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ChrisCoughlinChris Coughlin will become the next Assistant Principal at Scarsdale Middle School when Larry Chatzinoff retires at the end of the school year. Coughlin, who currently works at the Bedford Schools, attend the April 8, meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Education when his appointment was announced. Coughlin is the third administrative hire to move south from Bedford along with Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick and interim Fox Meadow Principal Karen Eldon who retired as principal of Bedford Elementary School.

We asked Coughlin to tell us about himself and here is what he shared:

Tell us something about your educational and professional background.

I have worked in the Bedford Central Schools since 1999 as a teacher’s aide, and intern, a social studies teacher, a coach, a Dean of Students, and the Director of Health Physical Education and Athletics. The fifteen years I spent as a social studies teacher and a coach were among the most rewarding professionally. I hold a M.S.E. in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy from Fordham University, an M.S. in Criminal Justice from Suffolk University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Hartwick College.

Why did you decide to make the move?

This past year was my 20th year working in the Bedford Central School District which is a place I love. To be honest I was not looking to make a move until I saw the posting for the position at SMS. I have several former colleagues and friends that work in Scarsdale and have always talked highly about the mission and vision of the district. When I started to investigate further I saw a district that states in multiple ways a great pride in helping to create balanced independent leaners and leaders. I viewed the interview process as part of my research into whether I would be a good fit for Scarsdale. At every juncture in the process I met committed professionals, invested parents, and kind and polite students. After seeing the operation and meeting the people up close the decision became an easier one. I count myself extremely fortunate to be selected as the candidate for this position.

What were your responsibilities in Bedford and will you have a similar role in Scarsdale?

My present responsibilities as the Athletic Director are diverse. To name a few I am the supervisor of health and physical education department for the school district responsible for the delivery of instruction for our 4,000 students. I oversee 60 athletic teams and 71 coaches with an annual budget of over $800,000. I help to schedule and staff over 600 athletic and community events per year.

My new role in Scarsdale will have some similarities. I will be tasked with building the master schedule for the school which will be a new challenge however my current job revolves around complex scheduling. Building leadership requires both approachability and visibility two qualities I have a great deal of experience with. Additionally, SMS’ approach is a team one between students, staff, and parents which fits with my approach toward education.

What were some of the challenges faced by the district during your tenure?

Bedford Central School District like many districts struggled with budgetary issues when the tax levy cap came into effect. We lost a good amount of teachers and support staff due to budgetary realities. Doing more (or even the same) with less is a challenge for any profession however in the educational setting the decisions made can have a direct impact on students. BCSD is in a better place financially and the new and great challenge I have been a part of has been a restoration and addition of new programs.

How does Bedford’s security system compare to Scarsdale’s? Are they also making changes to their procedures and technology?

I would say they are comparable as both Scarsdale and BCSD are guided by the same security consulting firm.

What do you look forward to in your new position in Scarsdale?

I always would tell my students that teaching is the best job in the world because in essence you get paid to learn new and exciting things and share them with students. I will be embarking on a whole new journey of learning, learning about the students and their families, learning about the community, learning about my colleagues at SMS, and learning where I can get a good lunch.

SpeechandDebateLogoScarsdale High School’s Speech and Debate Team, coached by Joe Vaughan, Will Maldarelli and Chris Paulison, excelled at the 2019 New York State Forensic League State Championship held at Hofstra University in Hempstead April 6-7. The team had 51 entries across 13 categories and 21 students qualified for elimination rounds.

The following students were in the top four of their categories

Zach Seigel ('21) was a semifinalist in Intermediate Lincoln Douglas

Annie Radin and Rachel Meiselman (both '20) were the runners up in Duo Interpretation

Rowan Haffner ('23) was 4th in Junior Varsity Extemp

Jaden Bharara ('22) was 3rd in Junior Varsity Extemp

Genie Enders ('22) is this year's State Champion in Junior Varsity Extemp

Jack Silvers ('21) was 3rd in Varsity Extemp

Julia McMurray ('19) was the runner up in Varsity Oral Interpretation of Literature

Jocelyn Weiss ('19) is this year's State Champion in Varsity Oral Interpretation of Literature

From here, the squad will take five students to this year's Tournament of Champions in Lexington, Kentucky in late April, 7 students to the CFL National Tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the end of May and 9 students to the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Dallas, Texas in June.

