New Rochelle High School Senior Passes Unexpectedly Day Before Graduation

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle High School Interim Principal Joseph Starvaggi issued a statement Tuesday following the tragic death of a senior the day before graduation.

At the graduation ceremony today, Starvaggi presented honorary diplomas to family members of three members of the Class of 2019 who died last year, including Valaree Schwab. Starvaggi spoke about Umberto Lopez as well.

Statement by Starvaggi:

Dear New Rochelle High School families,

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I share some tragic news. A New Rochelle High School senior, Umberto Lopez, passed away suddenly yesterday. Umberto was a smart, kind student who was loved by both his teachers and fellow students. Our condolences go out to his family and friends as they grieve the loss of their loved one. Grief counselors are available at New Rochelle High School today for any student or staff member in need of emotional support. A moment of silence will be observed at this evening’s graduation ceremony.

We urge anyone who is struggling with this news to seek out the help of one of our counselors here at the school at 914-576-4542 or contact the Westchester Crisis Prevention and Response Team at (914) 925-5959 .

New Rochelle High School send’s its sympathy and prayers to to Umberto’s family. He will always be in our hearts and minds.


Joseph Starvaggi

Interim Principal, New Rochelle High School