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The Epilepsy Foundation: Stronger Together

epilepsywalk1On Saturday, May 3, the Scarsdale High School Epilepsy Foundation Club held a walk and bake sale at the high school track. The afternoon skies were clear, and there was a nice turnout of people who really wanted baked goods ­ especially the high school juniors who wanted to satisfy their hunger after the grueling SAT!

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation is very underfunded, but is quickly gaining increased popularity as more and more people are raising awareness about epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation Club is a relatively new club at Scarsdale High School; it was started in the spring of 2013 by now­Scarsdale High School juniors Megan Shelton and Ariel Tzamarot. The two of them know numerous people whose lives are affected by epilepsy, and they founded the club in hopes of making a difference for their loved ones. The SHS Epilepsy Foundation Club works directly with the Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York.
The club, like many others at Scarsdale High School, primarily raises money and awareness through selling baked goods and bracelets. Earlier this year, numerous club members participated in the second annual Into the Light Walk for Epilepsy at Hudson River Park in New York City, held by the Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York. The walk was three and a half miles, with numerous checkpoints along the way and lots of encouragement from the Metropolitan branch members. While at the walk, the SHS club members received T-­shirts, pamphlets discussing how to live with epilepsy and how to help those that are living with epilepsy, and ultimately just had a fantastic day.

The walk that the SHS Epilepsy Foundation Club held today lasted from 12 to 4:30. Members sold pizza and numerous baked goods including Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies and spring­themed cupcakes. Many people came out to walk, but even more people came to eat the pizza and baked goods, which are documented to have been "insanely delicious".       

Just as the club was getting ready to change their location to the village, they were met with an extremely generous donation from the Siegel family. Later in the village, the club learned that
while many people do not want to buy baked goods after eating ice cream, people are always willing to donate. With the generous mentality and empty stomachs of people in Scarsdale, the Scarsdale High School Epilepsy Foundation Club raised $332.66.

If anyone has any questions regarding epilepsy, how to get involved in raising epilepsy awareness or would like to make a donation, please contact Megan Shelton at meganshelton763@gmail.com or Ariel Tzamarot at arieltzamarot@gmail.com.

epilepsywalk3

County Tennis Welcomes New Members

countyaerialCounty Tennis, one of Scarsdale's original tennis clubs is now in its 102nd season and is welcoming new members to enjoy a very active season of tennis for men, women and children. The club's nine soft courts are open and they are hosting competitive teams, social events, individual lessons, group clinics, and tennis academies for kids and teens. The Club has always participated in the Men's Westchester County Tennis league as well as the Women's MITL league and recently added USTA teams to their mix.

Two world-class tennis pros, Doug Proudian and Eric Langenkamp, are available for countyProudianlessons. Proudian, has been with the club for six years. He is a Larchmont native who played Division 1 Tennis for the University of Florida. He offers individual and group lessons, clinics and the Doug Proudian Tennis Academy for Children. Eric Langenkamp, a Scarsdale native who played Division 1 tennis at the University of Notre Dame, has joined as an additional pro this season.

County Tennis has a clubhouse with men's and ladies locker rooms, a scenic deck overlooking the courts and a snack bar catered by Lange's of Scarsdale. County offers players of all abilities a friendly, comfortable place to enjoy tennis at its finest.

The club is currently offering a new member adult discount rate of $250.00 off membership until May 31st.

County Tennis is hosting two events to introduce prospective members to the club:

On Saturday May 3rd they will host an Open House from 11:00 a.m.- 1:00pm. This eventcounty5 is open to all prospective new members and existing members are encouraged to bring guests. This is a free event that offers everyone the opportunity to try out the courts, meet the talented young pros, enjoy refreshments and meet the members.

On Friday May 9th there will be a Family Open House from 5:30-7:30pm. No member is needed to attend. Hit on the clay courts with your friends, spouses, kids (5 and over) or your grandchildren. This will be a fun way to play a little twilight tennis, meet the Pros and members, enjoy refreshments and get to know the club for your entire family.

