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Favretti and McClure to Receive Thomas Sobol Service Award

mcclureTwo long time Scarsdale employees, Chief Financial Officer and Custodian of Taxes for the Village of Scarsdale Mary Lou McClure and SHS social studies teacher Maggie Favretti, will be the recipients of the second annual Thomas Sobol Award for Service to the Community. The announcement was made by Susan Greenberg, President of Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service, sponsor of the Award. These two recipients of the award will be honored at a luncheon to be held at 14 Harwood Court on the ground floor of the Harwood Building beginning at 11 AM on Tuesday January 23, 2018.

Mary Lou McClure administers all matters relating to finance in the Village as well as assisting with the preparation of the annual Village operating and capital budgets. Her budgeting and finance abilities have helped the Village Board to adopt consistently responsible annual operating budgets and a philosophy of cash to capital resulting in a lower debt burden and maintenance of Scarsdale's Aaa bond rating. Her work during her thirteen year tenure with the Village has resulted in significant service and efficiency enhancements to Village financial, budgeting and tax collection operations.

According to Steve Pappalardo, Village Manager, Mary Lou has exhibited a solutions oriented approach and a constant eye toward improving operational efficiencies. In 2007 Mary Lou was instrumental in evaluating solutions, selecting a vendor, and upgrading the Village's Financial/Enterprise Resource Planning system currently in use. She also modernized the tax receivable and tax lien systems. Mary Lou implemented online payment of the tax and water bills in 2008, and assisted in the implementation of online Recreation registration in 2009. She continues to pursue opportunities for automation, including document imaging and online inquiry and payment, all to provide more convenient and better service to residents.

Maggie Favretti is known for her scholarship, intellect, Maggie in the gardenand indefatigable energy in designing courses, writing publications, and connecting student learning to real-world outcomes. Maggie earned a B.A in art history from Yale University and an M.A. in English from Middlebury College. She has published short works about the commodification of the American landscape, women's poetry during the Enlightenment, food history and local history. At the high school, Maggie works to develop interdisciplinary teaching and world history programs. She has served as adviser to various high school clubs as well as serving on many committees beyond the confines of SHS such as the World History Association, the College Board and various historical associations.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman commented, "Maggie has connected with countless students, families, and community members not only because of her dedication to the school and to education in general but also because of her belief that we each have the capacity to improve the world around us through individual dedication and collective effort – a belief she has exemplified throughout her career. We are delighted that Maggie is this year's recipient of the Sobol Award."

tomsobolDr. Sobol was one of the nation's leading educators who, from 1971-1987, served as Scarsdale's Superintendent of Schools, then as New York State Commissioner of Education from 1987-1995, and subsequently as Professor of Education at Columbia Teachers' College, until his retirement in 2006. The New York Times characterized Dr. Sobol as a "fervent advocate for imposing broad academic standards, subsidizing poor urban districts, empowering parents and teachers to make policy, and promoting a multicultural curriculum." He firmly believed that educational excellence in the classroom must be combined with support at home and that ALL children should have the opportunity to learn.

While in Scarsdale, Dr. Sobol was instrumental in helping to establish the Scarsdale Community Youth Service Project, a unique collaboration between the Village and the Schools and administered by SFCS, providing significantly to the well-being of students in the Middle and High Schools. The objective of this award is to recognize two employees who work in Scarsdale, one from the Village and one from the Schools, for their distinguished service to the community over a period of years, and like Dr. Sobol, set an example of professional skill and loyalty to the community. The intent is to convey to the people who work in Scarsdale that its residents appreciate their efforts, and at the same time to honor the memory of Tom Sobol.

Following his tenure as State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Sobol returned to Scarsdale and served as a Board member of SFCS, chairing its Long Range Planning Committee where his final report was well recognized for its perception and written eloquence. In 2007 he was the recipient – with his wife Harriet – of the SFCS Open Door Award for service to the Community. Dr. Sobol passed away on September 3, 2015 after a long and valiant battle with Parkinson's Disease.

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