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Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Assemblymember David Weprin speaks in front of Townsend Harris High School at a Dec. 22, 2016 press conference.

It’s time for her to go.

Townsend Harris High School’s acting principal needs to be removed from office, the school’s parent teacher association president said during a rally outside the Flushing high school on Thursday afternoon.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president Susan Karlic and parents took the fight to remove controversial interim acting principal Rosemarie Jahoda from her position at Townsend Harris High School to the Department of Education’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

“Our message was clear: Chancellor Fariña, we need action, and we need action now,” Karlic said on Dec. 22 at a press conference and rally outside of the high school in Flushing, where dozens of students gathered to hear Karlic, elected officials, faculty, alumni and their peers speak.

“Townsend Harris is the crown jewel of the New York City school system,” Karlic continued. “It deserves a true visionary for a leader. Someone who has the compassion for our children and the intellectual rigor to lead our faculty and students. Rosemarie Jahoda is simply not that person.”

Earlier in the week, Borough President Melinda Katz called on the city Department of Education (DOE) to listen to the school community’s concerns, and asked that the department’s C-30 process for hiring a permanent principal “start over with transparency.” In the weeks prior, a Dec. 15 PTA meeting took place where parents, students and faculty attested to reports of Jahoda’s alleged behavior and a Dec. 8 sit-in protest was conducted by students at the school.

“This [school’s] community is a model for other school’s across New York City,” Assemblyman David Weprin said. “This school has been functioning at a high level for a very long time, and New York City needs to protect such communities of learning.”

Karlic echoed the demands set forth by the community at the Dec. 15 PTA meeting — which received a unanimous affirmative vote — in closing.

“We call upon Chancellor Fariña to remove Ms. Jahoda as interim principal, and to do it now,” Karlic said. “Don’t wait. End this stress and chaos. Appoint another interim acting principal immediately to help our school heal and restart the search for a permanent principal.”

“We are listening to the feedback of the community and will move towards hiring a permanent principal at Townsend Harris in accordance with the Chancellor’s regulations,” a DOE spokesperson told QNS on Dec. 23.


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