After months of protests by students and faculty, a new principal has been named for Townsend Harris High School: Brian Condon.
Condon is currently principal of the School for Tourism and Hospitality in the Bronx, a high school with a higher-than-average poverty rate that opened in 2012-13 and graduated its first class last year. Townsend Harris High School, located in Queens, is one of the city’s most elite screened schools, with a graduation rate of 100 percent.
Before becoming principal of Tourism and Hospitality, Condon worked as an English teacher and dean at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens. He will take the helm at Townsend Harris on May 1.
“I am excited to join the Townsend Harris community and meet with students, staff and families,” Condon said in a statement. “While it is bittersweet to be leaving Tourism and Hospitality, this is an exciting new chapter.”
Chalkbeat reported on the crisis at Townsend Harris in December and later profiled student leader Alex Chen, who helped lead the charge against Jahoda. She was accused of creating an uncomfortable atmosphere in the school, allegations that trailed her from her previous placement at Bronx High School of Science.
Townsend Harris High School students & teachers cheered at announcement that Rosemarie Jahoda, interim acting principal, is leaving— Kate Taylor (@katetaylornyt) April 20, 2017
The principal’s appointment was announced by Superintendent Elaine Lindsey at a school leadership team meeting on Thursday. “Brian Condon is an experienced, talented educator,” Lindsey said in a statement. “I look forward to the work he’ll do at Townsend Harris and thank Rosemarie Jahoda for her leadership as interim acting principal.”
The news appears to have broken first on the website of the Townsend Harris High School Classic, the school’s student newspaper, which has consistently led news coverage on the battle.
Here’s The Classic’s interview with Condon: