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fair1SHS juniors spend their day at the Edgewood fair.The annual elementary school fairs were on Saturday, May 11th. Each school set up games, food, and raffles on the blacktops outside for the neighborhoods to enjoy. The Edgewood fair this year commemorated Edgewood's 100th year. Admission for the fair was free, to celebrate, and there were lots of balloons and banners around. Fox Meadow School was celebrating its 90th year, and at 1 pm there was a birthday celebration with cake for everyone at the fair. There was no shortage of smiling faces at the fairs this year, as kids and parents alike got to enjoy themselves with their communities.

Fair2People can pose with a cut-out of Edgewood's principal or "100" balloons to celebrate.

Fair3Parents sell toys at the Edgewood fair.

Fair4Kids gather on the blacktop for a cakewalk at Edgewood.

Fair5Edgewood has colorful horses decorating the fair.

Fair6Kids line up to play classic carnival games at Edgewood.

Fair7Foxes celebrate Fox Meadow's 90th anniversary.

Fair8Greenacres students help to sell treats at the fair.

Fair9Gaga at Greenacres!

Fair10Fox Meadow kids play games on the blacktop.

 ewoodfair3Kids play with the painted horses at the Edgewood fair.

ewoodfair1Left to Right: Tashia Brown (Incoming Principal), Scott Houseknecht (Retiring Principal), Heedan Chung-Goh (PTA Co-President), Susie Smith (PTA Co-President), William Yang (Assistant Principal)

Mimi RocahI spotted a familiar face at the Scarsdale Library Fundraiser in January and couldn’t place her; did I know her from the neighborhood? Was she a colleague or someone I had met on the tennis court? But when she introduced herself I realized that the reason I knew her was that she was Mimi Rocah, a lawyer and commentator who we often watch on television, where she is a frequent guest on MSNBC.

I later learned that Mimi Rocah would be appearing in Scarsdale on Tuesday May 21 at a class hosted by the Scarsdale Adult School and was eager to find out more about her. According to her bio, Rocah is currently Pace Law's Distinguished Fellow in Criminal Justice and a Legal Analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. Prior to her time at Pace Law, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from February 2001 until October 2017. As an AUSA, Rocah successfully prosecuted and tried numerous cases including several high profile organized crime cases.

She also worked as a litigation associate at the law firm Cravath, Swain and Moore. Rocah graduated from New York University School of Law, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif in 1997, and with a B.A. in American History, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1992.

But most interesting to me was the fact that she lives in Scarsdale. She agreed to answer a few questions and here is what we learned:

How did you make the connection Brian Williams and MSNBC?

I made the connection to MSNBC through Pace Law School where I am a Criminal Justice Fellow. I did some appearances on local news shows (Richard French Live), ABC, CNN and MSNBC and ended up signing a contract with MSNBC which I recently renewed (they are yearly contracts).

Did you need to receive any training or coaching before you began your television interviews?

I probably needed it, but they don't give you any -- it's trial by fire and you figure it out!

Did they provide you with the questions they would ask you in advance of the show?

No, I am never provided with questions in advance. Most shows give you general topics that they will cover for each "hit" (that's what they call appearances).

What similarities are there between speaking on television and speaking in court?

The similarities are -- being able to think on your feet, respond quickly to questions that may (or may not!) have seen coming and stay cool under pressure no matter what.

Did you have any tough moments on air -- when you were questioned by the other panelists or the host?

Absolutely -- part of why this is fun is that it's challenging because it's never the same thing. The "toughest" moments on air have been I constantly feel challenged by new law related topics that come up, daily it seems, some of which I know about and some of which I need to educate myself.

Was it challenging as a mother and professor to make these appearances? Are they taped or live?

All the shows are live. It's very challenging to make the schedule work because primetime shows are in the evening or at night when I want to be with my kids. I try to limit the number of nights I do shows per week and I basically have no social life! Everything is a trade off.

How and why did you end up living in Scarsdale?

My husband, David Anders, grew up here and loved it. Once we decided to move out of the city, there was no question we would move here.

Did you attend public school? If so, why did you make that choice for your own children?

I grew up in Chicago and went to private schools. My husband, David Anders, is a product of the Scarsdale public school system and loved it. It was one of the reasons we wanted to move here.

What do you like about living here?

We love the physical aspects of living in a suburb -- having a house, backyard, green everywhere. But, the best part is the sense of community and the fact that so many people here are involved in helping and making their communities a better place in big ways and small. It's a great example for our children and makes me proud.

At various times in your career have you found it difficult to balance your work obligations with your family responsibilities?

Yes -- at every stage of my career I have found it difficult! It has gotten a little easier as my kids get older because I bring them into the conversation about my work and what I am doing and why I think it's important and they seem to understand more. They are both very engaged about politics and current events! There were times as a prosecutor and with TV when I have to let work dictate -- but I try to limit those and know when it's a real "emergency." And, I always let people I work with know that I prioritize my kids. I'm not going to hide that.

Do you think that the US Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue the case against the Presidents when he leaves office?

Whenever they can. They like to make cases. Period.

