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Who is Joey Pompignano?

Joey Pompignano is a social studies teacher at Shaker Heights High School. Though his career path toward becoming an educator did not happen overnight, he practiced patience and persistence in achieving goals. Pompignano worked 10 years as a stock clerk while pursuing a career in journalism and performance poetry. He attributes his drive to succeed a direct result of humble beginnings as an only child raised by a single mother in public housing, and credits Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus as the focal point of where his talents were cultivated. 


Pompignano earned a Bachelor of Science in News Journalism (2011) and a Master of Arts in Teaching (2018) from Kent State University. In 2008, he began reciting poems Tuesday nights at the B Side Lounge. As an author and spoken word artist, Pompignano published Defeating Any Given Obstacle (2009), Traded Tuesday Nights for Wednesday Mornings (2015), and recorded West of the Cuyahoga (2018), produced by Young Troubled Minds. 


While attending Kent State University, Pompignano was the host and featured speaker at campus-wide events for NAACP, Collegiate Business Association, Focus on the Future, Advocates of Culture and Knowledge, and Black United Students. The Society of Professional Journalists awarded him First Place for the 2011 Region 4 Mark of Excellence in Non-Fiction Magazine Article. During this time, Pompignano became a reporter for Cleveland's African American newspaper, the Call and Post.


He facilitated Basheer Jones’ “Be the Change” youth leadership series (2012-2014), a weekly interactive workshop promoting social and emotional development for middle school and high school students. In 2016, he received a Community Hero Award from The Power of Art Culture and Community Together (PACCT) at Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center. 

In 2023, Joey Pompignano released his debut novel, Labor Days.

He remains committed to the fight for social equality and improving his community through civic action. 

"Educating young people is my mission. As a teacher I strive to inspire the masses with words that are both written and spoken."

- Joey Pompignano -

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