Principals of Lefferts JHS  ( IS61/MS61 )   1957-2017




Mr Bernstein :  The School's first principal from its inaguration in 1957 until 1964


Isidore Karbel  :  A gentlman who ran a tight ship respected by staff and students alike from 1964 -1972
After leaving Lefferts Mr Karbel served as principal of Cunningham JHS. After retiring he moved to Florida
Mr Karbel is currently 90 years young.


Dr. William Moody : A respected leader who held his position from 1972- 1976


Dr. Gladstone H. Atwell : The school's current namesake. A beloved man who served from 1976 until his untimely death in 1982


Dr Marvin Barksdale : The school's longest serving Principal from 1983 until he retired in 1995. A true gentleman, old school who
earned respect from many. Sadly, Dr Barksdale died way too young in 2007.


Sam Penceal : A powerful presence, Mr Penceal was a Syracuse College basketball star in his youth.
Mr Penceal remained on the job from 1995- 1999 before accepting a position as deputy Superintendent
for Cleveland Ohio schools.


Rhonda Hurdle Taylor :  The school's first female principal. Ms Taylor was a think outside of the box
principal who brought positive change to the school as well as a fostering a positive atmosphere for learning. She served in her position
from 1999-2008 before becoming  Community Superintendent for district 17 then as a deputy Superintendent in Nassau County.



Sandra Taylor : The school's second female principal. Ms Taylor an accomplished musician , embraced children first and foremost.
Ms Taylor also believed in giving staff a chance to shine in various positions even though it may not have been popular to do so. Ms Taylor
retired in 2013 but is still active in the education and music.


Shannon Burton :  Hired in 2013 he was quickly plagued with a multitude of issues. He was suddenly and without explanation removed by
the superintendent in November 2016. He currently is a principal at a charter school in Newark NJ.  Burton was the shortest serving principal at the school
having served only 3 years.


Dewana Daids : Brought in to replace Burton in November 2016 Ms. Daids has been well received.




Care to add factual information about any of the above principals? email us at administrator@ms61.org