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Former New Rochelle Schools Chief Richard E. Organisciak Dies At 65

Richard E. Organisciak
Richard E. Organisciak Photo Credit: Contributed photo

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Former New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Richard E. Organisciak, who served the district from 2006 until his retirement in 2013, died Wednesday, July 20. He was 65.

The City School District of New Rochelle mourns his death, stating that his tenure as superintendent of schools was distinguished by his commitment to the improvement of educational opportunities for all children, a notable interest in fostering excellence and equity in public education and as an advocate of education.

While in New Rochelle, he was selected to serve as one of eight members of the executive committee governing the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Richard’s passing. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family,” said Rachel Relkin, president of the New Rochelle Board of Education.

Under his leadership, the school district moved forward in the areas of technology opportunities for the district and its students, collecting and using data to drive decision-making, and placing an importance on the study of international languages.

“As his successor, I applaud the initiatives he began. They provided a solid foundation for the district to move forward,” said Brian G. Osborne, current New Rochelle schools superintendent.

He was involved in a broad range of community activities as well, and had a number of articles published in scholarly journals and magazines.

Organisciak earned his bachelor of arts degree from Bernard Baruch College in 1973. He earned his master's degree in education supervision and administration from Baruch College in 1977 and his law degree from New York Law School in 1989.

In 1973, he began as a paraprofessional assistant in a reading class in the New York City schools and quickly moved on to a teaching position. In 1980, he became director of operation for Far Cry, a program he helped to create to retrieve high school dropouts. He was a principal at several New York City schools and from 1997 to 2003, he served as Superintendent of Alternative Schools and Programs for the New York City Board of Education.

Prior to coming to New Rochelle, he was the superintendent of the Deer Park School District in Suffolk County from 2003-2006.

He married Ann Andreoli in 1988. They lived in Westbury, where they raised their daughter, Jana.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Jana (Josh); granddaughters, Jordana and Jemma; and sister, Lilia (Jack).

Visitation will be held Friday from 2-4 p.m. and Friday from 7-9 p.m. at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home, 1201 Franklin Ave., Garden City. The funeral service will take place at St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church, Westbury. Interment will take place at Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society are requested.

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