Dr. Jonathan Brice

New Rochelle Task Force on School Violence Members Named

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The members of the New Rochelle Task Force on Reducing Violence in the Lives of Children and Youth were announced today by Chairman Dr. Jonathan Brice.

The 46 community members, City and School District officials and others represent a wide cross section of New Rochelle, including law enforcement, educators, parents, students, business and non-profit and faith-based organizations. Many of the members are New Rochelle High School alumni. They were chosen from nearly 300 applications.

“The number of applicants affirmed that New Rochelle is home to many incredibly talented people who care deeply about their community,” Dr. Brice said. “Choosing the members was difficult. Final selections were made to ensure a diverse and representative group of people to help in the Task Force’s vitally important work.”

Dr. Brice selected the members with input from the Board of Education and the City of New Rochelle.

“We are thrilled with the list of members chosen for the Task Force,” said New Rochelle Board of Education President Rachel Relkin. “We’re gratified that Dr. Brice chose to expand the size of the Task Force beyond what was originally anticipated because we had so many well-qualified applicants. The community members selected possess incredible depth and breadth of experience, knowledge and expertise, and it is heartening to see their dedication to helping their community.”

“The Task Force will address the interlocking challenges that shape students’ lives and that impact the safety and strength of our community as a whole,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “The City is eager to engage in this important process as a full partner, and I am looking forward to acting on recommendations that can enable all of our young people to excel in a secure, nurturing environment.”

Notifications were sent to the applicants on Friday. The Task Force members, grouped by the facet of the community they represent, are:

City of New Rochelle:

New Rochelle City Council members Jared Rice and Al Tarantino, New Rochelle Youth Bureau Executive Director Kelly Johnson, New Rochelle Police Captain Robert Gazzola and New Rochelle Police Youth Officer Detective Terrence Fudge.

Schools staff:

New Rochelle High School House II Principal Camille Thomas-Edwards, Secondary Schools Social Studies Chair Gustavo Barbosa, teachers Darren Gurney, Michael Lyons, Steve Newman, Brittnee Sabatino, teaching assistant Otilia Taylor-Tanner and social worker Angelica Guel, MSW.


Jeff Apotheker, PhD., Henry Ballesteros, Barbara D’Alois, Christopher Conroy, Adam Etkin, Robin Friedman, MSW, Jason Griffith, Andrea Harewood, LCSW-R, Susanne Kuligowski, Michael LePore, Adeel Mirza, Brad Navin, J. Luis Nunez, Melissa Panszi Riebe, MSW, Wendy Portnoff, LCSW, Tamaris Princi, LMSW, New Rochelle Public Library Board member Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Nakea Reed, Kemesha Salmon, Wendell Sears, PTA Council President Emeritus Suyen Taylor, Willeatha Taylor-Labate, MD, Yolanda Valencia.

New Rochelle High School students:

Dylan Klein, Ever Mack, Francisco Maldonado, Andrew Sorota, and Mia Tammaro.

Community partners:

Pastor DeQuincy Hentz, the Rev. Michelle Lewis, Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle Executive Director Lutonya Russell-Humes, Professor Alisse Waterston, New Rochelle NAACP President Dr. Carla H. Woolbright.

At least one Board of Education member will attend each meeting.

The Task Force will review School District and City practices and policies. It will recommend measures to ensure a safe, nurturing learning environment as the foundation for student success; and to strengthen public confidence in the safety of our schools and the surrounding community.

The first of its several meetings will take place Wednesday evening. That session will not be open to the public; members are expected to discuss which meetings they will invite the public to, and what other opportunities for public comment will be made available. The Task Force is expected to complete its work in April.

“We are eager to get started with the Task Force’s important work,” Dr. Brice said. “We are grateful to everyone who applied, and we want to assure everyone that there will be opportunity for input and involvement from all.”

About the City School District of New Rochelle

With nearly 11,000 students in 10 schools, the City School District of New Rochelle, through an active partnership amongst community, parents, staff and students, provides a high-quality and challenging education for every child, in a safe, nurturing environment that embraces rich diversity and drives success.