The founding of Cornerstone Day School in 2006 by Allan J. Blau, Ed.D., LCSW, and David Nyman, Ph.D., was the result of a collaboration of experts from the fields of both special education and structured adolescent psychiatric treatment.
Dr. Blau had been a leader in the field of special education for over 30 years when Cornerstone was first developed. Educator, clinician and administrator, Dr. Blau had designed and founded numerous schools and programs for special needs children throughout the tri-state region, including Barnstable Academy and Sage Day Schools in New Jersey. For many years, Dr. Blau was also the president of the National Independent Private School Association for whom he currently functions as the vice-president in charge of clinical certifications of therapeutic schools and programs.
Dr. Nyman is a clinical psychologist and an expert in the development and management of structured therapeutic programs. He has devoted his career to creating innovative models of clinical treatment programming for both children and adults and for eighteen years, ending in 2012, was the Executive Director of High Focus Centers (HFC). Under his leadership, HFC became the most prominent treatment delivery system in New Jersey, with extensive services for adolescents with major psychiatric and/or substance abuse problems.
Drs. Blau and Nyman joined forces in 2004 to start the planning of Cornerstone. With their combined expertise and reputations for excellence, they began with a study of therapeutic school models across the United States and took aspects from a number of them to create the one that makes Cornerstone such a unique and innovative school.
Today, both remain actively involved in Cornerstone, with Dr. Blau functioning as the Founding Director and especially focused on development of new education and therapeutic programming at the school as the needs of students change over time. Dr. Nyman also leads Effective School Solutions, another innovative organization created by both Dr. Nyman and Dr. Blau, which provides mental health and related services for students at risk in public school districts throughout New Jersey and Connecticut.