The neighborhood club welcomes members from all over and is located on Brook Lane in Scarsdale. It can be accessed from the Bronx River Parkway, Greenacres Avenue and the Hartsdale Train Station. To learn more, call (914) 472-1136, email Jonathan Rosen at jonathanrosen10@gmail.com or visit www.countytennis.org
countyview

Seriously Good Eating

ribeyeFrom the moment you walk into Saint George, perched high above the Hudson River in Hastings, you can see you are in for authentic French fare. The blackboard is peppered with words like charcuterie, fromage and mouclade and the high, pressed tin ceiling, burnished woodwork and lanterns have an old-world, European flavor. Turns out the management are not strangers to quality food or Scarsdale, as this is the third venture for Executive Chef Chris Vergara of Scarsdale's Meritage and Harper's in Dobbs Ferry. This new addition to their enterprise is in the space formerly occupied by Buffet de la Gare, and is opposite the Hastings on Hudson train station.

Due to the popularity of Saint George, I am not sure you'll be able to walk in to this bistro on a weekend. chartreuseFortunately for us, a friend had booked a table a month before. We were greeted with a tempting cocktail menu and I ordered this very green "Chartreuse Swizzle" with green chartreuse, pineapple, lime, and nutmeg. It was a bit too sweet and the nutmeg made it taste like Christmas so next time I will order a glass of absinthe or choose from their extensive list of wines from all over France.

For appetizers, on the night we were there, they were offering a special salad of imported white asparagus topped with herbs and a sauce gribiche that was a standout. Also recommended is the frisee salad with crispy egg, jambon and mustard and the salade de marche with goat cheese – pictured here. A more daring member of our party went for the beef tartare tartinette and enjoyed it. Also featured is a raw bar with a variety of oysters and clams, as well as shrimp cocktail and a chilled half lobster.

chickenfricasseThough you will find fish on the menu, it does lean heavily on the meat side. Our party of six ended up ordering the Hudson Valley duck breast and a chicken fricassee with chunks of house cured bacon, mushrooms, carrots, and cognac-cream. The piece de resistance was the massive boneless rib-eye steak for two, served in a black cast iron pan, accompanied by sides of roasted brussels sprouts and pureed potatoes. The steak was well charred on the outside and rare in the middle and proved to be enough for 3 or even 4! I went for the striped bass with braised artichokes and carrots in white wine and coriander. Pictured here it was moist and tasty. It was evident that all the entrees were freshly prepared by a skilled chef and all six of us were impressed with our dinners.

I am ashamed to admit we indulged in dessert as well. The profiteroles with ice cream and saladejambonchocolate sauce were irresistible and the chocolate mousse with dark rum and espresso, topped with whipped cream was quickly gone as well.

Who is Saint George? Apparently the chef has a beloved rabbit called George who Vergara says is lucky to be the inspiration for the restaurant's name rather than the substance of a stew! So when you go, be sure to avoid the lapin.

Saint George
155 Southside Avenue
Hastings on Hudson, NY
914-478-1671
http://saintgeorgebistro.com/menus.html stripedbass
Dinner nightly from 5 pmasparagus
Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm
Closed Monday

Kids' B.A.S.E. and the Little School Appoints New Director

GhiozziThe Board of Trustees of Kids' B.A.S.E. and the Little School has appointed Angela Ghiozzi as the new Executive Director of Kids' B.A.S.E. and the Little School. Angela will be starting on June 1, 2014. Until then, Carmelita Bota will remain as Acting Executive Director. Ms. Bota will then return to her role as Assistant Director and will partner with Ms. Ghiozzi on staff training and development, curriculum and special projects.

Victor Moritz and Melissa Bornstein Co-Board Presidents commented that "We are impressed with Angela's breadth of experience, remarkable skillset, her warm and engaging personality, and her demonstrated passion for early childhood education. We welcome her with open arms to the KBLS family and look forward to a very promising future under her direction."

