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Bronxville Board of Education Announces Naming of Track, Tenure Appointments, and Pump Installation PDF Print Email


By Staff     

May 1, 2019: At the April 23 meeting of the Bronxville Board of Education, it was announced that the Bronxville School track, which is in the process of being renovated, will be named the “James Owen Mitchell Track.” Bronxville School athletic director Karen Peterson read the resolution at the meeting, after which it was adopted. A special dedication ceremony will be scheduled. The track is being changed from eight to six lanes on the straightaways and from six to four lanes on the curves to make it a 440-yard track.

James Owen Mitchell started at the Bronxville School in 1978 as a Latin teacher and has spent the last 41 years as the coach of the highly successful girls' cross country and girls' track and field teams, both of which he started. As stated in the resolution, over these years, “Fifty-seven girls on these teams have won 170 All-American certificates, the girls' cross country team has won 12 New York State championships, the girls' cross country team, the indoor track team, and the outdoor track team have won 115 league championships, the girls' cross country team has won 35 sectional championships, the indoor track team has won 33 sectional championships, the outdoor track team has won 36 sectional championships, the indoor/outdoor teams have won 5 national championships, and 14 girls on the cross country and track and field teams have been selected Con Edison Scholar Athletes.”

James Mitchell was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2009 and into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2013. He has now retired from his head coaching position at Bronxville but is still involved in the girls' track and cross country programs as an assistant coach. 

Other news announced at the meeting was the tenure appointments of math teacher Brittany Braia, physics teacher Benjamin Cornish, guidance counselor Aaron Kind, math teacher Rachel Sugarman, and teaching assistant Brian Crowley.

Bronxville School Assistant Superintendent Dan Carlin reported that, assuming good weather, the new turf field being installed on Chambers Field is targeted for completion by Memorial Day. Work will continue on the new track until it is completed. Carlin also noted that three new flood mitigation pumps are being installed this week. Two pumps were installed in 2017 as part of a large flood mitigation project. It was anticipated at the time that three additional pumps would be added to further mitigate future flood waters. 

Installation of flood mitigation pumps at the Bronxville School. Photo by staff.

The school will be focusing on other construction projects over the summer. There will be a budget hearing on May 9.

Pictured at top:  Bronxville School in April of 2019.

Photo by A. Warner







Bierwirth, Curran, and Thomas Seeking Re-election to School Board; Reception in May PDF Print Email


By Susan Meaney, Member, Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees

May 1, 2019:  The Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees ("NPC") has chosen to endorse three nominees, Jack BierwirthTom Curran, and Arleen Thomas, as its candidates to fill three vacant seats for the Bronxville Board of Education. Each of the nominees is currently a school board trustee and is seeking re-election to the position. The NPC is very enthusiastic about the candidates and the skills and abilities they bring to the school board. The annual school budget vote and school board trustee election will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

To give the Bronxville community the opportunity to speak with the nominees, the NPC will host a special reception on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Bronxville Field Club. All Bronxville residents are welcome and are urged to attend this informal gathering at which the three nominees will be available to answer questions from the community. We hope that community members will take advantage of this opportunity.  

Below is some background for each nominee (in alphabetical order).

Jack Bierwirth


Jack has brought his lifelong experience as a teacher, district administrator, and superintendent to his role as school board trustee. Now retired, Jack is serving the second of two one-year terms as a “Distinguished Educator” at the request of the New York State Commissioner of Education to help the Hempstead School District.

From teaching sixth grade in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to district administrator in Hempstead and Port Washington, Jack's extensive education experience includes being a superintendent in Freeport, Sachem, Portland, Oregon, and Herricks (Long Island). During his career, Jack has served on numerous statewide boards and commissions predominantly in the areas of student assessment and teacher licensure/training and evaluation. These associations have included the New York State Education Department (superintendent representative on statewide task force on Regents Diploma, credits, and exams), the New York State Council of School Superintendents (advisor on teacher and principal evaluation and student assessments), and the New York State Board of Regents Distinguished Educator Program. 

