Apr. 28, 2021
To The Community,
My name is Martin Palmeri and I have been a resident of Bronxville for over eighteen years. Over the years I have spent time in other places including our close neighbor Scarsdale but have always returned home to the village. My family and I moved back to Bronxville for good in 2002, and I have a unique perspective on how special this town is.
Currently, I live with my wife and two children in the village on Greenfield Avenue. My son, Matteo is in the sixth grade, and my daughter Angelina is in the fourth. Like many families, the main reasons we have settled in Bronxville include first and foremost the quality of the education followed by the close-knit atmosphere of the Village (it certainly wasn’t the property taxes).
My children have had a superb education to this point and I wish nothing more than to ensure that it continues through the rest of their schooling. I want to make sure that the school continues to focus on the things that have made it great over the years. I wish to direct the board to redouble their efforts and focus on the traditional strong points of our school system: its academic rigor and phenomenal teaching. At the same time I feel it is incumbent of the board to support the faculty and administration in its mission to bring a broad range of programs they provide in all three divisions of our school. This is why I am running as an unendorsed candidate for the School Board.
Before I delve into details, in the interest of full disclosure, I think it is important to mention that I have no personal social agenda, and I have no other aspirations for office or other leadership roles in the village. My focus of this candidacy is strictly for the benefit of the students, teachers and school system.
As alluded to above, my focus, if elected to the board will be to assure that we continue to provide the best education for our students and that the board supports the administration in their mission to of maintaining the reputation of being one of the best school systems in the country. Providing a strong education that allows our students to compete academically and continue onto college and professions is the foundation of and in many ways the definition of “progress” at a societal level. It provides students and ultimately adults the tools they will need to give back to their community along with a knowledge base that allows them to keep an open mind and think critically. This is the strength of the culture at the Bronxville School and we must maintain and strengthen it.
It is imperative that we provide programs and academic classes that facilitate our students in their mission to achieve their personal goals, many of which is to ultimately continue on to the best post-high school education as possible. It is of utmost importance for the school provide an avenue for our students to distinguish themselves given the changing views on the SAT and other entrance exams. With that said, it is now more important than ever to contemplate alternative paths to the best collegiate opportunities. I would support a Flex education program where students have an ability to design their education around their interests and strengths. This is being tested at a number of schools across the country and showing great success. I would love to have the opportunity to bring this idea and others up for discussion at the board level. In short, l hope to guide the district in its mission to continue to lead and not become a follower.
The school as an institution, although sitting in the center of town, is often akin to an island. While it is part of Bronxville, it has its own budget, security and governing body. I believe there is much to gain for the school, its students, its administration and teachers in exploring creative ways to become more integrated with the surrounding community. We have a great opportunity to form programs with Colombia Universities Lawrence Hospital as well as the incoming Iona College. These possibilities are endless and can range from healthcare related programs, philanthropic, cultural, or even college classes beyond Advanced Placement being offered to our students. There can also be programs with the other schools for those pursuing careers in education.
As Bronxville is in many ways no different than the rest of country it has a significant number of students who have special needs and/or are learning disabled. These children require an advocate on the board. I would be happy to be that person, and in fact would find it a privilege. I have heard during my research of this position that a number of our children who have learning disabilities are having a very hard time academically and socially. I think the school should be working with these parents to assure these children are brought back into the fold and assisted to make up for the time lost. I have a strong belief that these children should maintain their part in the regular curriculum and should spend as much time as possible with their peer groups. This will help them assimilate into society more easily and give the student body as a whole the opportunity to experience how other children, who are not as fortunate as they are, to learn how to hone their skills of empathy and bring out the best in their peers who have additional needs.
Lastly, while we have a great sports program that should continue to be supported, it only represents 60% of our student body. Over the last few years, non-sports programs were decreased in support of the sports programs. I believe there needs to be more programs for students who do not participate in sports. An equitable solution needs to be found.
What are the credentials do I bring which support my candidacy? Besides my own academic credentials, and professional leadership experience I have always maintained a civic minded life. The most recent being maintaining my position as a leader in the volunteer fire fighting brigade in our neighbor Scarsdale. Yes, I have felt so strongly that about it that I continue to provide my services even after I moved out eighteen years ago. I am on the Board of 64 Sagamore Road where I have been president for the last six years. This has given me a lot of experience in how to best support others through what often can be very emotional concerns that people have as to their finances and home – in my journey exploring this position it is clear that these are similar to the emotional attachment we all have to our kids’ education.
I am a Managing Director at a large global financial services firm for the last fourteen years. I have an MBA in Finance, a CPA and CFA and strong financial, budgeting and negotiation skills. A lifetime of successful professional work in this field should be welcomed to a board that soon will negotiate and support new contracts with our administration and teachers.
I truly appreciate you reading this, and when the polls are open on May 18th, I would hope that you take all the above into consideration when you go to vote. If you are in agreement with my ideas I would be honored to have the endorsement of my candidacy with your vote.
Editor's note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
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