Ken Newbury, Ph.D.

Principal Emeritus, Author & Educator-In-Residence at Young People’s Press

Dr. Ken Newbury is a researcher, author, educator and a longtime advocate for children’s early education. Drawing on his Ph.D. in psychology and as a principal in Ohio schools for 11 years, Dr. Newbury develops engaging curriculum and educational materials to help children develop academically and emotionally. His most recent contribution to early childhood education is Kids Education for Number Sense (KENS Math) published by Young People’s Press. KENS Math is the first supplemental math curriculum developed to teach pre-school, kindergarten and first grade students number sense – the most essential skill of early mathematics.

Dr. Newbury spent 11 years as an elementary school principal where he encountered too many third, fourth and fifth graders who struggled to comprehend simple math concepts and facts. Many students fell further behind as they advanced grade levels and struggled under the pressure to perform on state mandated tests. Dr. Newbury began using math assessments he designed to determine the number sense skills of his students and identifying children who need early intervention. Subsequently he began piloting developmentally appropriate activities, manipulatives and games that emphasized number sense development in the classroom. It was from that classroom research that Kids’ Education for Number Sense was born.

Dr. Newbury has received numerous national and state awards including the Ohio Commendation Medal from the Governor of Ohio and Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard in 1998. He was named the Ohio PTA Educator of the year in the 1989 school year. He has served as an executive and/or board member on a variety of youth commissions and programs. Newbury speaks frequently at state and national conferences about early math education, school readiness and character development. He has presented at the National Pride Drug Prevention Conference for 25 consecutive years.

For ten years Ken studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., first graduating with a Bachelor’s in Psychology with honors in 1975. He then continued his studies achieving both a Masters degree and the advanced academic degree of Specialist in Education in School Psychology. In 1985 Newbury completed his doctorate in psychology and began his educational service.

Driven by his belief in the power of early intervention, Ken started his professional career as a director of student assistance program in the Toledo public school system. There he developed programs focused on substance abuse and mental health intervention and prevention, conflict mediation and character development. Under his management the program was twice recognized among the nation’s and the state’s most outstanding programs. He also applied his expertise in early intervention by authoring curriculum for drug and health education, and character development. The books, published by Young People’s Press in 1998, are still in print today.

In 1999 Newbury became principal of Stone Hebrew Academy in Sylvania, Ohio, where he and his students excelled. Under his leadership 95 percent of students performed at or above grade level and students’ academic performance increased one full grade level on average. Next, as principal at Dorr Elementary School in Springfield, Ohio, the school was recognized by the state of Ohio as a School of Promise in 2010. During his tenure Dorr student achievement increased from a performance index of 77 to 101 achieving an “Excellent” school rating and a parent satisfaction rate consistently above 96 percent.

In 2010 Ken retired from his service as a principal and spent a year and a half as a NSF (National Science Foundation) teacher’s leader grant coach at University of Toledo. In 2012 Newbury turned his full attention to the development of new education techniques and materials, and his role as Educator-In-Residence at Young People’s Press. He lives in the greater Toledo area with his family.

Request a Presentation or Workshop

Dr. Newbury speaks frequently at regional, state and national conferences about number sense, early math education, school readiness and character development. You can send speaking requests to Dr. Newbury at Please include the name, date, location and objectives of your event, as well as information about honorariums and travel stipends.


KENS Math, Math education curriculum for Pre- K, Kindergarten, & First Graders, Young People’s Press, 2012

Character WOW, Character education curriculum for elementary schools, Young People’s Press

DISCOVER: Skills for Life, 7th – 8th grade drug education texts, Young People’s Press, Pearson

DISCOVER: Decisions for Health, 6th – 12th grade health texts, Young People’s Press, Pearson

Life Skills, Junior High School Workbook, Young People’s Press

Sexuality Education Challenge (contributing author)

Professional Awards and Community Service

Outstanding District Administrator nominee, BGSU, April 2010

Nominee for Certified Employee of the Year, Springfield Local Schools, June, 2010

Team of the Year, Toledo’s Pride, April, 2008 (co-director)

Ohio Commendation Medal, 1998, Governor of Ohio & Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard

Ohio PTA Educator of the Year, 1989 – 1990, Ohio PTA

Citizen’s Meritorious Service, 1993, Toledo Police Department

Board Member & Past President, Youth Commission, City of Toledo, 1992 – 1998

Board Member, New Connecting Point, 2002 – 2005

Past President, OASA, 1993, Ohio Association for Student Assistance

Past National Board Member, National Association for Leadership of Student Assistance Professionals

P.T.A. President’s Award, May, 1988 & May 1987, Toledo Council PTA

National PRIDE, Outstanding Parent Award, 1990

Outstanding Teaching Fellow, University of Michigan

Workshops & Presentations

OCTM, “Math of Renewable Energy”, Fall, 2011

OCTM, “Developing Number Sense in Kindergarten and First grade”, Fall, 2011

OAEYC, “Gateway to Mathematics,” April, 2011

National Pride Conference, April, 2011 Strategies for Drug Free Living (25th year presenting)

University of Michigan Colloquium, “Developing Number Sense”, February, 2010 (presenter)

SST1, “Ready Schools and Developing Early Number Sense,” Winter, 2010 (presenter)

National Principal’s Conference, CAYL, 2009, 2010, “Developing Math Skills for Preschool and

Kindergarten Children” (presenter)

OAESA, Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators, 2009, 2010 (presenter)

National Smart Start Conference, 2009 “Ready Schools in Ohio” (presenter)

Lucas County Administrators, “Value-added analysis”, 2006 (presenter)

Information Literacy, Springfield Local Schools, 2008 (presenter)

Harvard University School of Education Principal’s Institute, Summer, 2002

Global Information System Software and GPS in the Classroom, BGSU,  Summer, 2002

Literacy Team Development, OAESA, 2007