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2010 EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Dr. BlauIt is with great pleasure that we introduce and honor our 2010 EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRRNEUR OF THE YEAR, Dr. Allan Blau. Allan is currently the Founding Director of Cornerstone Day School and Effective School Solutions of New Jersey. There is a long history of successful educational experiences that led up to this present position.

His academic record is indicative of his tremendous interest in and commitment to excellence. He graduated in 1963 from Rutgers University where he earned BS in Art Education and Speech. In 1965 he earned an MS Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Temple University. This was followed in 1986 when he graduated from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University with a MSW.

His formal education ended in 1994 when he earned an Ed.D. from Nova South Eastern University. Although his "degree" efforts ended in 1994, he augmented his "formal" academic interests over the years by attending the Gestalt Institute for Family Therapy in New York City and participating in a a variety of educational opportunities as well as psychoanalytic training offered at the New Jersey Center for Psychoanalytic Education.

While his academic record is certainly impressive, his achievements from the classroom to his successes in the establishment of several taxpaying (proprietary) schools and educational services is why we honor Allan this year.

His "bio" reflects what we identify as a true EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR - "a person who has served as an educator prior to organizing a business related to education and has invested time, energy and capitol to create, develop, and market a program, product, service or technology to enhance learning." Allan has not only done this several times since 1963 when he first taught Public Speaking in a local New Jersey High School, for eight years he served as President of NIPSA, The National Independent Private Schools Association during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Almost immediately after his high school classroom experiences, he worked at a Job Corp Center with adolescents, most of whom came from the inner city. In 1967 when the company that managed the job corps wanted to re-define his role and move him into "corporate" he resigned and went to work for a non-profit private school for neurologically impaired children. He started as a speech and language clinician. During his second year with the Adams School Inc., the director of the school suddenly left. Allan was appointed "Acting Director" of that site. Over the next few years as Executive Director he opened six more campuses in New York City, one in New Jersey and one in Atlanta, Georgia. By 1978 he had become CEO of Adam School Incorporated, at that time the largest special educational corporation of its kind.

In 1978 Allan, with a partner founded the Barnstable Academy, a tax paying school designed to meet the educational needs of children with a variety of special needs. For the next 19 years he continued providing excellent learning experiences for literally hundreds of students.

In 1997 he founded Sage Educational Enterprises a proprietary school for children with emotional problems. In 1999 he sold his interest in Barnstable Academy and semi-retired to the Birkshire Mountains of Massachusetts but continued his work with Sage and in fact, opened two additional campuses in New Jersey.

In 2006 Allan, responding to the increasing need for a program for children with major and serious psychotic disorders, returned to New Jersey. It was then he and his partner, the Executive Director of High Focus Centers, founded Cornerstone Day School. So that he could devote his full efforts to Cornerstone and his exceptionally fragile population, Allan sold his interest in Sage.

By 2008 Cornerstone had developed a program that is now recognized as the premier program in New Jersey for psychiatric adolescents. To provide for the influx of new students at that time, Cornerstone moved into a newly rennovated and expanded facility which was designed specifically to meet both the education and clinical needs of these students.

In 2009, Allan and his partner founded Effective School Solutions, ESS. This Cornerstone Day School initiative provides clinical services in the public schools. The enormous down-turn of the economy that translated to huge budget cuts made it important that school districts find ways to provide comprehensive quality clinical services to their students without sending them to "out of district" schools. Although only created last year, ESS can now be found in four New Jersey Counties and is expected to expand elsewhere in the state by the end of next year. Effective School Solutions is an example of public-private partnership where all are winners, there are no losers. ESS brings quality mental health services to public school children without sending them out of the district.

Allan explains, "We deal primarily with children who have emotional problems or behavioral problems. The severely disturbed and mentally ill still have to be sent out of the district, but this is a relatively small number compared to the mildly disturbed. Our program provides individual, group, and family therapy for a specific number of identified children. We also serve as consultants to the child study teams, provide parent workshops, and conduct in-service programs for the staff. For some districts we can also provide a consulting psychiatrist when necessary. It is our intent over the next three years to expand this cost saving public school program to other states. There are so many children that public schools will never really be able to take care of unless they have help by partnering with private education. When asked about retiring again he said, "After 47 years in the field, I don't even think about slowing down."

We here at The International Academy for Educational Entrpreneurism - IAEE are not alone in our praise of Allan Blau. Jim Williams, the Executive Director of NIPSA, the National Independent Private Schools Association, upon learning of our recognizing Allan as our "Entrepreneur of the year" volunteered the following: "Allan is a real go-getter. He was our president for eight years. He is currently our Vice President for Therapeutic and Alternative Schools. In that role he not only helped develop our standards for therapeutic certification and accreditation he has served both as a member and as the chair of visiting committees. He has been and continues to be an enthusiastic member of our Board."

All of us interested in Educational Entrepreneurship, as a concept which encourages schools and colleges to insure the learning, practical application and appreciation of the skills and values of the entrepreneur by students they serve should be excited and encouraged by the life of Dr. Allan Blau.