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Wednesday Is Election Day for Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee Candidates

Scarsdale residents will vote for two nominating committee candidates from the group listed in their elementary school district. A total of 10 candidates will be elected, and short biographies of the candidates are included below.

From the Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee: 

The Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee, which chooses nonpartisan candidates for the Scarsdale Board of Education, will hold elections next Wednesday, January 15, 2014, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Scarsdale Middle School auditorium lobby, 134 Mamaroneck Road. Residents vote for two candidates from their elementary school neighborhood. Biographies of the candidates appear at the end of this article. Residents will also vote on a proposed change to the Non-Partisan Resolution governing the SBNC.


Residents may vote in person or by mail-in ballot received by 4 p.m. on Election Day. Mail-in ballots are available to be downloaded and printed from http://scarsdalesbnc.com/mail-in-ballots/. The mail-in ballot is not just for people planning to be out of town on Election Day. It can be used by anyone who will not be voting in person, but must be received at P.O. Box 172H by 4 p.m. on Election Day.


Since September, the Administrative Committee of the SBNC has been recruiting people to run for the open slots on the committee. All residents are encouraged to consider running for the SBNC. Janet Korins and Jyoti Ruta, co-chairs of the Administrative Committee commented, “We are grateful to all the members of our committee for their efforts this fall to publicize the SBNC process. We are fortunate that 20 residents have come forward to volunteer for this important position on the SBNC, with contested elections in every elementary school neighborhood. We thank the candidates for their willingness to volunteer and encourage all residents to participate in the process by voting in the election on January 15."


The 10 candidates elected next Wednesday will join 20 others on the committee serving staggered three-year terms. By the end of March, the SBNC will nominate two candidates for the Scarsdale Board of Education to fill the seats currently held by Sunil Subbakrishna and Jonathan Lewis. Messrs. Subbakrishna and Lewis are completing their first terms and each of them is eligible for re-nomination. All residents of the school district are welcome to propose school board candidates to the SBNC. The SBNC Board of Education candidates, along with any other candidates who may choose to run, will stand for public election in May at the same time as the school budget vote.


The SBNC and its various committees contain almost 60 members. The committee is seeking donations as well as participation by voting and considering candidacy. The Administrative Committee runs the annual SBNC election that is financed by contributions alone. The cost of preparing and mailing the candidate information and running this year’s election will be approximately $3,000. Donations are used solely for running the election and are not used to fund or support any candidate. To donate, or for more information about the SBNC, please visit www.scarsdalesbnc.com.

The 2014 candidates in each of the five elementary school districts are:

1. Edgewood - Karen Brew, James Felix, Laurie Medvinsky
2. Fox Meadow - Geralyn Della Cava, Kamal Mehta, Stephanie Miller, Antonia New (Zipursky)
3. Greenacres - Heather Gilchriest (Meili), Peter Haller, Sharon Higgins, Jon Singer, Harriet Sobol
4. Heathcote - Gwen Finger, Wendy Gendel, Sethu Palaniappan, Zhixin (Julie) Zhu
5. Quaker Ridge - Sylvia Dundon, Jacqueline Goldstein, Lori Parks, Julie Sheppe

KAREN L. BREW – 29 Ferncliff Road. Resident for 9 years.
Education: Cornell University (BA), Northwestern University, J.L.Kellogg Graduate School of Management (MBA)
Occupation: Executive Recruiter
Civic Activities: PT Council Secretary (2012-2014); Scarsdale Forum Education Committee (2011-2013); Junior League of Central Westchester (October 2005-present); SMS Compact Committee (2011-2013); SMS Nominating Committee (2011-2012); Edgewood PTA President (2010-2011); Edgewood Compact Committee (2009-2011); Edgewood Nominating Committee (2008-2010); Edgewood Class Parent (2004-2010); Edgewood Colonial Fair Co-Chair (2008-2009); Edgewood PTA Treasurer (July 2006-June 2008); Edgewood Membership Chair (2005-2006); Edgewood Task Force on Drugs & Alcohol Liaison (2005-2006)
Children: 14 and 12

JAMES M. FELIX – 21 Hamilton Road. Resident for 24 years.
Education: Union College (BA), New England School of Law (JD)
Occupation: Attorney
Civic Activities: Scarsdale Youth Lacrosse Association Board; Scarsdale Maroon and White Board; Scarsdale Parks and Recreation Committee; Scarsdale Bowl Committee; Scarsdale Youth Hockey Association; Scarsdale Citizens Nominating Committee; Scarsdale School Board Advisory Committee on Legislative Issues; United Way of Scarsdale and Edgemont
Children: 24, 22, 19, and 17

