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Pam Fuehrer and Alison Singer Selected to Continue to Lead the Scarsdale Board of Education

BoardLeadership2020aPam Fuehrer and Alison Singer will continue to lead the Board of Education. There was a celebratory air to the final official Scarsdale School Board meeting on Tuesday night June 7 via Zoom.

The Board welcomed two new members, who recently won their seats in a contested School Board election that drew over 4,000 votes in Scarsdale’s first vote by mail school board election. Newly elected members Bob Klein and Amber Yusuf took their oaths of office and were sworn in by Dr. Thomas Hagerman.

Next, the two current leaders of the School Board, President Pam Fuehrer and Vice President Alison Singer were both re-nominated and elected unanimously by the Board of Education. They too took the oath of office and were sworn into office.

While customarily Board leaders are selected in July to serve for a year, Fuehrer and Singer have already served for six months. They were appointed in January after former Board President Scott Silberfein served an 18-month term, extending his leadership term. Fuehrer took the top spot in January, 2020 with the expectation that she too would serve for a year and a half.

After appointing the leadership, the Board passed resolutions for a long list of pro-forma matters such as the appointment of Board officers, auditors and consultants and adopting the district’s Code of Conduct.

During the public comments portion, Suzie Hahn, speaking for the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale posed some questions about the code of conduct. Hahn, who is the School Portfolio Chair for the LWVS, asked about the board policy on interrogation and search of students and requested that a school official be named to conduct the investigation. She also asked who at the district was designated as the complaint officer for claims of discrimination and harassment, and requested more details on how Zoom learning has impacted students rights and privacy. She said the code should have more clarification on the term “reasonable force.”

A group of high school students who expressed concern about changes to Title IX regulations scheduled to go into effect on August 14, asked what direction the board was taking in regard to their eight demands as enumerated at the prior meeting. They said, “We implore the board to move on these demands before the August 14 deadline.”

Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez thanked the board and Dr. Hagerman for welcoming comments on the Code of Conduct. She said, “I wrote an article seven years ago touting the ethnic diversity in Scarsdale. I still stand by my opinion piece at the time…. but diversity does not necessarily mean inclusion. I know that all the Board members are on Facebook and there was a comment that opened my eyes to harassment of Hispanic students at Scarsdale High School. What is the purpose of the Code of Conduct and what can parents do when they discover an incident of harassment? Please communicate what rights people have.”

Eric Rauschenbach responded, “If there are any issues that parents have experienced, connect with the building Principal or Psychologist, and you can contact my office as well. Each family receives a copy of the Code of Conduct.”

Board President Pam Fuehrer welcomed Amber and Bob to the Board and said “Alison and I appreciate the opportunity to serve the community…. It is an honor and a privilege.” She offered congratulations to the Scarsdale Class of 2020, saying “I have been on the board for four years and in that time I have witnessed an increase in student voice and choice.” She recognized everyone who helped to organize the senior graduation events and thanked the Mayor for declaring a Class of 2020 day.

Dr. Hagerman also congratulated the class of 2020 and recognized the faculty, staff and administrators. About the next school year he said, “We still don’t have guidance as to whether or not schools will be open to students and faculty in September … It is likely that the road ahead will not be easy…I wish I had the power to return this situation to normalcy.” He noted all the feedback the administration has received from the community and said it was helping to inform the district’s plans for the future.


Drew Patrick announced that Director of Facilities John Trenholm will be leaving the district after 25 years along with his wife Pam Trenholm , assistant to the deans at Scarsdale High School. He noted that Trenholm has managed many large projects and said he will be missed. Trenholm received a round of applause Via Zoom.

During public comments, Jyoti Ruta of 40 Tunstall Road spoke about the reopening of schools, saying she is addressing this issue at work as well. She said, “There are a litany of issues to address… including HVAC, masks, travel to restricted states ….we will have no way to know if people travel. Wearing masks is not 100% effective. There is difficulty in speaking through masks.” She continued, “I know we want to experience some normalcy but I realize once they are in the building some won’t feel safe in the building… Some live with grandparents and people with underlying conditions…. We are still learning about the science of the virus. I recommend following the Maslow before Bloom method. I understand the difficulty of making policy now…. Take the most powerful preventive action in our arsenal. At this time I oppose the opening of schools on the grounds of health and safety.. This is a pivotal time and history’s eyes are upon us. Please save lives.”

Here are some of the other items of interest on the Board’s agenda:

Sound System

The Board approved a gift of $49,125 from Maroon and White for the installation of amplified sound at Butler Field. The understanding says,

Amplified sound will be used only for Scarsdale School events and only for:
a. a thirty (30) minute warm-up period prior to each contest;
b. pre-event announcements and introductions;
c. the National Anthem; and
d. event-time announcements.

The Board approved a contract with Sound Associates of Yonkers to install the audio system.

Principal’s Contract

The Board approved an agreement with the Scarsdale Principals Association reached through collective bargaining.

The memorandum calls for the following:

-The terms of the Agreement shall remain the same except as stated in the Memorandum
Salaries: The lows and highs of the salary ranges shall be increased by 1.0% over the 2019-20 lows and highs.

-403(b) Plan: The District shall contribute an additional $500 per year to members' 403(b) plans, increasing the annual contribution to $1000.

-Health insurance: SPA acknowledges that the District’s self-insured plan will be modified as per the consensus reached by the District-wide Health Insurance Advisory Subcommittee. As part of those changes, unit members’ share of the premiums for health insurance shall increase by 2% to 12%.

Food Service

The Board approved a one-year extension of their previous contract for food service with Chartwells. The contract includes the service of an executive chef and a registered dietician who work under the direction of the District’s Food Service Director Tara Cook.


Devin Hoover discussed requirements for summer athletic training programs and various options for bringing high school athletes to the school for strength and fitness programs this summer, pending the go ahead from the state. The program could begin as early as this week.

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