Friday, May 24th

In Support of Dembitzer and Dugan for Board of Education

Seiden(The following letters were written by Suzanne Seiden, Jessica Zellner, Felicia Block and Jessica Zola)
Letter to the Editor:
I write in support of Leah Dembitzer for School Board. As a former member of the School Board for 6 years, including one year as President, I believe Leah would be an exceptional Board member and an asset to the community.

Here are two things you need to know about Leah.

First, Leah is EXPERIENCED.

For the past 13 years, Leah has been actively engaged in many facets of our schools and the community. Leah is finishing her term as PT Council President after serving as both Quaker Ridge and Middle School PTA Presidents and President of the League of Women Voters. She has followed the Board budget process over the years in her various capacities. Leah has been involved in every facet of our schools including chairing the Young Writers' Workshop and most recently chairing the Westchester League's Running and Winning workshop to inspire and encourage our students to run for political office. Leah has served in these roles with integrity, professionalism and dedication.

Second, Leah is a LEADER.

Leah is a leader who regularly seeks input, listens to voices in the community, asks insightful questions, builds consensus and makes thoughtful decisions. Leah will be an asset to the Board as it faces critical issues and ongoing challenges.

Leah is passionate about making the Scarsdale Schools the best they can be for our children. The community would be lucky to have her serve on the school board. I encourage you to VOTE FOR Leah….. an EXPERIENCED LEADER.

Suzanne Seiden
22 Fairway Drive

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge all Scarsdale residents to vote for Leah Dembitzer for School Board.

I have had the pleasure to know Leah since 2019, when my family moved to Scarsdale. During that time, I have worked with Leah, and gotten to know her, through her leadership positions on the League of Women Voters, the Westchester Reform Temple Board of Directors, and the Co-Chair of the League of Women Voters’ Running and Winning program for high school students. I am also proud to call her a dear friend.

Leah is qualified to serve on the School Board because she cares, and this permeates everything that she does.

Leah cares deeply about Scarsdale and the school community. As a longtime resident with children still in the District, Leah is personally invested in the District’s growth and success. Through her numerous and varied volunteer and leadership positions, Leah regularly collaborates with a diverse group of parents, students, faculty/staff, and administrators. Leah is committed to dialogue that ensures that every voice, no matter the title or position, is valued and heard.

Leah cares about process and transparency. I have seen first-hand how Leah prioritizes and respects process, using it as a guidepost and structure, ensuring that decisions are made after careful thought and input. Leah values an open and robust debate and she is guided by a personal ethos of honesty and integrity.

Leah cares about hard work and does not shy away from difficult or challenging issues. Leah approaches thorny problems from different angles with a calm thoughtfulness, and always takes into account all perspectives. Because of her long history of varied positions within the PTA and PTC, including serving as the current PTC President, Leah knows the ins and outs of the District, and would bring to the School Board an impressive amount of historical knowledge and experience.

Leah cares about people, connection, and bridging differences within our community. Despite her many accomplishments and the public positions that she has held, Leah is completely without ego. She is kind and modest. I have never seen her turn down a phone call or an email asking for advice or help. Leah makes the time for each person and demonstrates care and concern for all people. She is a natural mentor and brings an open mind to every person she meets and to every situation she encounters.

For all of these reasons, I wholeheartedly and without reservation support Leah Dembitzer’s candidacy for School Board.

Jessica L. Zellner
Quaker Ridge

Letter to the Editor:

I am writing in support of Leah Dembitzer for the Scarsdale Board of Education. I have known Leah for over thirteen years as both a friend and community volunteer.

I had the joy of meeting Leah while our children attended the Early Childhood Center at Westchester Reform Temple (WRT). Leah was warm, thoughtful, kind, and easy to be with. I was also working at WRT during that time and, as Leah eventually moved into a leadership position at the synagogue, I was fortunate to see her plan programming and bring new volunteers forward. Her leadership style was welcoming, open, and respectful. She listened carefully to all the voices in meetings and lifted-up even the quietest idea when it would benefit the larger group. Events and programs were always smooth, fun, and community centered when Leah was in charge.

It was for this reason when Leah asked me to co-chair the Scarsdale Young Writers Workshop (YWW) with her that I had to say yes. For those that are unfamiliar with YWW, this beautiful and unique event brings Scarsdale's 3rd – 5th grade students together for a morning to explore writing. The day begins with a keynote address and is followed by two (2) short workshops with volunteers, many from our community, who dive into the art of writing in a multitude of formats. Working with Leah was incredible. She was organized, forward-thinking, and always had the children at the center of her planning. When considering a keynote that would connect with our young writers, she was onboard finding someone to demonstrate that writing takes all forms and, therefore, was instrumental in bringing sports journalist Bruce Beck to the conference. I learned so much from Leah about bringing a team together towards a common goal.

I encourage our community to vote on Tuesday, May 21st and support Leah Dembitzer for the Board of Education. She is a gift.

Felicia Block
Carman Road
Scarsdale, NY

SBNC candidates bring experience and forward-thinking strategy to BOE

To the Editor,

In March, Jim Dugan and Leah Dembitzer were nominated by the School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) to serve on the Scarsdale schools’ Board of Education (BOE). SBNC is a non-partisan group of individuals elected from all 5 neighborhoods, playing an integral role in shaping the excellence of Scarsdale schools through recruiting, vetting, and selecting the most qualified nominees for the BOE. Jim was once again selected through this process seeking a second term of service while Leah was identified as an ideal newcomer to the Scarsdale Board of Education. Both are eager to commit their time and energy volunteering in Scarsdale for this three-year term, expressing their drive to maintain excellence in our schools while balancing our fiscal responsibilities.

Jim Dugan has been a dedicated member of the BOE throughout his first term. I have gained immense respect for him as he, along with fellow board members, took on the daunting task of refocusing our fractured community. I have personally attended community engagement forums where I have seen Jim’s dedication to our students and parents resonate as he voices the importance of critical topics to our district and delicately manages the balance of administrative support with community input and fiscal responsibility. As a lawyer, Jim brings a skill set to this board that is greatly valued and has been beneficial throughout his tenure thus far with many of the unexpected challenges SUFSD has faced. Jim’s integrity, even-keel demeanor and level-headed thought process are assets to this board.

Leah Dembitzer has been the consummate volunteer from the moment she arrived in Scarsdale. Leah’s involvement in the Scarsdale School District has increased in scope and commitment over time as she throws herself full-force into larger and more complex roles like Budget Study, DEI and of course PTA/PTC president at many different schools as her children have grown. She is continually striving to serve our school district with all of her knowledge, dedication and devotion. What Leah will bring to this Board of Education is not only immense experience within our school district, both personally through her children growing up within our education system and “professionally” through her myriad volunteer and committee roles, but perspective on how to implement change in a logical, thoughtful manner.

I have been fortunate during my time in Scarsdale to personally interact with both Jim and Leah not only through our children but as representatives in our community, specially focused on the schools. I hold them both in the highest regard and am honored to be part of the committee that puts this slate forward for Scarsdale to vote for on Tuesday May 21st at Scarsdale Middle School between 7am – 9pm along with supporting the Scarsdale Schools Budget with a YES vote. Please join me in supporting the SBNC slate as we together look to the future of Scarsdale public schools.

Jennifer Zola
Carstensen Rd

The Scarsdale Schools’ Budget Vote and Board Election will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at the Scarsdale Middle School Gym, 7am - 9pm.

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