LAURIE D. MEDVINSKY – 54 Taunton Road. Resident for 7 years.
Education: Union College (MS), Columbia Business School (MBA)
Occupation: Homemaker
Civic Activities: Edgewood PTA President (2012-2013); PT Council Member (2012-2013); Edgewood Compact Committee Member (2011-2013); Edgewood PTA President Elect (2011-2012); Edgewood PTA Executive Committee Member (2011-2013); Edgewood Fair Co-Chair (2011); Edgewood Classical Café Co-Chair (2008-2011); Berkeley-in-Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Secretary (2009-2011); Edgewood Girls Recreation Soccer Coach (2009-present); Scarsdale Girls Travel Soccer Assistant Coach (2012-present)
Children: 11 and 9


GERALYN DELLA CAVA – 22 Oak Lane. Resident for 11 years.
Education: SUNY at New Paltz (BS in Marketing); Fashion Institute of Technology (Associate Degree in Buying & Merchandising); Fordham University (MS in Education)
Occupation: Stay at home parent
Civic Activities: The Auxiliary at White Plains Hospital Executive Committee/Correspondence Secretary; Parents Board at Bucknell University Vice President; Colgate University Steering Committee Member; SHS Scholarship Fund Chair; SHS Task Force on Drugs and Alcohol Co-Chair; Maroon and White Booster Organization Executive Committee/Journal Chair; SHS PTA Treasurer; SMS PTA Secretary; SMS Kitchen Tour Co-Chair
Children: 21 and 19 

KAMAL MEHTA – 12 Rochambeau Road. Resident for 12 years.
Education: Columbia University Engineering (BS); Cornell University School of Operations Research (MS)
Occupation: Financial Professional
Civic Activities: Old Scarsdale Neighborhood Association; Recreation Soccer Boys Coach; Council on Technology; Scarsdale Forum
Children: 17 and 18 

STEPHANIE P. MILLER – 50 Popham Road. Resident for 52 years.
Education: Smith College, (cum laude)
Occupation: Retired. Previously, an account manager for 20 years, in sales and education at West Publishing and Thomson Corp.
Civic ActivitiesCurrent: Co-President and Member of Founders Committee, At Home in Scarsdale Village; White Plains Hospital Caregiver and Ambassador programs volunteer.  Previous: Board of Architectural Review; Advisory Council on Human Relations; Advisory Council on Technology; Heathcote PTA President; PT Council; Educational Priorities Committee Chair; League of Women Voters Vice President; Voter Services Chair; Editor “This is Scarsdale”; American Field Service President; SHS Scholarship Committee Chair; Served on both Village Board Nominating Committee and School Board Nominating Committee
Children: 6 adult children and step-children

ANTONIA NEW (ZIPURSKY) – 9 Church Lane. Resident for 18 years.
Education: Swarthmore College (BA); Weill Cornell Medical College (MD)
Occupation: Professor of Psychiatry
Civic Activities:  Sulam, Leadership Program at Westchester Reform Temple; Founder, Faculty Advisor Committee on Mentorship of Women at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS); Member Institutional Review Board of ISMMS and James J Peters VAMC; Faculty Advisor, Psychiatry Interest Group at ISSMS; Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at ISMMS; Scarsdale Schools Health Advisory Committee
Children: 22, 20, and 14


HEATHER T. GILCHRIEST (MEILI) – 89 Walworth Avenue. Resident for 5 years.
Education: Duke University (BA), Polytechnic School, Pasadena CA
Occupation: Mother at home and performing artist
Civic Activities: Greenacres School parent; Hitchcock Church member; 3 years as a Girl Scout troop co-leader, Greenacres
Children: 8 and 3

PETER E. HALLER – 10 Sage Terrace.  Resident for 12 years.
: Boston College Law School, Bentley College
Occupation: Attorney
Civic Activities: Coach, Scarsdale Little League (2007-2009)
Children: 15, 13, and 9

