Monday, Aug 08th

PT Council Offers Thanks to the Board, the Administration and Teachers

SchoolBoardThe following remarks were made by PT Council President Megan Simon at the Board of Education meeting on June 21, 2022

On behalf of PT Council, I extend a sincere thank you to all the retirees who were recognized earlier this evening. They are what make Scarsdale Schools the special place we treasure. We appreciate all the talent, time and energy they have given to the Scarsdale schools, and wish them well in this next chapter. Our children have all benefited from your commitment and we can’t thank you enough for all you have done for the children of Scarsdale. I would like to give a special thanks to David Wixted, who has served as the President of the teacher’s union for many. Your commitment to your colleagues was evident in all that you did over the years, while ensuring that the success of Scarsdale students was always at the heart of every issue. The Scarsdale schools are stronger because of your many years of leadership. Jerry and Rachel, your experience and guidance will be greatly missed but we know that you leave us poised for continued success and are always just a phone call away! Thank you for your innovation and talent throughout the years that has enabled Scarsdale to remain on the cutting edge of education.

And to mark the final board meeting of the school year, I also wish to thank Board President Karen Ceske, Vice President Amber Yusuf, who also served her second year as board liaison to the PTC, all members of the Board of Education, Drew Patrick, and the entire cabinet for your dedicated service and commitment to our children’s education. The PTC looks forward to continued collaboration with you all next year.

This Board, working with the administration, has continued to face extraordinary challenges this year. As I wrote this, I realized how more often than not over the last three school years we end the year feeling as if the challenges were greater than the years prior, and this year is no exception. We acknowledge the tremendous and almost impossible job you had this year, and thank you for leading us through these difficult times. You have been faced with the continued challenges the pandemic has put upon education, the resignation of our Superintendent and the subsequent work needed to begin the process to find a new leader for this district, as well as an extraordinarily difficult situation and negotiation with the IRS. This was in addition to the normal governance of our school district. These issues were ones the Board had no idea they would be faced with coming into the school year, and solutions were often not readily apparent. You all devoted enormous amounts of time, energy and care to working with the administration to arrive at the best possible outcomes. We know this hasn’t been easy. But we also know that you’ve always done what you believed was best for the District.

I have the honor tonight of also recognizing the two outgoing members of the Board of Education, Karen Ceske and Carl Finger, as they complete their board service.
Karen and Carl - We salute your willingness to contribute your time and expertise to our District over the past three years. I often think it is forgotten that being a member of the Board of Education is a volunteer position, and you all take this on in addition to the obligations of your own professions, families and lives. We also recognize that the time we see you in Board meetings is just a fraction of the hours you have devoted to this District. And we know you have worked so hard because you care. You care about our children’s education, about our schools being the best they can possibly be, and about the future of the community. Both of you have worked to guarantee that Scarsdale schools maintain their standard of excellence and continue to grow and innovate towards an even brighter future.

Karen, thank you for your three years of service on the Board, during the last of which you led as President. Your quiet confidence and direct nature has instilled a real sense of trust in your guidance of this Board through many difficult issues. From the start, we knew you were committed to ensuring that all our students’ needs and concerns were met and addressed. You took your role seriously, respectfully challenging the administration and fully understanding management. You often come to the Board table open to ideas, with a willingness to listen to and learn from others, allowing you to be flexible in your decision-making. Your persistence and confidence were present when needed, but always with an obvious sense of respect for your colleagues and the community. Thank you for keeping our children as the focus and ensuring that our school district maintains a strong level of excellence. We appreciate your service and will miss your voice.

Carl, thank you for your three years of service on the Board. Your experience and confidence have been a great asset to the Board. Even this past year, when Board meetings often went late into the night, your consistently calm demeanor helped the Board navigate through difficult situations. Your appreciation of the other Board members suggestions was noted, and you worked to adjust your opinion based on the input of your fellow Board members and community perspectives. Your thorough consideration of issues helped the Board ensure the big picture and long

term impact were always considered. You were never afraid to ask questions and challenge both the administration and your fellow Board members in order to ensure a better outcome for our children. Thank you for your dedication to our children and all you have given to our District.

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for giving so selflessly of your time and working so hard to make sure our schools are the best place to learn and for the overall betterment of our community. I wish you all a much deserved restful summer, and a productive successful school year next year.

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