Sign up to see her live at the Scarsdale Adult School on Tuesday May 21 at 7 pm at Scarsdale High School.

JillBowlJill Spieler, a committed community volunteer who never sought the limelight found herself in the spotlight on April 10 where she was showered with love and praise as the winner of the 2019 Scarsdale Bowl at Mulino’s at Lake Isle.

Spieler, who is trained in fine art and works in graphic design did not bring the traditional skills to the many leadership positions she held, but used her ability to coalesce groups and form teams to produce an impressive list of accomplishments to benefit the Scarsdale community. In the words of colleague and former Bowl winner Jackie Irwin, Spieler “did what she was asked, and asked what she could do” with energy, grace and enthusiasm. Her modest demeanor belies the huge impact she had on the community.

Jill’s first major volunteer work in Scarsdale was in the 1980’s when she joined what was then the Child Care Association of Scarsdale that provided after school care for the children of working women. Seeing that the community needed more than an ad hoc after school program, she worked with her team and eventually created Kids’ B.A.S.E. and the Little School, a full time nursery school and after school program that is now housed in it’s own building. Spieler served on its board for many years and helped to raise the $1.8 million to construct the facility that now serves hundreds of families.

In 1997 she joined and eventually lead the Village Parks and Recreation Council where she strengthened the programs, and brought Scarsdale Little League to town. She was Vice President and President of the Town and Village Club – now the Scarsdale Forum – and revitalized the organization with a highly successful 100th anniversary celebration that raised over $100,000.

She served on too many Village advisory boards, nominating committees to list, but perhaps did her most notable work during her six years as a member of the Scarsdale Board Education, two as its president.SpielerFamilyThe Spieler Family

Suzanne Seiden, who served on the School Board with Spieler said this about Jill’s tenure on the Board:

“Jill was also an effective leader who took on critical challenges and controversial issues and worked relentlessly to find well-supported solutions. As President, Jill appointed the Education Foundation Steering Committee that after study and research resulted in the Board’s approval of the creation of the Scarsdale Education Foundation. She worked tirelessly to build consensus on a range of policy and budgetary matters. During Jill’s tenure, the District implemented several forward thinking curriculum enhancements such as the launch of the Center for Innovation, the Global Learning Alliance, and The Google application for educators. She also shepherded the district through the implementation of a new state-mandated teacher evaluation system as well as the search for a new high school principal that brought us the wonderful Ken Bonamo.

ScarsdaleFoundationThe Scarsdale FoundationJill was also instrumental in the launch of the new curriculum that began as Scarsdale Education for the Future – now known as Scarsdale Education for Tomorrow - with its emphasis on critical thinking and preparing our students to succeed in a global economy. Jill was also an important part of the District’s efforts to better evaluate student work including the grade 5 capstone and the ninth grade world history projects. These culminating projects gave the students the opportunities to demonstrate age-appropriate reading, research, technology and writing skills; these assessments provided an opportunity to evaluate critical and creative thinking while fostering a love of learning.

Jill led the Board to adopt a budget in the face of a newly imposed state mandated tax cap. She did not allow this new budgetary reality to move Scarsdale off of our mission to enhance the education for all Scarsdale students.”

Using a sports metaphor that she often employed as president of the school board herself, Seiden summed up by saying, “But tonight is about recognizing, saluting, and saying thank you to our favorite team member who helped lead and served on incredibly successful teams.”BowlWinnersFormer winners of the Scarsdale Bowl

Spieler’s children Russ and Dani were also given the opportunity to toast their mother and offered some amusing insights into Jill’s ability to juggle a full time job, and an overtime volunteer career without giving anyone short shrift.

Russ, who now has three young children of his own marveled at how well his mother was able to manage. He said, she was “there for us,” but at the same time, busy hosting events in the living room, creating forums for discussion and being respectful of other people’s desires and needs. From his mother he learned the value of hard work, not settling for mediocrity and listening and encouraging others, lessons he hopes to pass down to his own children.

Her daughter Dani, who is now a professional actress said, “All this happened before I left the house – all when I was living under the same roof? Who knew? Not me!”
She said, “Her volunteering did not impact our lives – we came first. As far as I was concerned I was my mom’s top priority. But there were subtle hints … the dining room full of papers, the people in the living discussing boring topics…”

PekarekJillJill Spieler with Scarsdale Bowl Chair Deb PekarekShe credited her dad’s ability to work from home with helping to “make both of their goals a reality,” and thanked him for driving her to dance classes and all her extracurricular activities which made it possible for her mother to have a career and volunteer responsibilities.

Dani said, “Until I got engaged -I didn’t understand what an asset it could be to have Jill Spieler on your team! I have come to realize that her volunteering affected my entire life” and thanked her mother for teaching her to manage her time, be organized and detail oriented.