SHARON KASS HIGGINS – 5 Sage Terrace.  Grew up in Scarsdale.  Current Resident for 8 years.
: George Washington University (M. Ed); University of Vermont (BA)
Occupation: Stay at home parent
Civic ActivitiesCurrent: Greenacres After School Clubs Chair; GA Executive Board; SMS 6th Grade Rec Nights Co-Chair; GA Math Olympiad Chair; GA Spirit Day Chair; SMS Store Volunteer; Parent Member, Committee on Preschool Special Education; Past: GA Spirit Wear Chair; FMA Liaison; Class Parent; GA Pizza Wed Chair; Rec Basketball; Softball Coach
Children: 11, 10, 8 and 7

JON SINGER – 8 Montrose Road. Resident for 9 years.
Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS and MS in Electrical Engineering)
Occupation: Asset Management
Children: 10 and 5

HARRIET SOBOL – 10 Claremont Road. Resident for 48 years.
Education: Skidmore College; Boston University (BA); New York University (M. Ed.)
Occupation: Author of 12 books for children and young adults; Book Group Facilitator; Co-Author with Tom Sobol of two books for parents; Writing Group Leader; Teacher at Scarsdale Adult School; Freelance editor
Civic Activities:  Village Board Nominating Committee; Procedure Committee; Education Committee, Scarsdale Forum; Friends of the Library Board; Heathcote PTA President; Vice President and Voters Service, League of Women Voters; Friends of the Parks; Former teacher at Alternative School; Member of Committee that created the Alternative School
Children: 52, 50, and 47


GWEN E. FINGER – 19 Innes Road. Resident for 8 years.
Education: Simmons College (BA)
Occupation: Senior Manager, Deloitte
Civic Activities: PTA Member
Children: 5 and 2

WENDY K. GENDEL – 100 Brookby Road. Resident for 4 years.
Education: Syracuse University
Occupation: Media Executive
Civic Activities: Heathcote PTA; Scarsdale Rec Soccer; Scarsdale Youth Soccer
Children: 10 and 9

SETHU PALANIAPPAN – 4 Mohican Trail. Resident for 4 years.
Education: California Institute of Technology (BS); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)
Occupation: Consultant
Children: 10, 7, and 7

ZHIXIN (JULIE) ZHU – 53 Palmer Avenue. Resident since August 2013.
Education: Ramapo College (BA); Columbia University (MA); University of Phoenix (M.Ed.)
Occupation: Stay at home parent; former corporate executive of an apparel company and teacher
Civic Activities: Heathcote 3rd Grade Class Parent (2013-2014); Member of the Hong Kong Island Stingrays (swim club) Event Committee (2008-2013); Member of the Parent Advisory Group, Hong Kong International School (2007-2010)
Children: 10 and 8.


SYLVIA DUNDON – 12 Split Tree Road. Resident for 4 years.
Education: SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology (BS, cum laude)
Occupation:  Stay at home parent. Eight years as a professional buyer/merchandiser for US and European fashion labels
Civic Activities: Junior League of Westchester, Co-Chair of Holiday Boutique and Assistant Treasurer, as well as volunteer for various community projects; SMS clothing sale co-chair; SMS student store volunteer; Quaker Ridge PTA class parent, volunteer for various committees including Learning to Look, School Carnival, Book Fair, and Global Learning
Children: 11 and 8

JACQUELINE GOLDSTEIN – 12 Deerfield Lane. Resident for one year.
Education: University of Massachusetts (BBA); CPA (1989)
Occupation: Stay at home parent; former banker, JP Morgan Chase
Civic Activities: Quaker Ridge School: Member Global Learning Committee, Class Parent, Book Fair volunteer, Carnival volunteer, Parent chaperone; Campaign organizer for U.S. Congressional candidate in the Eighth District of Manhattan (2010); Congregation Habonim, New York, NY: Sisterhood Board Member, New Mother’s Group Creator, Mitzvah Day Co-Chair; Habonim Nursery School: Auction Fundraiser Co-Chair
Children: 11 and 7

LORI HOWARD PARKS – 30 Swarthmore Road. Resident for 16 years.
Education: Barnard College (BA)
Occupation: Homemaker
Civic Activities: SHS PTA member and volunteer; West Quaker Ridge Association
Children: 19 and 17

JULIE SHEPPE – 46 Franklin Road. Resident for 10 years.
Education: University of Maryland (BA)
Occupation: Real Estate Sales
Civic Activities: Young Writers Workshop Co-Chair (2012-2014); Quaker Ridge School Play Co-Chair (2013).
Children: 11, 9, and 4


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