We spoke to two students who excelled in extemp and here is what they shared:

Tenth grader, Genie Enders, won the state championship in Junior Varisty ExtempEndersGenie Enders

When did you start debating and where did you learn Extemp?

I started competing in Extemporaneous Speech, or Extemp, in the beginning of the school year last year, as a freshman. I learned Extemp from the upperclassmen officers who had been doing the event for 3-4 years.

Why did you select Extemp?

The current events aspect of Extemp really captured my attention because I am constantly checking the news. I loved the idea of needing to know everything about everything, rather than just focusing on one topic. The time crunch of having 30 minutes to write and learn a speech seemed like a really cool challenge to take on.

What are some of the skills you use?

Time management is super important. Knowing when to stop looking at articles and writing ideas down and transitioning to “walking out” the speech takes a lot of practice. Skim reading is also an essential skill because you only have 30 minutes for the entire round. It took me a lot of time to learn how to extract key information and cut the excess details.

What were a few of the topics you spoke on at the tournament?

The round topics in Extemp were the domestic economy, the foreign economy, the Trump presidency, Brexit, environmental issues, the far right and the far left, politics of identity, and the final round was issues of New York. I spoke about the low inflation rates in the American economy, the status of the German economy, House investigations regarding the Trump White House, Theresa May, the state of preparation for extreme weather events in the US, white nationalism, the Uighur Muslim crisis, and congestion pricing in downtown Manhattan. In total I gave eight speeches this past weekend.

Will you be participating at more events this year?

For me, the state tournament was the last tournament of the year. But I am eager for next season!

Jaden Bharara, also a sophomore, took third place in the state in extemp and said the following:

When did you start debating and where did you learn extemp?

I started doing extemp shortly after arriving at the high school last year. I learned from two upperclassmen already on the speech team at the high school.

Why did you select Extemp?

At the beginning of each year, speech and debate holds an interest meeting where the different sections of the club pitch their categories to the freshmen. Right from the start, extemp appealed to me above the other categories. There was something about getting a question and then giving a speech thirty minutes later that set a fire off in my brain and made me excited.

What are some of the skills you use?

Performing a good extemp speech requires the effective use of many different skills. First, you need to be able to research and form a cohesive argument on your question in a short amount of time. One of the hardest things about extemp is the time frame you have. Both while formulating the argument and memorizing the speech, you have to work quickly.

Then, when delivering the speech, it’s important to maintain a clear, loud, and confident tone. Because you have not actually memorized a speech word for word, you must be able to form sentences on the spot without stumbling or sounding choppy.

What are a few of the topics you spoke on at the tournament?

Some of the topics I spoke on at the tournament included Turkey’s economic state, climate change, Brexit’s impacts, and Uighur Muslims in China.

Will you be participating at more events this year?

I will be participating at one more tournament this year, the NSDA (National Speech and Debate Association) tournament, in June.

shscupolacopyThis statement was sent to Scarsdale10583 by 2019 SBNC Chair Jordan Copeland:
As the 2019 School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) has completed its nomination of Karen Ceske, Carl Finger, and Ron Schulhof for election to the Scarsdale Board of Education, I thank the members of the SBNC for their dedication, thoughtfulness, and diligence in performing this important civic responsibility. I also thank all of the applicants. Scarsdale benefits when so many talented citizens are willing to present themselves to the SBNC each year, as well as from the efforts of an engaged SBNC.

Our community created the SBNC to nominate school board candidates who will work to maintain and enhance the quality of education provided by the Scarsdale schools. This year the SBNC was composed of 27 voting members (elected from each of the five elementary school areas) and three non-voting members. Pursuant to its governing resolution, the SBNC judges and selects candidates “solely on their qualifications to serve the community.”

If elected to the school board on May 21st, 2019, Karen, Carl, and Ron will assume their roles on the School Board for three-year terms effective July 1. The SBNC is grateful to the talented and engaged citizens who were willing to put themselves forward to serve on the Board of Education. All current voting members of SBNC signed the nominating petitions.

The Candidates
The SBNC strongly endorses Karen Ceske, Carl Finger, and Ron Schulhof for election to the School Board. The three candidates will bring different backgrounds and experiences to serve the community, and share a deep commitment to maintaining the excellence of the Scarsdale schools and serving different constituents.

