New Rochelle Board of Education Reorganizes with New Board Member and New Officers

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New Rochelle Board of Education Reorganizes with New Board Member and New Officers

July 02, 2013 - 21:04

Last night was the annual reorganization meeting for the New Rochelle Board of Education and there was lots of action.

Dr. Pamela Davis was sworn in as the newest board member.

David Lacher was elected President of the board and gave brief remarks on the need for greater openness and transparency.

Liane Merchant was elected Vice President of the board.

Joe Williams, former Principal at Webster School, is replacing Reza Kolhlifar as Assistant to the Superintendent for Human Resources.

Webster Assistant Principal Melissa Passarelli is acting-Principal at Webster School and is likely to replace Williams officially at the next board meeting in August.

Kim Nieves received tenure as principal at Jefferson Elementary School.

John Barnes was hired as the new principal at Albert Leonard Middle School but not without some controversy. Naomi Brickel and Jeffrey Hastie opposed the hire. For more, read the article on Barnes' hiring.

I spoke about the fire at New Rochelle High School on June 7th which elicited responses from Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak, David Lacher and Jeffrey Hastie. For more on that read here.

T & G Electronics was awarded a $200,000 contract.

Naomi Brickel abstained from voting on renewing the contract with the district's lawyers, Kehl, Katzive and Simon.

Jeffrey Hastie wished to object to renewing the contract with Aramark for buildings and grounds services but was told the contract had been approved as part of a special meeting at the prior meeting.

New salaries were published for the "cabinet".

Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak - $279,580
Assistant Schools Superintendent - $212,557.45
Assistant Schools Superintendent Diane Massimo - $212,557.45
Assistant to the Superintendent Joe Williams - $188,000

There are 3 Comments

Martin Sanchez's picture

With all due respect to Mr Joe Williams, what are his human resources credentials for this job? I thought the position of HR administrator was budgetariily diminished in salary when Peg retired. In this case Mr Williams' salary is on par with other Assistant Superintendents. Anybody awake on the Board?

Robert Cox's picture


I was copying and pasting the numbers in for Korostoff and Massimo and accidentally copies that in for Joe WIlliams as well. Fixed.

Joe Williams is being paid $188,000.

I missed a meeting I could have attended. The School District Calendar showed Tuesday night 7/2/13. If I had known it was Monday night, I would have attended. They need to get their act together. This is what I told them at the last meeting:

I am no stranger to The City of New Rochelle and The City of New Rochelle Board of Ed, I was born and raised here and attended ALMS and NRHS. Due to health issues I am not always able to attend meetings. I find the ongoing problems too much and feel that I must speak regardless. I have no connection to any other people that speak except for the common thread of wanting answers, my motives are not political. Why are peoples questions not answered? Whether spoken or written it seems they follow the same track to never-never land. Communication is very poor with regard to the schools and board of Ed. I had trouble trying to find out what was the end of school schedule for June. I ask the school and no one knew. After several days of checking the web site, I finally saw the update on 6/5/13. The next day I got a letter dated 5/17 which was mailed on 6/5. This is not the first time for errors like this. We are in the year 2013, why don’t you release the information to sights like Talk of the Sound and other internet media sources they would be an asset to the communication system if used correctly.

The continual waist and poor decision making that put our children at risk and create higher taxes, Taxes that many people can no longer afford.

I revisit the following topics from back in February as I still have no answers. None are able to be given the night of the question nor are responses given later to my knowledge:

I Repeat Questions:
-What are the rules for answers to parent questions if no response can be give during the five minute period?
-Like Citizens to be Heard with the City Council you are given name, address, phone numbers and e-mails, is a response required or do the questions just disappear with the passage of time and avoidance.

Hopefully the new safety policy can cover my past questions:
-What are the policies when an employee is arrested or is discovered to have a criminal background?
-I ask in both cases, before they are hired and after they are hired?
-Who monitors these policies and follows up with the board if something is found?
-What is the policy regarding the employees responsibility to report an arrest to their superior who in turn should be reporting the info back to the board.
-How does this happen if a proper background check is done in the first?
-Who can explain the hiring of people with criminal backgrounds?

In closing I ask the board again, why haven’t the people that asked questions gotten answers? From the way it sound, the same questions go un-answered time and time again. You work for the taxpayers and answer to the taxpayers and their children. Not to answer the questions is a failure of your appointed or hired responsibility.

If they worked for a private sector company making those pay levels, tthey would all be out on the street looking for work.