Ms. Ghiozzi is an accomplished early childhood and elementary school educator and administrator with thirty years of experience in the field. She is currently the Assistant Executive Director for Early Childhood Education, Borough Director and the Family Child Care Network Director for Lutheran Social Services of Metropolitan New York ("LSSNY"), where she supervises 10 preschools located in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn as well as 85 home-based centers in the Family Child Care Network. She was involved in the initial start-up planning, curriculum development, program management, staffing and regulatory compliance for these sites. Prior to joining LSSNY, Ms. Ghiozzi served as the Executive Director of other start-up preschool and respite program initiatives. She also has several years of experience working in special education in various roles, including Early Intervention & Preschool Special Education Consultant, Director of Special Education with the Valhalla School District and Program Coordinator at The Shield Institute. In addition, Ms. Ghiozzi was a teacher in elementary and intermediate public schools in the Bronx and a private preschool.

Ms. Ghiozzi graduated cum laude from New York University with a B.S. in Special Education. She has an M.A. in Early Childhood / Special Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University and a P.D. in Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle. Ms. Ghiozzi lives in White Plains and is the proud mother of one son, who will be graduating from Cornell University in May.

Ms. Ghiozzi says "I am honored and delighted to be joining the KBLS family as the new Executive Director. I look forward to meeting the children and their families in the near future and am eager to work with the staff to continue KBLS' success, develop a plan to achieve our goals, and create an exemplary program."

K.B.L.S. offers the highest quality of educational, social, and care experiences possible for resident Scarsdale children from age 3 through Grade 6. Kids' B.A.S.E. and The Little School are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, chartered by the NYS Board of Regents, and licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. K.B.L.S. offers year-round extended hours of operation to accommodate children and families through a range of programs including:

• The Little School: Scarsdale's premier preschool program with classes for 3s and 4s.
• Kids' B.A.S.E.: Before- and after-school enrichment and care programs for children in grades K-6. Free busing provided from Scarsdale elementary schools.
• Summer Scene Enrichment Program at the Little School: Full of fun learning experiences, daily swim at the Scarsdale Pool, crafts, sports and special events. Full and half- days are available from July 1-August 15.
• Summer Set Before-and-After Camp Enrichment: Summer enrichment programming for children in grades K-5. Free busing provided from Scarsdale Rec camp.

Architects Discuss Plans for Scarsdale Schools

KGDOn April 8, 2014, Russell Davidson, President of KG&D Architects, presented a progress report for district-wide improvements and renovations, reviewing proposed projects that would be funded by a bond, if the referendum is approved by the community later in 2014.

Assistant Schools Superintendent Linda Purvis opened the presentation reiterating why KG&D is the architect of choice for Scarsdale Schools. "They take a disciplined and collaborative approach to design," she said. "Their model is 'listen, imagine, build' and right now we are in the listening and imagining phase."

Russell Davidson began by cautioning the audience that "...lots of things are still developing and can change." He highlighted some recent projects KG&D completed including the rebuilt Post Road Elementary, the Roslyn High School cafeteria commons, several public school libraries, the Harvey School theatre and other theatre projects. "We aim for lighter, brighter, more contemporary spaces for children," he said.

Mr. Davidson continued by discussing the goals of the project in Scarsdale, including:

  • Updating school facilities to accommodate 21st century learning.
  • Providing adequate space for current and projected enrollment (for example, high school enrollment has increased almost 35% in recent years, the Edgewood library is outdated and small, etc.)
  • Building flexible spaces to accommodate the continually evolving educational program.
  • Addressing the project list (e.g. partial roof replacement at Quaker Ridge, work at Dean Field and district-wide technology upgrades among others.)

He then went into further specifics. Edgewood, for example, has infrastructure issues, including the front door of the school that does not function as the main entrance and the school's library that leaks and floods. At Heathcote, where there is not enough space in the multi-purpose lunchroom "the current proposed plan is to raise the roof and expand the building into the courtyard, and add a covered canopy," said Mr. Davidson. The Middle School lacks a dedicated instrumental music space leaving the auditorium as the go-to area for band and orchestra rehearsals -- which ties up the auditorium and prevents it from being used for large group activities. KG&D's proposal adds another instrumental music space. "And look," Mr. Davidson pointed out, "there is no way to get from the auditorium to the gym, so we would seek to connect them with a corridor and build a room off of it to be used as a multi-purpose space." Discussing building security, he added, "Securing the perimeter of the school would enhance the overall security of the school. He said that although the high school is well maintained, the facility is not light, bright or cutting-edge.