KarenCeskeKaren Ceske
Karen Ceske has been an independent reading and writing tutor for over 18 years, supporting students of all abilities from a range of colleges and high schools. She previously worked as an English and Social Studies teacher at the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula in the Bronx. She holds a BA in History from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, and an MA in the Teaching of English from Columbia University, Teachers College.

Karen and her husband Rob have lived in Scarsdale for over 15 years. They have a daughter in college and a son who is a senior at Scarsdale High School. Karen has served as President of the Scarsdale Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, President of the Scarsdale High School PTA,

Chair of the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund for College, Secretary of the Scarsdale Middle School PTA, and President of the Greenacres School PTA. She also has served on other community boards including the Friends of the Scarsdale Library, the Scarsdale Adult School, the Scarsdale Student Transfer Education Program (STEP), the Greenacres Neighborhood Association, and the Hitchcock Church Weekday School.

FingerCarl Finger
Carl Finger has been an active citizen in village government, serving as Scarsdale Village Deputy Mayor, Scarsdale Village Trustee, Chair of Law Committee, Chair of Finance Committee and Chair of Personnel Committee. Carl was on the Board of Architectural Review and the Conservation Advisory Council. County-wide, he has served on subcommittees of the Environmental Committee of the Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Public Works Committee of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Through Bet Am Shalom Synagogue, Carl has served on the Vision Committee and the Educational Director Search Committee.

Carl is an alumnus of the Scarsdale Schools who returned more than 20 years ago with his wife Eve. Carl’s two children currently attend Scarsdale High School. An attorney and principal at Finger & Finger, Carl’s practice includes Real Estate, Cooperative/Condominium, Landlord Tenant, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Tax Certiorari. He holds a BA from Brandeis University, a JD from the Boston University School of Law and an LL.M in environmental law from Pace University School of Law. Carl has been a softball and basketball coach, an umpire, and served two years as the local “Good Humor Man.”

Ron SchulhofRon Schulhof
Ron Schulhof is a 5 year resident of Scarsdale with a child who attends the Quaker Ridge School and a preschooler. Ron currently performs pro-bono consulting work and is a private investor. Before that, he worked on Bond Trading Desks at Bear Stearns & Co., and FBR Capital Markets and then in Corporate Strategy at Deloitte. Ron holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Lehigh University.

Ron has been an active community volunteer since moving to Scarsdale with his wife Rachel. He is the current Sustainability Chair for the Scarsdale Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTC) and for the Quaker Ridge PTA, served on the Butler Field Committee and has been a coach and mentor to SHS interns and students. Ron chairs the Village Conservation Advisory Council and the LED Streetlight Committee. He recently completed a three-year term as a member of the Citizens Nominating Committee. He serves on the Scarsdale Forum Board of Directors and Audit Committee. Ron is also a little league coach.

The School Board Nomination Process
The SBNC nomination process involves several stages. The SBNC initially heard current school board members’ views on the role and structure of the school board, the school board’s relationship to various stakeholders, the roles and responsibilities of board members, and the anticipated challenges and opportunities for the school board during the next three years. SBNC members then sought potential board candidates through public appeals and by recruiting committed community members. Each interested applicant submitted a biographical form and presented orally to the SBNC in the late winter.

Pursuant to rules of procedure, committee members conducted due diligence by confidentially contacting dozens of people outside of SBNC for their input about the candidates’ qualifications to serve the community. In order to get a complete view of the applicant, SBNC members contacted both references provided by the applicant, as well as “off-list” individuals who were known to have had interactions with the applicant, such as serving closely in the same organization. Committee members then reported relevant factual information to the other committee members, who were instructed to keep open minds and listen to one another carefully.

The committee discussed the qualifications of all proposed candidates fully and candidly before taking a vote, and voted by secret ballot to fill each vacancy in turn. This year’s SBNC members devoted in aggregate well over 1,000 hours to their charge. The process was serious and focused, with respect for differing opinions. Discussions and deliberations regarding candidates are confidential in order to encourage people to apply, protect the privacy of candidates and references, allow for candid discussion among SBNC members, and select nominees based solely upon their qualifications.

