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Schools and Camps

Renovation of Bronxville School Library Nearing Completion PDF Print Email


By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter

Sep. 4, 2019: The reconfigured Bronxville School library, still an active construction zone, is expected to be open for student use on Monday, September 9, according to Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business.

The updated library is designed to create an adaptable space that will accommodate changing program needs and move away from the traditional, more static 19th-century book depository model. The newly refurbished library will open as a space conducive to flexible, project-based learning, collaboration, and interaction among students.

Architectural changes to the library include a new glass wall along the corridor, which will give passersby a view into the space. Most of the book stacks have been removed from the main room and, Carlin said, although some shelves will remain for books, the number of books to be housed in the library has been cut by one-half to two-thirds. Removal of the stacks will make the stained-glass windows more visible, as well as let more natural light into the room. Space previously occupied by the stacks will be for collaboration and workspace for students.

“We tried to keep the old look in the middle section and make the two side rooms more modern,” Carlin said. Original light fixtures are being restored and will be installed with up-to-date wiring and LED lights.


Rooms at either end of the library’s main room will be interactive learning spaces outfitted with educational technology. New, wider doorways promote flow from these areas into the main room. These more modern spaces will have lighter-weight, modular furniture pieces that accommodate flexible configurations for small-group learning. State-of-the art projectors and sliding white boards will be installed.

The educational technology room to the north of the library’s main room will ultimately have a dropped ceiling. The room’s HVAC system, which will be installed above that ceiling, is part of the overall bond project for capital improvements and will be installed during the summer of 2020. “We’re leaving that ceiling as is for now,” Carlin said, “so this room will remain a bit incomplete.”


The library renovation, conceived in 2014, approved by the New York State Education Department, and supported financially by the Bronxville School PTA, suffered a delay in 2018 when bids for the $1 million refurbishment resulted in bids between $1.4 million and $1.5 million. Ultimately, those bidders decided not to proceed with the project.

“It took us three or four tries to get a design that would be effective with that $1 million funding,” Carlin noted. “That’s why this project has taken so long.” He added that, with the approval of the bond referendum, the district could move the cost of the library’s HVAC upgrade to the overall bond project. “That’s what finally made the library renovation work,” he said.

Pictured: Bronxville Library under construction in late August.

Photos by A. Warner

Bronxville School Opens 2019-2020 Academic Year with Construction Projects in Progress PDF Print Email


By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter

Sep. 4, 2019: 
 Bronxville School Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano noted that the school “has been a busy place” recently preparing for the 2019-2020 school year. New teachers have received their orientation and curriculum leaders have met. Both the track and Chambers Field are open, and the school’s teams are using those facilities for practice. New public address system digital clocks, with the ability to scroll announcements, have been installed in hallways and every classroom.

The library renovation is approximately one week behind schedule because of a long lead time for custom casework. Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business, anticipates that the library will be open to students the second week of September.

Work has commenced on the Meadow Avenue storm drain, which will cross the school campus next to Hayes Field and connect with the large storm drains that are part of the flood mitigation project in place. The project is designed to alleviate flooding in the Meadow Avenue area during heavy rains. Although crews have dug up the sidewalk and hauled the concrete away, egress to the high school will remain in place until the pipe is delivered. At that point, the sidewalk area and high school entrance will be closed and the pipe laid in sections.


Drainage equipment arriving at the Bronxville School; Photo by A. Warner

“We will start the year with the normal high school entrance,” Montesano noted. He predicts that in late October that entrance will be closed. At that point, high school students will use the school’s front entrance. The district has made arrangements with the Bronxville Police Department and village administrator to designate the section of Pondfield Road at the front of the school as a drop-off and pick-up point. No parking will be allowed on the school side of the street from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Other construction work at the school includes preparation of the courtyard for the cafeteria expansion. Vegetation and cement have been cleared from the area and construction crews will drive a pile to test the soil. A total of 45 piles will be driven for the project, but Superintendent Montesano emphasized that this work will not be done during school hours. He added that nothing inside the cafeteria itself will be touched during the 2019-2020 school year. Construction crews will erect a protective wall to shield the cafeteria during their work on the courtyard. During the summer of 2020, they will break through the existing walls to complete the cafeteria renovation.

Dan Carlin reported that the district finished the 2018-2019 academic year in a better fiscal position than he had forecast. Not only will the 2020 property tax levy be offset by a $500,000 contribution from the unrestricted fund balance, but an equal contribution was made to the capital reserve fund. Carlin stated that the new, increased Westchester County sales tax rate, which was not budgeted for, will put the district in a favorable revenue position for the 2019-2020 year.

The Bronxville Board of Education will hold its next meeting on Thursday, September 19, at 7:00 pm.

Pictured at top: Bronxville School Board of Education.

Photo by N. Bower

Bronxville School Welcomes New Faculty and Interns PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax for The Bronxville School

Sep. 4, 2019:  The Bronxville School welcomed new faculty members and interns during a two-day orientation that was held on August 26 and 27. The group, who bring an array of experience to the district, met with administrators and curriculum leaders to discuss policies and procedures before the start of the new school year.

Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rachel Kelly welcomed the new hires, shared the advantages of being in a K-12 building and encouraged them to enjoy their time in Bronxville. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mara Koetke discussed the district’s vision for moving the Bronxville Promise forward before challenging the teachers and interns to test their innovation, critical thinking and communication skills by building a marshmallow-topped tower out of spaghetti, tape and string. The group also participated in a scavenger hunt and received a tour of the school and village.

Professional Staff Development Coordinator Dana Landesman and Mentor Coordinator Toby Gillen, who coordinated the mentoring program, said they were excited to welcome their new colleagues.


The Bronxville School new psychology interns and elementary school teacher residents 

The following are new staff members at the Bronxville School: 

  • Lisa Azria – High school special education life skills
  • Andrew Burke – High school computer science
  • Kerry Casto – Fifth grade
  • Eva Cieloszyk – Middle school Latin
  • Erin Doolan – Elementary school physical education
  • Allyn Flaherty – Middle school math
  • Brian Halling – High school mathematics
  • Kris Hart – High school social studies
  • Valentina Kalaj – Fifth grade
  • Uma Karkala – Middle and high school band
  • Vanessa Lawson – Middle school English
  • Jessica Liberatore – Middle school special education
  • Leigh Merin – Elementary school art
  • Gina Perl – Third grade
  • Cesar Sanchez – Middle and high school Spanish
  • Daniel Tocci – Middle school science
  • Wyeth Tvenge – Middle school orchestra
  • Dr. Thomas Viviano – High school psychologist
  • Kathryn Westherhem – First grade
  • Michael Whelan – High school special education 

The following are new elementary school teacher residents: 

  • Julia Alberico
  • Elise Capozzi
  • Jamie Carroll
  • Kerry Ford
  • Fiona Keelan
  • Lily O’Neill
  • Samantha York

The following are new psychology interns:

  • Amanda Czik
  • Nazia Denese
  • Amerell Hamo
  • Delia Hernandez
  • Rosemarie Kurtz
  • Julet Schwarz
  • Gina Sciacca


Pictured at top: The Bronxville School new faculty members

Photos courtesy of the Bronxville Union Free School District


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

New Assistant Principal Named at Bronxville Elementary School PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Jul. 10, 2019:  The Bronxville School Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano are pleased to announce the appointment of Rakiya Adams as assistant principal of Bronxville Elementary School. 

With 13 years of experience in education, Adams joins the Bronxville School community from Linden Tree Elementary School in the Bronx, where she served as a second-grade teacher and most recently as a STEM resource specialist and math coach. During her tenure, she worked closely with teachers to design and implement project-based learning units for K-5 and led professional development workshops for teachers. Adams began her career as a universal pre-K teacher in the Bronx before becoming an education director at an early childhood center.

“She is knowledgeable and approachable,” Bronxville Elementary School Principal Tricia Murray said. “Her experience and passion will complement our work around the Bronxville Promise because of her background in project-based learning and leadership with STEM initiatives.”

Adams earned her master’s degree in early childhood education from Touro College and her educational leadership certification from The College of Saint Rose.

She will step into the position on July 1, 2019. 

Pictured here: Rakiya Adams. 

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School

2Editor's note
: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff


Board of Education Closes 2018-2019 Academic Year, Addresses Facilities Work for 2019-2020 PDF Print Email


By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter

Jul. 3, 2019: At its final regular meeting of the 2018-2019 academic year on June 20, the Bronxville Board of Education addressed final business for the year and addressed issues facing the district for the 2019-2020 year.

Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business reported that the renovation of Chambers Field is complete. Work on the track has been proceeding for approximately a month but has been slowed by several days of rain. Carlin said, however, that completion is expected for late June or early July.

Board trustee Tom Curran expressed concern about field access and security over the summer when school is not in session. “There has been some consideration about bringing in a new fence to enclose the field only and leaving the track open,” he said. He suggested the board evaluate the merits of installing a fence around the field only or maintaining the current fence enclosing the field until the opening of school in the interest of preserving it for students and leaving the track open.

Carlin noted that many of village residents who supported the Chambers Field and track project use the track. “I think keeping the track open over the summer will be very important for the community,” he said.

Tom Curran suggested that the district consider hiring a security guard to patrol the field whether or not it’s fenced. Dan Carlin noted that the district will work more diligently to ensure that only entities that have purchased permits for sports camps will be granted access to the facility during the summer.

Dan Carlin also reported that work on the library commons is progressing and that the contractor is ahead of schedule.

Work on the capital projects, approved by voters in May, is scheduled to begin mid-August. Carlin emphasized that both he and Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano have expressed to the contractor that the installation of a 36-inch storm water main, designed to alleviate flooding on Meadow Avenue and in the surrounding area, is a top priority

The board accepted the certified official results of the May 21 vote and election:

  • Proposed 2019-2020 budget: 193 votes in favor; 61 votes against.
  • Proposition #1, the $1.5 million Capital Projects Referendum: 204 votes in favor, 49 votes against.
  • For the board seat held by Arleen Thomas: 210 votes in favor, 3 write-in votes
  • For the board seat held by Jack Bierwirth: 208 votes in favor, 2 write-in votes
  • For the board seat held by Tom Curran: 214 votes in favor, 6 write-in votes

The Bronxville Board of Education will reconvene on Thursday, July 11, for its annual reorganization meeting.

Pictured here:  Bronxville School Library under construction

Photo by A. Warner

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