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District Leader for No Place for Hate to be honored at ADL Ceremony

District Leader for No Place for Hate to be honored at ADL Ceremony

Josephine Kirkland-Hudson has been a school social worker for close to 25 years.  She began her educational career in the Yonkers Public School system in 2000 and became the school social worker at Rebecca Turner Elementary School in 2005. Throughout her career, she has always searched for engaging and enriching programs for her students to participate in, including No Place for Hate.    

Kirkland-Hudson has served as the school’s anti-bullying coordinator, positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS) coach and PBIS District Leader where she has helped to create a positive school culture, expanding the program district-wide.   

In 2008, she brought the Ambassador program to the Mount Vernon City School District where she volunteered her time to teach students about community service, social awareness, and global challenges that impact children and families.  Through this initiative, she has taken students on service-learning trips locally and abroad including Nairobi, Kenya; Quito, Ecuador; South Africa; and Thailand, Southeast Asia.  In 2010, she was honored at the “Oprah Show” for her years of service to others along with many other community leaders.    

With the support from the building principal at the time, Dr. Jamal Doggett, No Place for Hate has been at Rebecca Turner since 2016. Six years later, Dr. Doggett took the position as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. Kirkland-Hudson knew with his support, this would be the right time to expand the program.  

In 2023, Ms. Kirkland-Hudson was promoted to No Place for Hate district leader where she and her colleagues Mrs. Jennifer Goire-Peralta, School Counselor, Mrs. Melissa Sansotta, Teacher, and Mrs. Kristen Williams, School Psychologist, worked closely with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to ensure all 16 schools in the district completed No Place for Hate with fidelity.  As a result, the Mount Vernon City School District is the largest school district in Westchester County where every school received the designation as No Place for Hate.   

She continues her work with a passion and vision for change.  She currently serves on many school-based teams and district-level committees focused on bullying prevention, diversity, and inclusion.  Through No Place for Hate, students have been empowered to become leaders, share ideas, and find solutions to take action.  Most importantly, they have learned about themselves, the lives of others, and how they can make a difference.  

Kirkland-Hudson will be honored at the No Place for Hate Banner Ceremony on May 25, 2023, with the ADL’s Gold Star Educator Award. 

Danielle Browne

Danielle R. Browne, Esq., founding attorney of the Browne Firm PLLC and city councilperson for the City of Mount Vernon, graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 2006. She attended Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was the captain of the women’s basketball team, and received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Since then, she has started her own law firm and made her impact on her hometown as a city councilperson.

Dr. Smith receiving proclamation.

Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith received a proclamation from New York State Senator Jamal Bailey, recognizing her for her exemplary service to the community and the State of New York for Women’s History Month on Friday, April 5, 2024. Nakia Hiland, director of Safe Place for Our Girls, from the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and Unique Groom, community liaison for Jamal Bailey presented the proclamation to Dr. Smith.  

Logo for news post

Dr. K. Veronica Smith, Acting Superintendent of Schools: 

Greetings MVCSD Community,

At approximately 10:23 a.m., there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake in New Jersey. The aftershocks were felt throughout the Tri-State area. Several of our school buildings felt the tremors, which lasted for less than 30 seconds.

There have been no reports of staff or student injuries due to this incident. As a precaution, we will have indoor activities for our students for the remainder of the day. We will keep you updated on any developments on this matter if necessary.

Students strapping instructor onto board

Mount Vernon City School District students, equipped with medical supplies, administered care to mannequins during their emergency medical technician (EMT) training course at Mount Vernon High School on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department added a new EMT program earlier in the school year, and classes began in December. 

Dr. Waterman Superintendent for a Day

A new, but familiar, face occupied the Mount Vernon City School District superintendent’s desk on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Dr. Crystal Waterman, Edward Williams School principal, served as the superintendent for the day to begin Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith’s “Superintendent for a Day,” series. Dr. Smith served as the principal at Edward Williams.