New Bay Ridge elementary school to be named for Joanne Seminara, former attorney and community leader

Joanne Seminara school
A new elementary school in Bay Ridge will be named after beloved local activist Joanne Seminara.
Photo courtesy of Council Member Justin Brannan

A new school expected to open in Bay Ridge this fall will be named after southern Brooklyn advocate and attorney Joanne Seminara.

Educators planning to bring the 300-seat elementary school to 3rd Avenue officially decided to call it P.S. 413 The Joanne Seminara School of Law & Medicine, in honor of the late Brooklynite’s contributions.

A spokesperson with the Department of Education said the department looks forward to showing love to a beloved community member

“Ms. Seminara was the kind of dedicated leader whose contributions to her community and our schools have left a lasting impact,” the spokesperson said. “It is an honor to help cement her legacy by naming the new P.S. 413 in her honor.”

Council Member Justin Brannan, alongside the DOE, lead the charge to bring the new school to the neighborhood and honor Seminara’s legacy. During his time in local government, the pol said he worked closely with Seminara and even considered her a “political mother.”

“Joanne Seminara was the real deal,” Brannan said in a statement. “Her compass unfailingly led her toward equity, fairness, and integrity. She was simply a good and decent person, who lived to leave our community and our world a little bit better than how she found it.”

Seminara served as a member of Community Board 10, which represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton, for 26 years, leading it as chairperson from 2010 to 2013. The longtime Ridgeite began her career as an attorney and practiced in New York and New Jersey for more than three decades. 

According to state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who represents the district, the late attorney will forever be remembered for standing up for Bay Ridge and her memory will be carried on through the minds of the next generation.

“Joanne Seminara embodied the best of Bay Ridge and southern Brooklyn. She was a beacon of light who fought tirelessly for the betterment of our community. She was also a mentor to so many, which is why it’s such a fitting tribute to name a school after her,” Gournardes said in a statement. “Joanne’s memory will continue to inspire future generations of leaders in Bay Ridge and beyond.”

PS. 413 is set to open in September as one of six new schools to be built in Bay Ridge in the coming years.