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In Support of Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez for School Board

Pen and PaperThis poem about Mayra was sent to Scarsdale10583 by her husband Brice Kirkendall Rodriguez:

Her mom had cleaned houses, so much out of reach

Her dad served America surviving Omaha Beach


As a family they were migrants; picking food for us all


Mayra born in South Bend and then to McAllen while still small


Her first language and her family’s was that of Cervantes


English began at a Texas school for Agricultores migrantes


A great student, transferred to public schools was she


By fourth grade a first-place finish in the local spelling bee


Dedicated teachers nurtured her spirit and didn’t hesitate


to encourage her competitively as she pursued debate


Aware that helping hands had done much to put her on track


She has always found ways to volunteer and to give back


Mayra taught English to immigrants in Texas and Philadelphia


She even helped the assimilation of Jewish émigrés from Russia


The latter impressed Fred the Furrier, yes incredible but it’s true


He sponsored her Wallenberg Scholarship in Israel to study Hebrew


An emerging markets expert at JPMorgan and BT Alex Brown


She became a Russian energy expert until that market went down


Trotted the globe consulting, countries visited? At least 73


Projects helped central banks, start-ups and the U.S.A.I.D.


Two Scarsdale residents, one who knew her then hatched a plan


Introduce her to a husband, a Scarsdale home and a blue minivan


Since education brought her the world and a home in this place


Mayra turned her energy and passion to the village she does embrace


Recognizing proficiency in languages as an important global tool


She advocated with a team for Mandarin in the Middle School


This led to Forum leadership and Education Committee Chair


Also, PTA, Cub Scouts, OSNA neighborhood and more I could share


Schooling elementary kids at home during COVID-19


Gives her perspective on parents enduring that routine


Prescient were her years-ago calls for a long-term financial plan


She understands models, compliance, to the board she’ll lend a hand


Mayra’s passion, work ethic and empathy are no quirk


She also understands empty-nesters help make this work


Our kids are the promise and future of the nation


Our teachers light the way for this great next generation


Our taxpayers make it possible without exultation


And we all pursue this harmony as it defines our civilization


Scarsdale is a celebration in diversity; over a quarter foreign-born


Democracy thrives best when elective competition is the norm


For leadership with voice and vision put your vote at the ready


We can elect Mayra to Scarsdale School Board, Yes, we can…¡Si Se Puede!

To the Editor,
As a Scarsdale resident, property-tax payer and professional economist, I view Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez’s candidacy for a seat on the School Board as a rare opportunity to achieve optimal balance between the interests of our taxpayers who foot the bill – those with children in the public schools and those without – and the best educational interests of our children.

While some may find it surprising given her Harvard and U. Penn pedigree, Mayra champions the welfare of those in Scarsdale far from the apex of our highly-skewed income distribution – the families at and below what was our $250,000 median income before the pandemic cost so many of us our livelihoods. As a student of municipal finance, Mayra has documented in her Forbes columns her concerns about Scarsdale’s significant unfunded liabilities, declining median incomes and inaccurate and untruthful accounting of government finance. With three of her VCP colleagues, she spearheaded the effort to allow Scarsdale residents to pay property taxes in installments in order to alleviate our financial burdens and battled against the two property tax increases Scarsdale residents are now facing in the midst of this economic crisis. She cares about those husbands and wives, moms and dads who work hard to afford to live here and those of us who are now retired on fixed incomes. As the sole proprietor of a financial consultancy and the mother of two elementary school children she is one of us.

Mayra’s approach to decision-making is data-driven and she is ever-conscious of the need for the cost of any project to be fully justified a priori with a high degree of probability that the benefit anticipated will be realized by our tax-paying residents (who bear all the risks that costs will exceed anticipated benefit). She was instrumental in the successful drive to put a halt to the hastily conceived Freightway project for which no cost-benefit analysis had been produced that would guarantee positive fiscal impact for our residents.

