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American Hebrew Academy Executive Director Glenn Drew talks about new vision for future

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- There is a new vision for the American Hebrew Academy.

Many people have wanted to hear from Executive Director Glenn Drew since the school suddenly closed in June.

The school will reopen for the 2020-2021 academic year.

FOX8 sat down with Drew about the academy’s future.

“We had to come to a realization that continuing the mission of the academy as it was originally envisioned was no longer sustainable,” he said.

Drew described the American Hebrew Academy as a family.

“It was a community of people who cared and nurtured children in a very, very unique environment,” he said.

Now, with a $26 million investment from Puxin, a Chinese education company, he hopes to have a fresh start, with a different focus and a re-brand.

“With a more expansive enrollment policy, we're going to be recruiting across the globe,” Drew said. “So that means students coming from countries where we weren’t able to recruit before, clearly are going to now have the opportunity to come. That includes areas of the Middle East, areas of Asia and beyond.”

The academy will put a greater emphasis on accelerated learning and innovation.

“It’s also going to offer the largest and most innovative and technologically advanced campus in the city,” Drew said.

New partnerships with High Point University and Elon University are already in the works.

Enrollment for the first year is expected to be only 150-175 students for ninth, 10th and 11th grades.

It has not yet been decided whether or not the school will offer a 12th-grade class for the first year.

Drew’s goal is to eventually have more than 450 students on the 100-acre campus working closely with the Greensboro community.

“The academy invested tens of millions of dollars into the city. Through opportunities in employment, through travel. It became an international ambassador, if you will,” Drew said.

He hopes the academy will help move the next generation, and the city of Greensboro, forward.

“We live in a society now that is based on globalization. Greensboro is no different. Look around and we see international companies who have invested here,” he said. “Our universities are also filled with international students. It’s time that we do that at the high school level as well.”

Drew said he has had a lot of inquiries already about the school, both for enrollment and employment. They will offer jobs to former faculty and staff.

He is also working to form the new board of directors.

The academy is also expected to have a new name. FOX8 is anticipating hearing about the change in the coming weeks.

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