Michelle Lichtenberg Receives the 2021 Scarsdale Bowl
- Written by Elyse Klayman
- Hits: 1641
Michelle Lichtenberg, surrounded by her family here, was presented with the Scarsdale Bowl at a backyard ceremony on Wednesday, June 2nd. Liz and Randy Guggenheimer hosted this second (and hopefully last) Covid-era celebration. “I am humbled to my core by this honor,” said Lichtenberg. “Volunteerism is a team sport and I hope that we will all continue to collaborate to keep our community strong, and make it even better for the next generation.”
This was the second year that the traditional Scarsdale Bowl dinner was cancelled due to COVID.
Full story to follow next week.
Masks Off As COVID Rates Decline
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 934
County Executive George Latimer had an upbeat press conference on Monday May 17 when he reported a dramatic decline in active cases in Westchester, down from 4,363 a month ago to 922 on Monday. As of Wednesday May 19, cases had declined even further to 839.
There were corresponding declines in the number of hospitalizations and fatalities with 63 in the hospital with COVID and 4 deaths this past week.
Latimer credits the decline in infections to Westchester’s successful vaccination efforts. As of Monday May 17, 70% of the county’s population over the age of 18 had received at least one dose. Overall, 47% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated. More are expected to be vaccinated in the coming weeks as Pfizer announced that anyone ages 12 and over can receive their vaccine as long as a parent or guardian allows them to do so.
There was also good news about the regulations and restrictions. As of Wednesday May 19 those who are fully vaccinated can remove their masks, however they still need to be worn in the following settings: mass transit, nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities (jail and state institutions), schools, and healthcare facilities. Private venues can provide rules as they see fit. Latimer expressed concern about people who may lie about their vaccination status and remove their masks but he was hopeful the state would provide some guidelines on how to deal with that situation.
For those not yet vaccinated the big news is that you no longer need an appointment to be vaccinated at the Westchester County Center where walk-ins are now permitted. In order to accommodate more residents new daily clinics are being set up around the county. Dobbs Ferry High School is offering vaccines on Wednesday May 19th, Fox Lane High School is offering vaccines on Thursday May 20th, and the Salvation Army in Port Chester is offering vaccines on Saturday May 22 and Monday May 24.
Scarsdale High School Awards and National Merit Finalists
- Written by Jamie Robelen
- Hits: 4074
Scarsdale High School Awards:
On Wednesday night, May 5th, 53 Scarsdale High School students were honored for their achievements at the annual awards ceremony. Faculty and administrators of SHS, along with a few Scarsdale community members, came together to recognize juniors and seniors for accomplishments in academic subjects, community service, and leadership. The Judith E. Weil Kindness Award was presented for the first time, by Ms. Mandy Weil Lax, in honor of her late mother, Scarsdale community member Judith E. Weil. While a ceremony over Zoom posed some unique challenges, the ceremony went smoothly. A list of winners can be found below. Congratulations to all of those honored!