I first met Mayra and her husband Brice when they highlighted quantitative peculiarities in what appeared to be a fraudulent modeling effort to reassess our home values for property tax purposes. Having expertise in statistical and econometric modeling and model risk management myself, and unable to source any model documentation or validation of the model allegedly used, I had to agree with them that people were likely to be hurt unjustly by this assessment. Ultimately, the case against this faulty assessment process went to court and our residents battled against Quinn Emanuel, an aggressive international firm of trial attorneys with a take-no-prisoners reputation that represented the Village Board. QE is damn good – I have worked for them and opposite them – while we residents could not afford counsel of QE’s stature and ultimately lost this one, Mayra’s efforts on our behalf were much appreciated and another example of her energy and drive to do what’s right for her neighbors.

Mayra’s analytical skills, financial expertise, concern for the financial well-being of the most vulnerable among us, and her abiding conviction that public school education brings out the best in our children make her uniquely qualified to serve on our School Board.

Robert D. Selvaggio, Ph.D.
Rochambeau Road

I am writing to express my support for Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez as a candidate for the Scarsdale School Board of Education. Mayra is so passionate and knowledgeable about our community, and she is always in search of making things better. She has a very kind and caring personality as well. I met her about two years ago when my family and I moved to Scarsdale. Since then, she has always been helpful in pointing me in the right direction. It is so amazing to me that besides her busy life as a wife, mother and a successful professional, she makes time to be an active member in our community.

I am a Fox Meadow elementary school parent. Last year, Mayra reached out to me and encouraged me to volunteer for the Multicultural Country Fair at school. I am so glad I did it, and it was such an amazing and successful event. I loved watching our kids learn about all the countries represented. I appreciate her volunteer involvement in our schools and Village, and I believe she is an asset to our community.

All the best,
Niloufar Sharifi
Chase Road

To the Editor:
My family moved to Scarsdale in 2011 and we write to enthusiastically support Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez for a seat on the Scarsdale School Board. We have known Mayra and her family for more than seven years as our elementary school kids met on a weekly basis at the library for the Mother Goose programs. Little did we know that we would have so much in common.

With her extended experience in foreign cultures and languages, Mayra seamlessly connects with foreign-born parents and is a wealth of information as she champions not only many parents-led activities at the Fox Meadow Elementary School, including the Multicultural Committee Fair, but also is so active with the village’s civic activities.

We also happen to be very familiar with the kind of work that Mayra does in risk identification and bank regulations as we both come from an auditing background and work at large financial institutions. We have no doubt that her skills would be very useful at the board of education, especially in this time of economic crisis. We believe that she would be a very good steward of fiscal responsibility and sustainability for Scarsdale and would continue to ask the tough questions. Mayra has always been clear on her perspective and this is refreshing considering the current environment. So join us in voting for her by June 9.

Nathalie Daniel
Post Road

To the Editor:

My name is Wanna Zhong and I’m a Greenacres resident. My family and I have been living in Greenacres since 2009.

I’m writing to support Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez’s candidacy for the Scarsdale Board of Education.

I have known Mayra and her family for over 6 years. We also worked together on Mandarin for the Middle School Initiative. She is very passionate and will work tirelessly to volunteer her own time for the better good for all the students of Scarsdale. Mayra has a great team work spirit.

I think the Scarsdale Board will be very fortunate to have someone like Mayra - who is full of energy and commitment and will do her best to bring a more global educational perspective that will serve our children and community well.

Mayra’s many volunteer activities in our Schools and Village clearly demonstrate her commitment and I strongly believe that she will be a great fit for the Scarsdale Board. She has a conviction for a global public education (which I think is very important), is actively involved with the public, has the ability to make decisions and while leveraging her experiences from the business world.

I think these are invaluable as the Scarsdale Board continues in its excellent guardianship of our schools and children’s future in an ever complex and changing environment.

Mayra has a clear vision for the Scarsdale School District and I am certain she will do her best for the continued excellence of our schools.

Sincerely,
Wanna Zhong
Fenimore Road

To the Editor: My wife, Terri and I as 40 year Scarsdale residents are supporting the election of Mayra Kirkendall- Rodriguez as a candidate for the Scarsdale Board of Education.

We have been long time supporters of the Scarsdale School system as our two sons went through through 12 years of a Scarsdale Schools education.

