The principal of New Explorers High School, Denise Simone, passed away last night at the age of 50.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education, Ann Forte, said Simone had been principal of New Explorers, a high school in the Bronx, since January of 2007. Her cause of death is unknown.
Chancellor Joel Klein sent out the following statement:
“Denise Simone was a dynamic and widely loved educator who changed the lives of more than a generation of New York City schoolchildren. Most recently the principal of New Explorers High School in the Bronx, Denise previously taught English-her specialty was Shakespeare-for 23 years at Susan E. Wagner High School in Staten Island, Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and Seward Park High School in lower Manhattan. She imbued her students with a love for learning and the desire to excel in their studies. On behalf of the Department of Education, I offer my deepest condolences to the New Explorers community and to her family, including her parents, Evelyn and Vincent Simone.”
Forte said that when a school is suddenly left without a principal, the district superintendent will appoint an interim principal while the department begins looking for a replacement.