Meeting Mr. Perlmutter

Alumnus Returns!


From CCSD website

1) So to begin, can you please tell me a little about yourself? Where you’re from, schooling, work experience?

Sure! I grew up in Charleston and attended Academic Magnet High School way back when it was on the Burke High School Campus downtown. I went to College of Charleston then did some globetrotting and eventually ended up living in New York City. I worked in publishing, publicity, non-profit (at a museum) and then when 9/11/2001 happened (the World Trade Center Bombing) I began a career in teaching. I taught at Harry S Truman High School in the Bronx and went to Fordham University in New York. In 2007, I came back to Charleston and worked at the (now closed) St. Andrews Middle School and went to the Citadel. From 2009 until a few months ago, I worked at Jerry Zucker Middle School where I was the principal since 2011.


2) My friend met your daughter at Camp St. Christopher actually, do you have other kids?

Yes. I have three daughters Eve 14, Russell 12, and Sophia 8.


3) Since you were a student here, is it especially exciting to be principal? Is it a weird feeling to be in charge of the school you once went to?

Yes.  There are moments when I feel like everything is brand new and also like everything is exactly the same. It is actually pretty amazing how the character of a place (specifically the student energy) can remain unchanged for 30 years!  I know hundreds of other administrators both locally and through professional networks and very few of them are working in a school that they attended. This is yet another oddity that Magnet now has!


4) Are any of your old teachers still here?

Just a few, many of them retired in the last 5 years. Ms. Lankford was my English teacher (and I went on to become a HS English teacher) and Ms. Williams was my driver’s ed teacher.  My younger siblings also went to the Magnet and they had and loved some of the teachers who are here now.


5) Were you involved with the student council? Any clubs, sports, etc?

A lot of the amazing clubs and opportunities that are at Magnet now, were not fully formed when I went here. It was still a much smaller, much newer entity. I did play soccer, although our athletics were a part of Burke high school at the time.

I want everyone, every student, every adult, everyone, to feel a real puffy-chested sense of pride in their school”

6) How has Magnet changed since you went here?

Today’s Magnet is much bigger, more developed, a more mature organization. We were a scrappier bunch. Although again, the character and student energy are eerily similar.


7) How did the “my magnet” phrase begin? Was that something you had done at your old school?

No, I’ve never used that phrase before but what I have done for my whole career is create places and spaces where people can connect and feel supported.  As people, we all need to connect — to ideas, to values, and to each other. MyMagnet is a just way to do that.  I want everyone, every student, every adult, everyone, to feel a real puffy-chested sense of pride in their school… to feel that this very special place is mine, it is for me.


8) Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Go Raptors! Thank you for being flexible with this interview!


9) Final question, some students have been wondering about your Tik Tok account (which I think is hilarious btw). Is there anything you’d like to say about that?

No comment. 😉


Thank you, Mr. Perlmutter, and welcome to THE Academic Magnet!!