NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The City School District of New Rochelle has hired Adofo Muhammad as the new Principal of New Rochelle High School with a start date of July 1st. The District issued a press release and a video.
NRHS Alum to Return as Principal
Adofo Muhammad, class of 1988, has built a 22-year career in education
Thirty-two years after receiving his diploma from New Rochelle High School, Adofo Muhammad is returning as principal, a prospect that humbles and thrills him.
“That’s mind boggling to me,” he said recently while thumbing through the 1988 yearbook, his voice filled with emotion. “It’s full of possibilities, great hope. This is the culmination of my career: A tremendous responsibility.”
Mr. Muhammed’s family has deep roots in the school: his mother and grandmother graduated from NRHS as did both of his children.
“I owe the place a great deal,” he said.
The Board of Education appointed him the next high school principal in its video conference meeting tonight. Mr. Muhammad will take over NRHS on July 1, succeeding Interim Principal Joseph Starvaggi, who is retiring.
With 22 years of experience as a teacher, dean and education administrator, Mr. Muhammad says he plans on improving NRHS’s graduation rate with a keen eye on addressing achievement gaps.
“I’m really about college and career preparation,” he explained. “For me and my philosophical approach the basic minimum you need to be successful in America is a bachelor’s degree. So even if you don’t necessarily think college is for you, I think it broadens your ability to have gainful employment. There should be a pathway for every particular student in school,” he said, “If there isn’t, it’s a recipe for failure.”
Mr. Muhammad returns to New Rochelle by way of Brooklyn’s Bedford Academy High School, where he’s been principal for 13 years and has presided over a stunning near-perfect graduation rate. He concurrently ran a second school, Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development, from August 2015 through 2017 under a Master Ambassador Principal program. Through it all, he has stayed in touch with the classroom teaching an Advanced Placement course in history.
Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijoo says she couldn’t be more pleased.
“Mr Muhammad is the educational leader that New Rochelle High School needs,” she said. “He has the experience and the skills to lead New Rochelle High School, our crown jewel, and it is clear that he is focused on serving all 3,400 students to see that every one of them is provided with a high-quality education that meets their needs.”
Board of Education President Amy Moselhi was equally effusive.
“To be involved with the hire of such a talented administrator with a passion for excellence and equity in education with deep roots and an emotional connection to NRHS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “Mr. Muhammad is highly qualified to take on this extremely important role in our community. Beyond his academic and professional record, which speaks for itself, he has an authentic connection to this, his community. He will inspire, heal, lead and lift NRHS.”
Before becoming principal of Bedford Academy High School, Mr. Muhammad served as principal of Middle School 143, the School for the Performing Arts in Brooklyn for two years. He was previously assistant principal of David Ruggles Junior High School, also in Brooklyn, and a teacher and dean at Banneker Academy.
Mr. Muhammad is a candidate for a Doctor of Education degree from SAGE Colleges with a projected graduation in fall 2020. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Administration and Supervision from Fordham University, a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from City College of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a dual major in sociology and black studies at Lehman College.￼