For more information about the SBNC and its procedures, visit the “About Us” and “Join the School Board” pages of

Please Participate
Scarsdale is fortunate to maintain a nonpartisan election process for the Board of Education that selects candidates based solely on their qualifications to serve, not on their campaigning abilities or positions on specific issues. Informed and engaged residents willing to serve on the SBNC and the School Board, along with voter participation, help to ensure the highest quality school board leadership. Please consider serving or suggesting other school district residents to fill future vacancies. You can do so at any time by emailing

Finally, please remember to vote on the school budget and in the school board election on May 21, 2019 at the Scarsdale Middle School between 7am and 9pm.

tennisphoto1Senior and Co-Captain, Gus Thompson, helps lead the Raiders to victory as he plays 1st doubles.The Scarsdale Raiders Varsity A Boys Tennis team got off to a strong start with a 4-3 win against Bronxville High School on Wednesday April 3. This year’s team has four freshmen, Adin Lamport, Jason Shuler, Ryan Gerson, and Jason Gans, “which is quite unusual,” as Coach Roane remarked. In past seasons there are typically one or two players from the freshmen class, so having four freshmen on the team is uncommon.

“I think the team is pretty strong from top to bottom. We have a lot of youth on the team, a lot more freshmen than usual. I think the roster fills out pretty well,” commented Senior Captain Jordan Ziffer.

While the number of freshmen on the team is greater than usual the team is still as strong as ever. The boys are looking forward to a great season with the hope of finally beating Horace Greeley in the Section Championships. Unfortunately the Raiders lost to Horace Greeley in last year’s finals, but are aiming to bring Scarsdale a Section Championship this year. Catch the boys play on April 8 against Edgemont at Scarsdale High School.

Here are the stats from the match:

Scarsdale 4, Bronxville 3
1st Singles: Jason Shuler(S) vs. Liam Krall(B)- (3-6, 2-6), 2nd Singles: Jose Maronilla(S) vs. Charlie Nordahl(B)- (0-6, 1-6), 3rd Singles: Adin Lamport(S) vs. Jimmy Hennessy(B) (5-7, 3-6), 1st Doubles: Gus Thompson(S) and Jordan Ziffer(S) vs. Nate Kim(B) and Michel Swartz(B)- (6-1, 6-1), 2nd Doubles: Dylan Cohn(S) and Jake Singer(S) vs. Declan Broderick(B) and Harrison Brown(B)- (6-2, 6-1). 3rd Doubles: Ben Rossano(S) and Andrew Broom(S) vs. Spencer Blumenreich(B) and Manu Monogenis(B)- (6-1, 7-5), 4th Doubles: Ryan Gerson(S) and Jason Gans(S) vs. Griffin Patterson(B) and Will Grant(B)- (6-2, 6-1)

Photos and text by Anna Cho.

TennisPhoto2Jordan Ziffer, senior Co-Captain, is in the process of winning for his team alongside partner Gus Thompson.

TennisPhoto3One of the new additions, freshman Jason Shuler, is grinding it out in one of his first matches as 1st singles.

TennisPhoto4Fourth doubles player and freshman, Jason Gans, is pictured working hard to win one of his first matches.

TennisPhoto5Third singles player and freshman, Adin Lamport is eager to play in one of his first matches on the team.

TennisPhoto6Freshman and 4th doubles player, Ryan Gerson, is shown warming up to play one of his first matches of the season.

TennisPhoto7Only sophomore, Andrew Broom, is practicing his backhand as he prepares to play against Bronxville’s 3rd doubles team.


hatsStudents who graduated from Scarsdale High School or lived in Scarsdale during high school and who have completed their first, second, or third years of college are invited to apply to the Scarsdale Foundation for tuition assistance. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Foundation awarded need-based grants totaling $130,500 to students attending private and state-supported colleges and universities.

Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year should be submitted online from the Scarsdale Foundation’s website: (click on the College Scholarships link). Completed applications must be submitted by Monday, June 3, 2019. You may contact Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs Anne Lyons or BK Munguia at: Please note "Scarsdale Foundation Scholarship Inquiry" in the subject line of your email.

The Foundation welcomes contributions from the community to augment the funds available for distribution each year. Contributions may be donated to a specially earmarked Scholarship Fund of the Scarsdale Foundation, enabling the Foundation to carry on the tradition of helping our students in need pursue a college education. Donations may be made online by visiting the Foundation’s website or mailed to the Scarsdale Foundation at P.O. Box 542, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

For more information regarding the work of the Foundation, please visit our website:

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