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Letters from Dugan, Resnick-Ault, Salmeron and Sterling in Support of the SBNC Slate for School Board

JimandJessicaTo the Editor: We are Jim Dugan and Jessica Resnick-Ault, and we write as the School Board Nominating Committee (“SBNC”) nominees for Scarsdale School Board. Scarsdale has a long and proud history of selecting nominees for public office through a non-partisan vetting process designed to bypass the often ugly political battles that characterize our electoral process on the national, state and local levels. We run as citizens, committed to doing what is best not for a political party, and not for ourselves, but for the community at large and specifically for our children. We are grateful and humbled to have been chosen by the SBNC, in a highly competitive process, and are thankful to have the opportunity to ask for your vote in this year’s election.

We approach service on the Board as working professionals with children in the schools and with proven track records, who know what it takes to tackle a challenge and see it through to a successful conclusion. We bring not only a strong desire to help Scarsdale redouble efforts to maintain its reputation as a great school district, but also proven skills and know-how to get the job done. As you consider your choices for School Board this year, ask yourselves these questions: would you rather vote for candidates who have shown that they have what it takes to succeed in challenging and demanding circumstances? And, if you are one of the many people who feel disappointed with the Board’s performance in recent years, and in particular this past year, ask yourself: would you rather vote for candidates who stand for change, transparency, and open dialogue?

If you answered yes to the questions above, please vote for us. We are those candidates. We are strong believers in the power of public education to mold lives and build minds, and we believe that excellence in public education is a key to maintaining Scarsdale as a strong and successful community. We are running for School Board, as the SBNC’s nominees, because we believe strongly in maintaining the excellence of the Scarsdale public schools. We would bring a fresh perspective to the Board, one that is firmly rooted in the voice of our community. We are prepared right now to work for you and, if elected, we promise to give it our all. Our children, and community, deserve nothing less.

Yours truly,
Jim Dugan and Jessica Resnick-Ault

DuganFamilyShirley Salmeron, Jim Dugan and their three girlsTo the Editor:

My husband and partner of over 22 years, Jim Dugan, is running for School Board and I wanted to share my perspective to help your readers understand why he’s running.

Jim and I met through friends who grew up in Scarsdale. Over 15 years ago, after a devastating personal loss, we moved to Scarsdale from Brooklyn, begrudgingly on my part. We yearned to start a family, and Jim persuaded me to build a life in Scarsdale, in large part due to the excellence of the public schools. Although I doubted my husband sometimes (particularly when it came to DIY plumbing or paint colors), Jim’s passion in researching and executing our move was one honed by his years of training as a lawyer, tempered by his wisdom in knowing when to call in experts. Against all odds, a scant year after leaving Brooklyn, we welcomed our first daughter to our Scarsdale home, one whose ancient bones had finally been shored up by experts. We now have three girls, all of whom attend the public schools.

I share this story because it typifies Jim’s response to problems. Jim is focused on executing excellent solutions every single day in his career and he relies on experts and consensus to help him do that, extending this approach to his personal life. During this pandemic when many experienced “languishing” and/or depression, I felt it too. We lost our part-time childcare, but Jim took up the slack, helping our three daughters with schoolwork and cooking most of our meals. Jim had never cooked the family meals before, but he zealously approached the project with gusto and became an excellent chef. I missed my friends and family, but I was happy to spend more time with my best friend.

Jim’s commitment to pro bono work left an impression that I still remember from our first conversation over 22 years ago (at the time he was representing the indigenous Onondaga nation in a civil rights lawsuit). Jim’s passion for pro bono work wholly aligns with my own values. To borrow a phrase from Fred Rogers, Jim is “one of the helpers”. He is dedicated, passionate and committed to excellence and progress in everything he does. Jim’s vision and world view is one of global citizenry and non sibi, especially as he raises bilingual, multi-racial daughters. Many of you know Jessica Resnick-Ault vis-a-vis her work with Bake Back America; she is also one of the helpers. Service work exemplifies love, let’s bring back that culture and tone to our board. Vote for Jessica and Jim for School Board on May 18th.

Shirley Salmeron Dugan

Jessica and Jim are Leaders We Need On the Board of Education

ron and michelleMichelle Sterling with Ron SchulhofLetter to the Editor:

I strongly endorse Jessica Resnick-Ault and Jim Dugan for the Board of Education. The SBNC nominating committee considers the characteristics of every applicant, including experience, and chose Jim and Jessica. That says a lot to me and I hope it speaks to the community about how strong Jim and Jessica are as candidates.

Jessica is bright, hard-working and has the background and skills to be a valuable member of the Board of Education. Her career as a journalist provides ideal communications experience for this position. She has the skills to synthesize complex ideas and present them succinctly and clearly. Despite single-parenting and working full-time she has also made time to give back to the community through her extensive volunteerism in our schools and with Bake Back America. She also has an acute awareness and experience with those who have special needs and physical disabilities through personal familial experiences. She is an exemplary candidate in every way.

Jim is smart, hard-working, and committed to our children’s education. He is also a great communicator – which is so important given the expressed need for clarity and transparency that we have heard over and over from the community. He will find solutions, express them clearly to the community, and get things done. We need someone like Jim right now! He is level-headed and thoughtful – a true consensus builder. He also doesn’t just talk about problems – he faces them with solutions. He does this as part of his work every day as an attorney and he can now bring his intelligence, and calm and collaborative nature to the Board of Education for the benefit of our school community.

In times of challenge, we see the mettle of our leaders – hardship shines a light on them. Our elected SBNC members have nominated Jessica and Jim, two outstanding candidates who will make their voices heard in support of the best education for our children, and who have a clear understanding that they are our elected representatives. I urge you to vote for Jim and Jessica on May 18 for our Board of Education.

Respectfully, submitted,
Michelle Sterling
Brayton Road

It is with pleasure that I write to endorse the candidacies of Jim Dugan and Jessica Resnick-Ault for the Scarsdale School Board.

I have had the pleasure of working with Jim on the vestry at St. James the Less Church when Jim served as warden. The warden is the lay head of the vestry, the governing organization of our church, and wardens are nominated and elected much like the members of the school board.

From working side by side with Jim, I know him to be an outstanding leader. Jim would bring many strong talents to his position of the school board.

Professionally as an litigator, he must be very thorough as he approaches decision making. He does his homework, but most importantly he listens to all sides of an issue before making a decision. He is an excellent advocate, but he is also skilled at consensus building. And although he may not agree always with your position, he treats each individual involved and the discussion with respect.

I believe the Jim would be a very strong addition to the Scarsdale School Board.

While I do not know Jessica personally,
I am so impressed by her work in the community in conjunction with the Bake for America program. Her volunteer work in leading the Scarsdale community’s response to the pandemic is admirable. She has set such a fine example for all of us on how important it is for us to take care of our neighbors in need. And in developing this outreach effort, she has demonstrated strong organizational skills.
She is clearly passionate about her belief and helping those in the community and encouraging others to step out and join the effort. Professionally her experience as a journalist requires strong research and communication skills. Both skills will be valuable for member of the Scarsdale School Board.

Finally, personally I have served on the Citizens Nominating Committee. Just like the CNC, the School Board Nominating Committee performs exhaustive research in soliciting and vetting its candidates for the school board. We elect the SBNC and count on them to find the best candidates to put forth for the school board. I trust the nonpartisan procedure for selecting the SBNC slate, and believe that this year, they have chosen the best two candidates for the school board: Jim Dugan and Jessica Resnick-Ault. I will enthusiastically
vote for both candidates at the May 18 school board election.

Jeannette Warner
Farley Road

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