Long Island Newspaper Says New Rochelle High School Getting a New Principal

Written By: Robert Cox

UPDATE: after confirming yesterday that Salinas said on June 30 he was “taking the helm at New Rochelle High School in the fall”, the Long Island Herald has updated their article with a statement and an update to the story.

“***This story was updated on July 8 to correct an error about Salinas’ position in New Rochelle. ***

The original article published on July 7th said Salinas “taking the helm at New Rochelle High School in the fall” but was updated on July 8th to say Salinas “will be an interim assistant principal at Albert Leonard Middle School in New  Rochelle in the fall.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: our original article from July 7th follows:

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Long Island Herald is reporting that Dr. Christopher Salinas will be the Principal of New Rochelle High School in the Fall. Salinas would be the first Latino Principal at New Rochelle High School where the student body is about 50% Hispanic.

Reporting on an emotional farewell ceremony for the outgoing Principal at Sewanhaka High School, the LI Herald quoted Salinas and referenced his taking the job in New Rochelle.

“You just bring out the best in me,” Salinas, who is taking the helm at New Rochelle High School in the fall, told the crowd.”

“Yes, that is what he told me,” said LI Herald reporter Melissa Koenig when asked to confirm that Salinas said he would be the Principal of New Rochelle High School in September.

The news comes in the wake of the retirement of Joe Starvaggi on June 30th. Starvaggi left after he was passed over after two years as Interim Principal succeeding Reggie Richardson in 2018 who was unexpectedly resigned in the wake of a rash of student violence. In April, the New Rochelle Board of Education announced the hiring of Adofo Muhammad who subsequently withdrew in May. Salinas was mentioned as an alternative but the Board instead brought back former teacher and department chairperson Steve Goldberg.

Where this news leaves Goldberg is unclear.

According to the paper, Salinas’s last day as Principal at Sewanhaka High School was June 30th.

Sewanhaka parents, students bid farewell to principal

The Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education denied tenure to Salinas in February.

Salinas was hired as Principal at Sewanhaka High School in 2016 and described in a press release at the time:

Dr. Salinas most recently served as Elba Junior-Senior High School principal and director of assessment for the Elba Central School District. His experience also includes three years as principal at Fairport High School and four years as principal at Avon High School. Dr. Salinas received his Doctor of Education and Master of Science at the University of Rochester and his Bachelor of Arts at St. John Fisher College.

Salinas’ name first surfaced in connection with the New Rochelle High School job in mid-May as the Adofo Muhammad deal fell apart but the board rejected the recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo, sources say.

On May 19th, the New Rochelle Board of Education approved a resolution to hire Dr. Salinas as Interim Middle School Assistant Principal for Albert Leonard Middle School under an employment agreement set to run from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

That same night, Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo announced the hiring of Steven Goldberg, who served 30 years as chairman of the NRHS social studies department, to serve as interim Principal for 2020-2021 and the return of Camille Edwards-Thomas, a former House Principal and interim Assistant Principal, as the permanent Assistant Principal.

On June 24th, Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo announced Rachel Cornelius would continue in the role of Interim Assistant Principal at New Rochelle High School, creating a second assistant principal position at the high school for the first time.