James and Josie Gaddy

James Gaddy and Wife Die Unexpectedly, First African-American High School Principal in New Rochelle Schools, Former Superintendent

Written By: Robert Cox

PINEHURST, NC — James and Josie Gaddy died last weekend. The couple was found alone in their home at the Pinewild Country Club, a gated community in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Polilce said there was no sign of a struggle or an intruder. The cause of death is pending upon completion of autopsies tby the state medical examiner’s office, according to local media reports.

Gaddy was the first African-American secondary school principal in the City School District of New Rochelle School (Dr. Barbara Mason, who died in 2012, was Principal of Roosevelt Elementary school in 1958). Gaddy served 16 years as the principal at New Rochelle High School. He was named Superintendent of Schools in New Rochelle in 1985, a position he held until 1992.

In 2014, Monroe College dedicated its newest dormitory on the New Rochelle campus in his honor. Gaddy Hall provides on-campus housing for 300 students and includes seven classrooms, faculty offices and a cafeteria.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. James Gaddy and his wife, Josie,” said Stephen Jerome, president of the college. “Dr. Gaddy was a highly distinguished educator whose incomparable leadership, vision, and dedication to students left an indelible mark on the New Rochelle School District that he served for more than 30 years. He was a very dear friend to Monroe College, having served on our Board of Trustees for three decades, and he will be missed. On behalf of the entire Monroe community, I extend our more heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends.”

James Gaddy grew up in North Carolina, went to college at Boston University, received a master’s degree from Hofstra University, and completed his doctorate from Union Graduate School at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. 

The Gaddys are survived by their daughter, April Gaddy-Chappell.

This report is based on an article which appeared in The Pilot