New Rochelle Hires New High School Principal

Written By: Robert Cox

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.

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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.

VIDEO: Adofo Muhammad Named NRHS Principal

15 thoughts on “New Rochelle Hires New High School Principal”

  1. Seams like the only issue here is his color and potential religious orientation…

    Don’t see any other reason for the enhanced skepticism…

  2. I understand the new principal used to be our butler when he graduated in 1988, I’m assuming his name was changed due to his faith.

    His background has an alarming resemblance to a prior principal who came from a very small school to a very large school and found a challenging hopefully this will not be a reoccurrence

  3. Mr. Muhammad was my History teacher at Benjamin Banneker Academy (Class of ’02) and even THEN, his dedication to our education was evident. He made sure that we all knew what was expected of us, that his standards were high, and that he would ensure we were equipped to reach those goals.
    I’ll never forget our 1st Parent-Teacher Conference… he spoke so much life into my education & his hopes for all our future. Now, I keep that with me when I speak to the parents of each of my students as well.
    We’ve been privileged to see how Mr. Muhammad has developed his career and his educational philosophy, staying true to the students of Brooklyn.
    Congrats on coming full-circle Mr. Muhammad!!!

  4. NRHS is the second largest high school in NYS with 3,400 students so about 1,000% the size of Bedford Academy. In your experience, do you believe Mr. Mohammed’s leadership will translate in a much larger setting?

    Realize, many here experienced a very nice guy with terrific credentials struggle having cone from a similar-sized school in Brooklyn.

  5. I am interested in hearing especially from people who know Mr. Mohammed and in particular as an educator. I believe my readers are looking for insight to what impact he can have at NRHS.

  6. Both of my son’s graduated from Bedford Academy, he is an excellent principal! His success and that of the school’s will also be dependent on the teachers, their mindset, willingness to follow his leadership and their altruistic desire for the students success. The parents must also be committed to be active participants in their high school years. It has to be a 3 way partnership in order for the scholars to be successful and create that shift that is needed.

  7. What makes this hiring amazing, is that Mr. Muhammad is a product of New Rochelle High School and is also a product of the New Rochelle school system. Having attended The High and presumably having lived in New Rochelle, he should be uniquely qualified to navigate those nuances which are uniquely New Rochelle’s. It does not go unnoticed that he is a man of color, who is replacing a man of color, who was all but crucified and emasculated, taking the blame for a tragedy and a systemic fault that permeated the high school for decades. It remains to be seen if Mr. Muhammad’s hiring will be a game changer. One thing is for certain, if he was a resident of New Rochelle during his years at the high school he could not have avoided the undercurrent and sometimes overcurrent of the vile unspoken and unacknowledged tale of two cities, which we know of as the city on the sound”New Rochelle.”

  8. You do realize the article above is the District’s statement right? Why so defensive?

    The new principal is from New Rochelle. Those who know him are encouraged to share what they know.

  9. Why do you sound so SKEPTICAL…? Why don’t you at LEAST consider his CREDENTIALS??? Oh, I forgot…! HE’S not held to THAT type of scrutiny! There’s always gotta be some INVISIBLE standard he’s gotta meet with you people!!! 🙄

  10. Fantastic! He’s a New Rochellean, this is home to him. Stellar resume and clearly a stickler for education. Nowhere to go but up. Good news.

  11. My daughter and son are recent graduates of Bedford Academy and I can testify to the level of dedication and commitment he has for each and every one of his student, Mr. Muhammed is a no nonsense take type of guy and as the article said Bedford academy graduation rate is near perfect with most of their students are first pick for Colleges. It was like my kids was in an Ivy League high school although it is a public high school.

  12. This is simply Amazing and an Absolute Game Changer! NRHS is about to Soar! I feel So Elated! Congratulations Adofo Muhammad and NRHS!

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