Deb Pekarek, who chaired the 2019 Bowl Committee thanked Spieler and all the people in the audience who “help make Scarsdale the exceptional community that it is.” She recognized the 15 past Bowl winner in attendance and noted the passing of five former Bowl winners this past year:

Bev Sved
Eric Rothschild
Jane Bedichek
Eric Rothschild
Eleanor November

She thanked the Bowl Committee for planning the dinner, sending out invitations, and choreographing the night, with a special shout out to Abby Sroko who served as the committees secretary and treasurer.Proclamations

She recognized many local leaders in attendance at the dinner including:

State Assemblywoman Amy Pulin
County Legislator Ben Boykin
Judge Arlene Katz
Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick
Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo
Scarsdale School Superintendent Thomas Hagerman
Village Justice Jack Alemany
Acting Village Justice Cindy Dunne
Scarsdale Library Director Beth Bermel
State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins

along with a full table of proclamations from Scarsdale, Albany and Washington DC.

RandyGuggenheimerScarsdale Foundation President Randy GuggenheimerRandy Gugggenheimer, President of the Scarsdale Foundation who is the custodian of the Scarsdale Bowl explained the work of the Foundation, which provides grants to community organizations in need and need-based scholarships for Scarsdale college sophomores, juniors and seniors. He said, “last year we awarded $130,000 and we’d like to do more.”

Spieler thanked the entire Bowl Committee, and said how surprised she was when she learned she was the 2019 recipient of the Bowl. She said, “I must admit I was quite taken aback by the small crowd at my front door one Sunday night in early January. Gary answered the door, recognizing many of the faces. He figured for sure I was going to be asked to engage in more “volunteering.” When I came to the door, I was thoroughly surprised. It took a few moments for the news to sink in and scan all the faces. I started to recall all the wonderful experiences I had shared with so many of you.”

She continued with a quote, “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections (once a year), but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

Spieler spoke of her love of community, saying, “Although I enjoyed my career in graphic design and marketing, I loved my work in the community. I had a great passion for the ideals we were trying to achieve, which gave me tremendous gratification and fulfillment. I learned so many skills from the people I was working with, which helped me to grow as a person.”

She thanked her husband Gary, “who never made me feel guilty when I sometimes, many times, chose my volunteer commitments over my paid job,” and said that the people in her office gave her a little sign that read “Stress is what happens when your gut says, no… and your mouth says… ‘Sure, I’d love to!’”

She continued, “As parents and role models we should naturally want to model this in our own lives. And so many of us do. That is why we are all here tonight. To honor the act of volunteering. And I applaud all of you for all that we do together, collectively as a cooperative community; that is when Scarsdale is at its best.

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I want to especially thank my husband, because without you I would have never been able to sustain the pace. You were my cheerleader, advocate, and the man behind the curtain who was always there for Russ and Danielle, when I wasn’t. My kids for not making me feel guilty running out the door at night. My friends, co-workers and volunteers I have worked with over the years. You worked alongside me and bridged the gaps when needed.

Thank you all for coming tonight to help me celebrate this memorable occasion.”

shredgraphicA sparkling new exercise studio with an original workout plan has opened on Weaver Street in Scarsdale. SHRED Fitness, which employs an exercise routine inspired by skiing, is the brainchild of Caroline Levere who has come up with this novel approach to fitness boot camp and designed and built a studio to facilitate the routine.

We stopped by for an introductory class and were pleasantly surprised by Levere’s routine and the positive aura she emits. We began with a series of warm up exercises, some floor and some standing, moved into a few sets of resistance exercises using weights and the medicine ball, did some aerobics and movement and ended up slaloming downhill on the skier’s edge machine. The time went quickly and we felt that all muscle groups had been worked out. For those with worries about high impact exercise or those suffering from injuries, the plan can be quickly adapted to meet your needs.

Levere, who has an MBA and formerly worked at some top design brands, is pursuing her passion for exercise and is eager to share her novel plan with you. She’s even designed a line of SHRED fitness attire that you can find in the shop, located at Weaver Street. There’s plenty of free parking in the back.

According to Levere, “SHRED Fitness is a ski-inspired full body workout, perfect for people of all fitness abilities. Although we are a ski-shredskiersinspired studio, the workout is loved by skiers and non-skiers alike. Expect to get your heart rate up during cardio drills, improve your balance, stability, and core strength, and SHRED it up on the skier's edge! Classes are 45 minutes long, and we have three showers in the studio in case you need to shower after class.”

Receive a free introductory class when you sign up with this offer code: SDALE10583.

SHRED Fitness
1481C Weaver Street
Scarsdale, NY 10583


coffeewiththemayorThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by newly-elected Mayor of Scarsdale, Marc Samwick:

Dear Scarsdale Community,

On behalf of Jonathan Lewis, Seth Ross and Rochelle Waldman, I want to express our deep gratitude for supporting our slate and the non-partisan system that has served our village so well for over a century. We would like to especially thank the campaign committee for their tireless hard work and dedication. Scarsdale is very fortunate to have so many volunteers that contribute so much to the vibrancy and vitality of our community.

One of the most important things your Trustees and Mayor can do is to listen you. To that end, I would like to kick off new and less formal communication channels to hear from you. I will be at Metro Deli at five corners in Heathcote having coffee on Saturday, April 6th from 4:00-5:30pm. I welcome you to join me to say hi, let me know what’s on your mind or to ask questions about the village. If you are not able to stop by on Saturday, please feel free to email me at any time at

Thank you again for your support and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

Marc Samwick

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