In addition to his service on the Bronxville School Board for the last three years, Jack has served in a variety of capacities in the not-for-profit arena. Currently, he serves on the board of The Bronxville Historical Conservancy. He has been a board member of the Bronxville Adult School and Cradle of Aviation (Long Island). In addition, Jack has been involved with the Macaulay Honors College (CUNY) and OECD PISA for Schools/America Achieves. Jack served as president of Outward Bound from 1998 to 2001. 

Jack and his wife, Jane, have been residents of Bronxville since 1998. They have three adult children, two of whom attended The Bronxville School. Jack attended Yale, majoring in history. He received his doctorate of education from UMass Amherst.

Tom Curran


Tom's vast career in law has been in both the public and private realms. He served as assistant district attorney under Robert M. Morgenthau, the district attorney of New York County, where he experienced all aspects of investigation and trial while successfully prosecuting hundreds of serious felony cases. He coordinated special grand jury investigations into a variety of industries. Currently, Tom is a partner at Peckar and Abramson, P.C., where he is chair of the white collar/government regulatory group. He is involved in a variety of areas in the legal profession: commercial and securities litigation, construction, corporate compliance and integrity counsel, real estate law, and labor law. 

In addition to his service as a school board trustee for the past three years, Tom's has served on Cardinal Dolan's Advisory Review Committee and Mayor Bloomberg's Committee on City Marshals and has worked with the New York City Police Academy. Tom has also served as chair of the New York City Bar Association's Criminal Advocacy Committee and as a board member of both the Prisoners' Legal Services of New York and the Fordham Law Alumni Association. 

Tom and his wife, Deirdre, have been residents of the village since 2008. They have three children, two in Bronxville Middle School and one in Bronxville Elementary School. Tom attended Georgetown University, majoring in history, before receiving his law degree from Fordham University.

Arleen Thomas


Arleen's expansive career in consulting and accounting began at KPMG, the global professional services firm that specializes in tax, audit, and advisory work. Currently, she is senior vice president of management accounting and global markets at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Arleen has focused upon many initiatives in learning and assessments that have led the AICPA towards competency-based learning, which included computer-based certification programs. She is leading an effort in a joint venture with Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a UK-based financial organization. As a member of the senior management team at AICPA, Arleen has also been assisting in the strategic plan for this non-for-profit body that represents the CPA profession.

Arleen has been involved in a myriad of civic and professional associations. She has been chair of XBRL International, a global consortium, focused on improving business reporting. She has also served on the FASB's Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council. Arleen’s service on the Bronxville School Board over the past three years has not been her only local community involvement. Arleen has been the treasurer of The Reformed Church of Bronxville and currently serves as an elder of the church. She also served as treasurer for Staging Our Future, the PTA benefit that assisted in rebuilding the school's auditorium. 

Arleen and her husband, Steve, have been residents of Bronxville since 2002. They have two children, one a senior at Bronxville High School, and one a college freshman. Arleen attended Metropolitan State University, majoring in accounting.

Photos courtesy Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.
Bronxville High School Students Debate and Express Views at Model UN Conference PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Apr. 24, 2019:  Members of the Model United Nations Club at Bronxville High School delivered their school’s first Bronxville Model United Nations Conference (BXVMUNC) on April 7. The daylong conference was designed to educate new students to the world of Model UN and provide current members with the opportunity to enhance their skills in a noncompetitive, inclusive, and collaborative environment.

“Our mission was to ensure that all delegates felt comfortable to jump right into debate and learn about the flow of committee and parliamentary procedure,” said senior Catie Burnell, the chargée d’affaires for the Bronxville Model UN Club, who organized the event along with seniors Jack Kochansky, Kevin Leka, Patrick Mooney, and Nathan Revadigar.


Kochansky, director general for BXVMUNC, opened the conference telling students of the value of the Model United Nations experience.

"Once I joined Model UN, I was able to push the boundaries of my comfort zone,” Kochansky said. “Surrounded by a hugely supportive group of people, I found my voice and learned how to express what I believe."

Fifteen students took on the roles of ambassadors and participated in three committees – the Social and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM), which focused on the issue of freedom of the press; the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), which debated nuclear disarmament; and the Security Council, which included middle school students whose debates focused on combating ISIS. Darla Silva, a senior adviser at UNICEF, provided the keynote address at the conference and shared her experiences of working in international relations.