Excellence in Visual Art 2D: Courtney Guastafeste
Excellence in Visual Art 3D: Mia de la Fuente-Akersveen
Media Award: Caroline Cavalier
Elisa Draper Art History Award: Jayho So
Friends of Music and Art Permanent Collection Award: Anna Cho
Harvard University Award: Angela Hoey
Brown University Award: Anoushka Dasgupta
Princeton English Excellence Award: Emily Hansen
Audrey McGinn Creative Writing Award: Jake Rompala
Rensselaer Mathematics & Science Award: Maxwell Trager
Math Faculty Award: Adam Wasserman
PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS
Band Award: Vivian Stewart
Chorus Award: Emily Hansen
Orchestra Award: Juling Wang
Sidney R. Case Memorial Scholarship: Joanna Wang
Friends of Music and Art Drama Award: Alison Robelen
New York Science Supervisors Association Awards
Biology: Samantha Kefer
Chemistry: Shan Daniel
Physics: Abigail Talish
University of Rochester/Bausch and Lomb Award: Maggie Peng
Science Excellence Award: Zach Siegel
Science Department Award: Keerthana Chari
SOCIAL STUDIES AWARDS
Social Studies Achievement Awards: Rowan Haffner, Chinasa Ohajekwe
Social Studies Faculty Award: Adina Weinbaum
Social Studies Excellence Awards: Aanya Schoetz, Robert Fogel
WORLD LANGUAGES AWARDS
Latin Award: Sam Lippmann
Mandarin Award: Margaret Kemp
French Award: Mariana Ferraz
Spanish Language Award: Phoebe Yusen
Spanish Literature Award: Vivian Guo
Departmental Award: Neema Mwamburi
Steve Corbin Academic Success Award: Simon Yu
Counseling Department Award: Jimena Aguilar
Casey Ferrone Memorial Award: Sarah Osinoff
Junior Scholarship/Service Award: Rishika Bansal
Junior Academic Excellence Award: Jeremy Ng
Wellesley Book Award: Claire Scarcella
Yale University Award: Eliana Zitrin
David Smith Memorial Award: Danielle Eforo, Eddie Eforo
Judith E. Weil Kindness Award: Jane Schmelkin
Scarsdale Alumni Association Eric Rothschild Award: Adam Wasserman
Scarsdale Foundation Award: Emmett Goldstein
Michael V. McGill Book Award: Scott Goldban
NYS Comptroller’s Student Achievement Awards: Jolie Kantor, Anabel Calderon, Gustavo Quaresma De Moura
NYS Office of the Attorney General Triple “C” Awards: Devin Goldman, Matthew Ostow
Dartmouth College Award: Jaden Bharara
Billy Safian Humanitarian Award: Jacob Rosewater
Halliday Clark Sr. Memorial Award: Simran Ruta
Principal’s Award: Michael Waxman
National Merit Awards
Two Scarsdale High School students were named National Merit Finalists this year and will each receive a $2,500 merit award.
They are Peiling Megan Niu who plans to study International Relations and Adam H. Wasserman who plans to study Mechanical Engineering.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a pool of some 16,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
2021 National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2019 when over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state- representational basis. Only these approximately 17,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the Semifinalist group, some 16,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2021 program, about 7,500 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $30 million in college scholarships.
Art Rublin Says Jim and Jessica Will Address the Need for Change
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 1194
To the Editor: With just a day before the important Board of Education election tomorrow (Tuesday), I’m writing in support of SBNC nominees James Dugan and Jessica Resnick-Ault. Informed by my BOE tenure, I believe the SBNC nominated very wisely. And I note that a current Board Member whom I respect a great deal, Ron Schulhof, also supports the SBNC slate.
Here are three reasons I support the SBNC slate:
1) Jim and Jessica are Exceptional Professionals and Volunteers.
Jim is a distinguished lawyer and father of three girls who will be at Fox Meadow, SMS and SHS next year. In 2011, Jim and I and others founded Coalition for Scarsdale Schools, dedicated to supporting quality education in Scarsdale schools. When the BOE explored bending elementary class-size caps, we mobilized to protect reasonable class-sizes. We selected Jim to be our lead speaker at the key BOE meeting. Jim’s presentation was excellent – strong, but not strident. We helped turned the BOE around, largely to Jim’s credit.
Jessica is an award-winning journalist and author. Jessica lost her husband in 2017; but continued to work and volunteer diligently. Jessica has been very active in the community, serving as class parent, PTA committee chair, and Young Writer’s Workshop instructor. Most recently Jessica founded Bake Back America’s local Grant a Wishlist initiative, working with Scarsdale families to meet the needs of surrounding communities with donations and educational programming. Jessica’s and her late husband’s daughter is an Edgewood fifth-grader.
Jim and Jessica distinguished themselves at the two candidate forums that have been held, including most recently at the “School Board Candidate Zoom Panel” held tonight, organized by Scarsdale High School students, at which Jim and Jessica appeared with one other candidate, Irin Israel.
2) Jim and Jessica Will Address the Need for Change.
