Faheem Ellis, 1996
Former and youngest Principal of Weequahic High School.
Faheem Ellis was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from Weequahic High School in 1996. Faheem was part of the Football Team, Basketball Team, Baseball and Bowling Team.
Due to his love of athletics, he went on to obtain a Bachelors of Science degree in Health and Physical Education K-12 from Florida Memorial University, in Miami Florida (Class of 2001). Mr. Ellis became a proud Brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Gamma Chapter in Spring of 1997. His leadership capabilities began to emerge and become evident when he was announced as the President of Omega Psi Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Gamma Chapter. Under his leadership the Kappa Gamma Chapter was recognized as the Undergraduate Chapter of the Year in the State of Florida (2000).
Faheem returned to Weequahic High School in 2001 as a teacher of Physical Education and Health (six years). Moreover, he coached football and basketball, winning championships in both sports. He continued coaching and led the Hawthorne Avenue Elementary Boys Basketball team to a City Championship in 2005.
While working full time and coaching, he began his graduate studies at Kean University where he later earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership(2006).
In 2006, Ronald Stone, the Weequahic High School Principal, promoted Faheem to Dean of Students, where he developed school initiatives that improved school climate and culture and increased positive student/ teacher relationships that assisted in an increase of student achievement.
Faheem embarked on his first administrative role as a Athletic Director at Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, NJ. During his tenure as Athletic Director the athletes improved academic performance, increased student attendance, doubled the percentage of athletes going to college and won five State Basketball Championships in four years. The high school was the first high school in the history of Newark to win both girls and Boys State Championships in the same year, occurring in 2010.
He also served on the Executive committee for the Super Essex Conference where he wrote the Bylaws and created the code of conduct for spectators that is currently posted in every high school athletic venue in Essex County. In 2008, suburban high schools refused to come to Newark to play athletic events due to the violence in the city. Ellis was cited in the Star Ledger and honored at the time by Mayor Cory Booker for standing up for the City of Newark and not allowing the suburban schools to opt out of their contractual obligation to play Athletic events in the city.
In 2011, Faheem was promoted to Vice Principal at Malcolm X Shabazz High School. He took on the task of reforming the school culture at Shabazz High School as the Administrator in charge of Discipline. He assisted in the turnaround of the school that resulted in lower suspension, increased test scores and higher student achievement. Faheem was featured in the Star Ledger and on NBC for role in the turnaround model at Malcolm X Shabazz (2012-2013).
As a result of his success at Shabazz, Faheem was named Principal at Weequahic High School in 2013. He was the youngest Principal in the school's history. He exemplified positive, professional leadership that made a difference in the lives of the students, staff and community. He focused on student success and led the implementation of new programs and best practices for teaching and learning.
Faheem built positive relationships with all stakeholders and created a school mantra, “One Family, One School, One Community, Striving for Excellence” where students, teachers, administrators and the community rallied around the school’s legacy and tradition to exemplify academic excellence and exceed goals and expectations. The school enrollment increased by 30%, there was an increase in student attendance, decrease in discipline infractions and test scores increased by 10%.
Faheem represents the future of educational leadership in Newark. Over the years, he has gained expertise in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment - and is able to create a school environment where students can thrive. Furthermore, he is respected by his peers for his tenacity, confidence, and passion.
Faheem is honored to be a Weequahic High School Alumni Association Hall of Distinction Inductee. He credits his success at Weequahic and in his professional life to the support, that felt like family, he received from many of his coaches, teachers and administrators - including Mr. Young, Mrs. Haden, Ms. Findley, Coach Bernie Adams, Coach Frank Gavin, Coach Bo Porter, Dr. Kirk Morton, Ms. Shirley Lucas, and Ms. Lorraine White.