arts training for the Baltimore City Public School system.
Prior to coming to Jemicy School, Shifrin lived and worked in California and spent 14 years serving as a special education administrator in the Unified School District of Los Angeles. He later served as the head of Westmark School, one of California’s premier institutions for students with learning differences. During this time he also served as a board member of the L.A. Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association and a member of the Learning Disabilities Association and the National Association of Independent Schools.
Shifrin has served on the Executive Board of Directors for the IDA since 2009. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Shifrin graduated with honors from Temple University, where he earned both a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Administration.