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By Aly Tantawy, News Editor
Senior Kortney Coburn and her parents claim that they waited four days for Interim Acting Principal Rosemarie Jahoda to sign off on changing a grade on her mid-year transcript. Unlike other errors that caused controversy, Kortney’s transcript was wrong on the Queens College side, where one of her classes mistakenly listed her grade as a C+ rather than an A+. Kortney and her parents attempted to speak to Ms. Jahoda multiple times between February 10 and 14, but after a series of attempts to meet with Ms. Jahoda, the problem went unresolved until Kortney was able to run into Ms. Jahoda by chance in the halls and convince her to act on the issue the day before her transcript was due to Cornell.
Kortney was concerned that the change would not be made in time for Cornell University’s February 15 mid-year report deadline. Kortney emailed her professor about the error in early January, and gathered emails from the professor and members of the Queens College Bridge Program explaining that the C+ was a clerical error that should have been an A+.
Assistant Principal Veronica York said that she hoped “[the emails for the grade change from Queens College] would be enough,” but Ms. Jahoda sought further counsel from the Queensborough Field Support Office.
Jo-Ellen Kosack, Kortney’s mother and a retired Assistant Principal of Organization from Thomas Edison High School, had a phone conversation with Ms. Jahoda to discuss the grade change and sent Ms. Jahoda the relevant written proof of the the grade. Ms. Kosack claims that Ms. Jahoda said she would “consider it [the evidence].”
Ms. Kosack requested that Ms. Jahoda call her back at the end of the day to update her. Instead, Ms. Kosack said that Assistant Principal Veronica York called her. Ms. York said that she was instructed by Ms. Jahoda to do so. Ms. Kosack said “I was not really happy about that because I was dealing with [Ms. Jahoda] … she passed [the issue] to someone else.”
After Kortney’s parents were unable to resolve the issue, Kortney attempted to meet with Ms. Jahoda herself. She tried to set up a meeting with Ms. Jahoda for two consecutive days but Ms. Jahoda’s secretary told her that Ms. Jahoda was “unavailable.” Kortney commented, “the most frustrating part… was that the principal was literally sitting there, but [I] couldn’t talk to her.”
By February 14, Kortney had changed the grade at the Queens College level and met with multiple THHS administrators but could not get Ms. Jahoda to sign off on the final THHS grade change request until a day before the deadline.
Kortney explained that by chance, she found Ms. Jahoda and then explained the situation to her. Kortney said Ms. Jahoda told her that she would have to examine the evidence to sign off on the change. After this, Ms. Jahoda signed off on the change.
Ultimately, Kortney’s corrected mid-year report was submitted a day before the deadline. Kortney described the situation as a “very long and very frustrating process.” She expressed frustration that her professor, Mr. Merino, Ms. York, and her guidance counselor Jeremy Wang all exchanged multiple emails to try to correct the issue, but Ms. Jahoda did not make an effort to get involved. Kortney said, “I felt bereft of leadership and that Ms. Jahoda didn’t care about my future… She provided no support at all.” She added, “every single person… had been more helpful than [Ms. Jahoda].” Kosack questioned Ms. Jahoda’s leadership, asking how she is supporting THHS students if “she is unreachable and does not get involved in any of their issues.”
Paul Coburn, Kortney’s father, felt that “the principal had the opportunity to aid a student and she chose not to.” He felt that the primary job of a principal is “to aid students with their education advancement” and said that Ms. Jahoda failed in doing so.
Ms. Kosack felt that “Ms. Jahoda did not do anything to console the parent in any way…There’s got to be more to being a principal than just following the book.”
The Classic emailed Ms. Jahoda to obtain her comment but did not receive a reply. In recent days, Ms. Jahoda has told mainstream media that “While I am frustrated by these inaccurate allegations, I remain 100% focused on helping students and parents at THHS, and on moving the community forward. I have always been committed to providing ALL students and staff with a safe and inclusive learning environment.”