We think Mayra would be an excellent school board member having two elementary school age children and understanding the challenge of teaching young children with distance e-learning. She has been a significant volunteer in the schools and the Scarsdale community including the Co-Chair of the Fox Meadow School Multicultural Committee and Young Writer's Workshop , the Co-Chair of the Scarsdale Forum's  Education Committee with the understanding of the school budget and the educational needs of the District.

Mayra's professional and education background is extensive . She is a bank and capital markets risk consultant and trainer with international clients as the owner or MRV Associates . She holds degrees from Harvard/Radcliffe, the Lauder Institute and the Wharton School at Penn and studied at Hebrew University in Israel. Her analytical abilities would be helpful and important to the Board with the economy in recession. Mayra will do her home work on behalf of the Scarsdale Taxpayers.

Ballots for the School Board Election will be mailed on Tuesday, May 26 and  can be returned immediately with the already stamped envelope Two candidates will be elected for the two open seats on the current School Board. Scarsdale Residents can VOTE for ONE OR TWO Candidates only.

We urge you to VOTE ONLY for Maya Kirkkendall-Rodriguez to become ONE of our representatives  on the Scarsdale Board of Education. Ballots must be received at the Board of Education on Brewster Road by 5 PM on Tuesday , June 9th.and should be mailed several days earlier so your ballot is  received by the deadline . There will be no hand deliveries accepted. If you have any questions, please contact us at 914 646-4054 cell) or by email at proscars@aol.com .

Bob and Terri Harrison
65 Fox Meadow Road
Scarsdale , NY 10583

I am Carlos Ramirez, a long-time Greenacres resident, together with my wife Betty, and my son Ryan. We write in support of Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez’s candidacy for a trustee on the Scarsdale School Board. My background is a combination of professional experience as an Accountant with a private practice in Scarsdale, as well as an Educational Technologist, currently serving as Director of Technology and Chief Information Officer for the Greenburgh School District. I have a strong background in public education, starting as a classroom teacher to working in a statewide capacity at the NYS Education Department where I served as Coordinator of Technology Policy.

I know Mayra very well because we were Co-Chairs of the Education Committee in the Scarsdale Forum. During our tenure in the Education Committee, we worked on reports related to the Scarsdale School Budget, the debate about the Greenacres School renovation, metrics to determine if Scarsdale schools provide a world-class education, and the need for a long-term financial plan for the Scarsdale School District. I noticed Mayra’s dedication and tenacity, being a mom and a wife, and running her own financial consultancy practice. For a moment, I thought it would be challenging for her to keep up with the demands of our committee work. However, she not only kept with the work but also worked with every member of our committee in a truly democratic approach.

She was instrumental in running a Forum at Village Hall providing for an engaging talking session between the School Board and our residents about the Greenacres renovation project. Also, with the assistance of Brice, Mayra’s husband, we were able to successfully run an online and offline live survey for Scarsdale parents talking about what they wanted in a world-class education, helping shape the concept and definition for Scarsdale School's goals. We also worked together on the Board of Directors of the Scarsdale Forum, where I witnessed her dedication and leadership working with different Forum members on multiple surveys about Downtown Revitalization and traffic safety. She also supported and contributed to the Forum’s newsletter for a while with Former Mayor Jon Mark as President of the Forum. She was a true cheerleader for the Scarsdale Forum repeatedly telling everybody about the mission of the Forum as an organization: to research, report, and write about key issues in our community to inform our Village and Scarsdale School Boards.

I believe that a good reason why Mayra works so hard is because she comes from a very humble background and appreciates the opportunity to serve our community. She never attended preschool or kindergarten, and when she went to the first grade in Indiana, she did not even speak a word of English. That was a long time ago; she now speaks six languages and is highly active in numerous school and Scarsdale Village activities.

Being an immigrant from Peru and living in Scarsdale since 2004, I have seen what can be attained by the power of education in this great country. I am convinced that Mayra is an example of what education can do for all Americans. She believes in the promise that a public education holds for all students and how teaching and learning can prepare our children for life.

I hope that you will join my family and I in voting for her when your ballot arrives in the mail. Please make sure that you get it to the school district by 5 pm, on June 9, 2020. Thank you for your consideration.

All the best,

Carlos Ramirez
Post Road

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