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Van Henri White

VWhite 2013

Van Henri White
Board President
131 West Broad St.
Rochester, NY 14614
(585) 271-6780     
Board Liaison to:
Franklin Campus
Vanguard Collegiate High School
Integrated Arts & Technology High School
Youth and Justice Program
Schools 19, 36, 41, 50, 54, 57
Term Expires Dec. 2017

In 1990, Van White returned to Rochester, NY, where he attended Helen Barrett Montgomery, School No. 50 and Abraham Lincoln, School No. 22 as a child, to work as a Monroe County Assistant District Attorney. In 1994, White left the District Attorney's Office to serve as Mayor William A. Johnson's Special Counsel on Crime and Violence Initiatives. In his role as the City's “Crime Czar,” White did everything from close down drug houses to start original youth violence prevention and intervention programming like Late Night Basketball, Teen Court and Pathways to Peace.  Long after White left City Hall, these groundbreaking programs continue to positively impact area schoolchildren.

After leaving City Hall, White opened up his own private law firm where he began specializing in cases involving school safety issues -- the most significant of which was Givens v. RCSD. That case (involving the only student killed on City School District property) redefined the legal responsibilities of school districts when it comes to school safety.

In 2006, believing that he could have a greater impact on improving school safety by working from “within the system”, White ran a successful campaign for a vacant seat on the City of Rochester School Board. Since being sworn in January 2007, he has been an outspoken advocate for improving school safety, raising graduation rates, decreasing truancy rates, and attacking the problem of lead poisoning -- which is proven to have a detrimental and devastating effect on the academic performance of urban children.

Having served as Board Vice President for two non-consecutive terms in 2008 and 2013, White was elected as Board President in 2014.

White is the father of two District graduates who have both gone on to college.