“The most rewarding part of the day was hearing feedback from our youngest middle school delegates, who enthusiastically said that they look forward to participating in MUN in the future,” Burnell said. “Seeing that we were able to influence our younger peers to engage in something that we've been passionate about for years was truly inspiring.”


Burnell said she was impressed by the caliber of debate in which all delegates immersed themselves. As a result of their outstanding performance, sophomore Annabelle Krause, who represented China in SOCHUM, and junior Sasha Paradise, who represented South Korea in DISEC, earned Best Delegate awards. 

Rich Diefenbach, a social studies teacher and club adviser, said the students demonstrated a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm throughout the experience.

“Each student was engaged, shared ideas, and collaborated on solutions,” he said. “The committee chairs nurtured rigorous and thoughtful participation.”


Members of the Model United Nations Club attributed their success to the guidance they received from Diefenbach, as well as the support from teacher Christina Reidel, Principal Ann Meyer, and Assistant Principal Marcellus Lessane.

Pictured here: Bronxville High School students launched their school’s first Bronxville Model United Nations Conference (BXVMUNC) on April 7. 

Photos courtesy The Bronxville School

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

NPC Seeks Input from Bronxville Community by End of April PDF Print Email


By Thomas Hansen, Member, Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees

Apr. 10, 2019:  The Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees ("NPC") is currently undertaking a regular review of its procedures and is seeking input from the community during the month of April.

The NPC carries out an advisory review at least every four years to review its rules, procedures, and overall effectiveness. The objective is to keep the NPC effective and up to date to ensure fairness and continued relevance. The review process considers suggestions from current and former NPC members, school board trustees, and the community.
The Plan for Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees, the Rules of Procedure of the Non-Partisan Committee, and past review reports can be found on the NPC website.
Please email the committee at CLOAKING before the end of April with any suggestions, recommendations, or questions related to the NPC and its processes and procedures that you would like to be considered.

Wondering what the NPC is?
The NPC was formed in 1936 with the mission to identify and assess potential nominees in our community for the board of The Bronxville School on a nonpartisan basis and to ultimately nominate a slate of candidates for election to serve the school. The NPC has no affiliation with any political party and the process for identifying, assessing, and nominating candidates is driven solely by the shared goal of finding the best trustees in the community for the school's board. The NPC consists of 21 residents of Bronxville, comprising three elected representatives from each of Bronxville's seven election districts, who each serve for a three-year term.

Editor's noteAs 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.
BHS Senior Jay Burstein Earns Prestigious Science Award PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax for The Bronxville School

Apr. 3, 2019:  Bronxville High School senior Jay Burstein earned the prestigious NASA Earth System Science Award after presenting his research on invasive species during the annual Westchester Science & Engineering Fair, held at Sleepy Hollow High School on March 16.

For his project, Corydalis Incisa: A Silent Menace to the Native Environment of the Bronx River, Burstein studied an invasive plant that has been spotted around the Bronx River but has also spread to Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

“My study examined Corydalis’s growth, flowering, and reproduction in a one-square-meter plot along the Bronx River,” Burstein said. “Specifically, I did a controlled experiment to learn what would happen when no method of removal took place. In addition, I compiled weather data from NOAA’s website under the Westchester County Airport Weather Station. I computed averages for weekly temperature, daylight length, and precipitation, where I compared my findings with my observations of the plant’s growth.”

The NASA Earth System Science Award recognizes projects that provide insight into Earth’s interconnected systems. Presenting before a panel of judges, Burstein – who conducted his research as part of an assignment in his Bronx River Research class – said he explained how weather correlates with the growth of Corydalis.

“Winning a prestigious award is very meaningful because I am the first student from Bronxville to participate in this contest as a part of Bronx River Research,” he said.

“Since the plant that I was studying is relatively new, I am glad that I could bring this topic to the forefront and present it as a serious threat before Corydalis destabilizes the Bronx River.”

The fair featured more than 650 projects from 41 high schools across Putnam and Westchester counties.

Pictured here: Bronxville High School senior Jay Burstein.

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 

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