At the high school, architects are proposing to move a much-discussed comprehensive fitness center for cardio and strength training in order to make way for a 21st century learning commons that addresses the inadequate space of both the cafeteria and the library. Along with using half the old gym, which is now being used as a freshman cafeteria, this space could be re-purposed to create a multi-level learning commons and ancillary cafeteria with a new kitchen/serving area. The space would be flexible, bright and dynamic and include a passageway to the high school library, linking it to the rest of the school. The current fitness center is in disrepair, too small (3,000 square feet), and has outdated equipment. Mr. Davidson said, 'while several options are under review, our recommendation is that we could move it to below the gym and would allow the fitness center to be enlarged to between 4,500 and 6,000 square feet," It would be able to accommodate 2 fitness classes at a time.

Architects are also proposing to build a new maker space, labs and collaborative learning areas in the site of the former auto shop.

Also under consideration is renovation of the Little Theatre at the high school where structured seating would be replaced with movable and collapsible seating instead. This would allow the stage to be reoriented and also permit the seating to be pushed to the sides when a large floor area is required. "State of the art lighting and sound systems would be added to make the room more conducive to multi-purpose learning," he added.

Lastly, a study of Dean Field has been undertaken in consultation with a sports architect. The baseball field needs to be reconfigured and the plan is to push it out and move home plate. Fields at Fox Meadow School are also being studied to facilitate a reconfiguration.

The audience had quite a few questions for Russell Davidson. Mary Beth Evans said, "My understanding of 'transitioning to 21st century learning' is that it's about the technology but also the arts. I see private schools prioritizing the arts more than public schools. What's your assessment of this, especially at the high school level?" Mr. Davidson said, "What I see in the maker space labs is art, design, and creative thinking. I see these as art studios. They are spaces for creative thinking and making. I think Scarsdale's emphasis on the arts is actually very impressive. A true little theater would help a lot and is being proposed for renovation. Every innovation lab or learning commons can be used as an informal performance space."

Another audience member asked, "In your assessment, were there electrical issues and technology issues?" Mr. Davidson responded yes, and estimated that $1million would need to be invested to upgrade the district's technology infrastructure.

One concerned parent asked, "What would the impact be of no longer having the gyms available? Also, how accommodating would the new fitness space be?" Kenneth Bonamo, Principal of the High School responded to this question, saying that certain sports like gymnastics, fencing, and golf would need to be eliminated as classes due to space issues. "Certain sports will not be able to be relocated to a multi-purpose room," he said, "and this may mean that practices have to be staggered. The benefit of a learning commons for all justifies the transition of space that is only used by the athletes," he argued. He also emphasized that the new fitness center and multi-purpose room should allow for most physical education programs to continue.

Another person asked if the presence of the maker space would require changes to staffing or the curriculum. Bonamo answered that they have envisioned three uses for the maker space:

  • To enhance courses that are currently taught
  • To develop new courses such as robotics or engineering
  • For independent use by individual students who want to undertake their own projects.

"And what about Greenacres School," another parent asked. Davidson said that Greenacres is a sprawling building that fills every corner of the site. He said that it is not well designed. The district has asked KG&D to do a study of the building to decide whether it would be best to renovate or build a new school. This is beyond the scope of the current project.

Another parent asked, "In terms of construction scheduling, when would the learning commons be available? The driving force for this is that the 9th grade class is so large." Mr. Davidson responded that the best possible scenario is that the vote would happen this fall, the budget would pass, and construction would start in December 2015 (a year from when the bond proposal is approved). Construction would go on for a minimum of one year, so new spaces would not be in use before the winter of 2016 or spring of 2017. He explained, "Architecture happens in elephant time... and elephants are pregnant for 18 months!" But he added, "students love construction!"

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