Substantial change is needed in School District governance and management. This view of mine and many others was validated by a report last November of the Tri-State Consortium, an alliance of high-performing school districts, focused on the pandemic. The Report found distrust of the District by parents, a feeling on the part of teachers that their voices were not valued, and the need for a “more forward-looking vision.” On the very day the Tri-State Report was released, the BOE extended changes to limit public-comment time at BOE meetings – including a 90-minute limit on comments during the first comment period that left 21 community members without an opportunity to speak during that night’s first comment period. During the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale Candidates Forum earlier this month, Jim and Jessica made clear their readiness to engage constructively to address these issues. I urge all voters to view the recording of the LWVS Forum, which you can find at coalitionforscarsdaleschools.org (Candidates tab).
3) Jim and Jessica Have the Experience.
One of Jim and Jessica’s opponents, Alison Singer, argues she should be reelected because, she said in her opening statement at the forum, “In short, experience matters.” With the benefit of my BOE experience, I can state without reservation that Jim and Jessica have more than the requisite experience, based on their professional and community backgrounds. And I don’t consider it at all necessary for the BOE to have officers that are in their second terms. In fact, a number of times in recent years, at least one of the officers has been in his or her first term. In my first BOE year, both officers were in their first terms.
A note about process. An election in which the SBNC slate is challenged creates some surprising dynamics. As an example, Ms. Singer and supporters of hers posted a graphic on Facebook yesterday with a sample ballot in which only her name was checked. Given that this election is for two seats, the District’s sample ballot states, “Vote for a Total Two (2) Candidates.” But Ms. Singer, the Board’s Vice President this year, appears to be urging “bullet voting,” i.e. votes only for herself, which could be seen as increasing her chances. I should note: I am pleased to have always had a good personal relationship with Ms. Singer. But I am disappointed that Ms. Singer, who served on the SBNC, is openly advocating bullet voting only for herself in an election for 2 School Board seats. Everyone has a right to challenge the SBNC’s nominees. But I am saddened by this and other elements of the campaigning that we have seen on social media and in Village spaces this spring.
In sum, I believe the SBNC chose well. Jim and Jessica will bring substantial experience, along with a willingness to engage with the community and deliberate with respect to important issues. Please vote for our excellent SBNC nominees on Tuesday.
Good Work: Teen Delivers Baked Goods to 100 Westchester Firehouses, Library Kiosks Stocked with Books that Teach Tolerance
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 857
Firehouse Project – 100 Deliveries and Counting
"Baked with Love by Lindsey," is the label on each box of home-baked goods Scarsdale High School junior Lindsey Lindman, 17, has delivered to firehouses throughout Westchester since last summer. Lindman conceived this Firehouse Project as a way to give-back and thank firefighters as front-line workers caring for people in their most vulnerable moments. Setting the goal to bake for every firehouse in Westchester County (there are 125), she has been baking and delivering home-baked cookies, brownies and muffins to different fire houses in every corner of Westchester County throughout the pandemic.
This past week Lindman hit a milestone presenting firefighters at the 100th firehouse in Westchester County, the Scarsdale Fire Department Headquarters (50 Thompkins Road), with a selection of baked goods.
Pictured at top from left to right: Firefighter Mark Rosenfeld, Captain Christopher Mytych, Lindsay Lindman, Firefighter Francis Sheehan, Firefighter Matt DeTone, and Firefighter John Constantino.
Diverse Books Teach Tolerance
In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May, a selection of books about the Pan Asian experience for adult, teen, and child readers will be available in the library kiosks throughout Scarsdale. The initiative was highlighted on Scarsdale10583 in February, and the newest kiosk was recently installed at the library pond.
Check out diversebookstt.com where you can find a complete list of themes for the upcoming months. In June the kiosks will feature books for LGBTQ+ pride month. The founders Asher (10th grade) and Zane (8th grade) Kohn also welcome donations of relevant books so they can keep this project going. They can be contacted through the website to arrange to pick up book donations. Consider making a donation at their gofundme page to help support this community initiative.