WWW.SHAKER.LIFE | SUMMER 2019 47
Glasner’s passion for education took him to the University of Pennsylvania and
then to New York City, where he received a master’s degree from the storied Teachers
College at Columbia University, before getting a teaching job at the Manhattan Center
for Science and Mathematics.
He loved the classroom, but it didn’t take long before Glasner began assuming
leadership roles. In 2008, he became an assistant principal at the Urban Assembly
Academy of Government and Law, which was housed in the same Lower East Side
school building from which his grandmother had graduated high school in the 1930s.
At Urban Assembly, he was charged with supervising the four-year-old school’s
curriculum and instruction. The following year he became principal. In his five years
at the helm, he raised test scores and the graduation rate significantly and took the
school from a “C” to an “A” on the New York City Progress Report.
None of that surprised Dr. Margaret Smith Crocco, a professor at Teachers
College when Glasner was a student there. Early on she recognized the young man’s
“When he told me that he was interested in pursuing certification to become
a principal at a public high school in New York City, I remember thinking what
a gift he would be to the administrative profession,” she wrote in a letter of
recommendation when Glasner was applying to get into a doctoral program at
Cleveland State University. “His intellectual acumen, along with his interpersonal
and organizational skills, would make him an excellent leader. His accomplishments
are truly impressive…I am not surprised because I believe he has extraordinary
capacity and potential as a leader.”
While Crocco saw a star administrator in the making, Elana Hoenig saw
something else. At the party of a mutual friend, she spotted Glasner across the room
and asked who he was.
“He’s got a girlfriend,” she was told. “But he’s also got a twin brother.”
Hoenig and Ariel Glasner ended up attending a concert together and dating
for a few weeks before going their separate ways. A few years later, David – no
longer spoken for – got tickets to see another concert by the same band and asked
Hoenig to go. In 2011, the couple married, eventually settling in the Park Slope
neighborhood of Brooklyn.
As they began a young family, the couple began thinking about leaving New
York. Hoenig grew up in South Euclid, and the idea of having an extended family
to help with the children was attractive. When an opening occurred for principal
at Shaker Heights Middle School, Glasner was interested. The District boasted a
robust International Baccalaureate program, and Glasner himself had earned an IB
Diploma in high school. In addition to a long history of academic excellence, the
District had a reputation for aggressively addressing issues such as integration,
social justice, and equity—ensuring that all students, regardless of race, family
income, or disability, receive the supports and services they need to succeed.
to family and
faith are almost
Raised in a
synagogue, he is a
of the Cleveland