Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

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Mam’k Schools Brace for State Cuts, Celebrate AP Scholars

Local schools, municipalities, hospitals and political leaders are just learning of potential damage headed their way from $3B in mid-year cuts proposed last week by Governor David A. Paterson to close a widening budget gap. If adopted as is – no sure bet – the measure would cut $481,103 from the Mamaroneck School’s funding for the current year.

At the Tuesday, October 20 meeting of the Mamaroneck School Board, Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried referred to the governor’s proposal as an “early wake- up call” that things aren’t going to get any better next year.

In happier news, the board noted the naming of 125 MHS students as AP Scholars by the College Board in recognition of their achievement on Advanced Placement exams. This included 10 students with grades of 4 or higher on eight or more AP tests. (See the full list of below.)

The MHS Swing Choir sang in appreciation of the board; fiscal news was less cheery.

The MHS Swing Choir serenaded the board; fiscal news was less cheery.

More from the school board meeting . . .

Stimulus Funds: A committee of administrators, teachers and parents  recommended that some federal stimulus funds be used to enhance co-teaching at the elementary schools ($33K) and to bring co-teaching to the Hommocks  ($50K).

Solar Panels: The board completed its environmental review and will seek approval from the State Education Department for installation of solar panels at the Hommocks.  Funded by a Mamaroneck Schools Foundation grant, the panels are more for education than for energy production.

Superintendent Search:  Debbie Raizes and Bruce Dennis, senior associates of the search firm Hazard, Young and Attea, were introduced to the community.  Mr. Dennis said the number of candidates for superintendent positions has decreased in recent years: “It’s gone from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market.”  The consultants will compile responses from questionnaires, several dozen focus groups and two open community forums. They will present the resulting report at a board meeting in December.

Auditors Report: The  independent auditors have issued an unqualified or “clean” opinion of the district’s financial statements.

Board Praise: In honor of school board recognition week, members of the Mamaroneck School Board were praised by local officials and PT Council, serenaded by the MHS Swing Choir and celebrated as “people that think really, really hard” in a video depicting elementary students’ impressions of the board.

State Aid Cuts Likely

In an earlier e-mail on the topic, Dr. Fried wrote, “Though it’s just a proposal at this point, we are certainly disappointed and concerned.” He referred to the hard work of last year’s budget process, including “monetary concessions from our teachers and administrators, having our Central Office team take a pay freeze and still being forced to reduce more than 20 positions and increase class size.” He added that “having an unexpected mid-year budget cut undermines the good work and planning that we did to bring a budget before the community that they could support.”

Dr. Fried said he was already in conversations with New York State Assemblyman George Latimer and Senator Suzi Oppenheimer.

Asked for comment, Assemblyman Latimer said, “We’re just at the very beginning of assessing the budget cuts.” He did not expect the local municipalities to suffer much. The Town of Mamaroneck, with a fiscal year ending in December, has probably received most of its aid already. Larchmont Village was only allocated a relatively small percentage of its budget, $74,000.

“My biggest gripes will be with education and health care cuts,” he said.

Mr. Latimer noted the complicated political context. “There are many factors other than budgetary,” he suggested, naming  the recent misdemeanor conviction of New York Senator Hiram Monserrate, whose resignation or removal would once again tip the Senate into an ungovernable 30-30 draw between Democrats and Republicans. (Senator Oppenheimer has called for Mr. Monserrate to resign.)

As for alternative budget ideas, “for openers,” Mr. Latimer said he would prefer to see savings achieved by deferring until next year a portion of spending on capital projects and on “member items” (AKA as “pork”).

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer agreed with Mr. Latimer that “it’s very early in the process.” The Senate is holding a series of hearings next week  on the governor’s proposals.  Senator Oppenheimer will co-chair one specifically dealing with impacts on municipalities and education.

“We will try to explore every possible alternative to make up the deficit without having to cut education,” said the senator.  But she warned that “we all may have to do our part, including, potentially cutting our own salaries and legislative budgets.”

National AP Scholars

At Mamaroneck High School ten students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average grade of 4 or higher on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. These students are:

Paul Antonios
Lily Goodspeed
Emil Cliggot-Perlt
Sara Hess
Jennifer Fasman
Nikhil Kumar
Daniel Garfield
Alexander Lubben
Peter Gelman
Maxwell Saines

Sixty-six students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by receiving an average grade of 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are:

David Adler
Andrew Katzenstein
William Allen
Robert Kaufman
Paul Antonios
Rebecca Kitsis
Lukas Ault
Nikhil Kumar
Matthew Beck
Daniel Lee
Ian Blatt
Caroline Levere
Jennifer Brown
Antonia Lloyd-Davies
Carlos Chinchilla
Alexander Lubben
Emil Cliggot-Perlt
Joanna Lyons
Jeffrey Dobronyi
Jessica Madris
Jennifer Fasman
Jade Mandel
Katherine Feller
Christine Marsico
Oren Finard
Alexander Mendez
Max Frankel
James Nabholz
Charlotte Gardiner
Aaron Nicholson
Daniel Garfield
Maximilien Oston
Isabelle Gedigk
Oliver Pare
Elise Geithner
Rebecca Reddicliffe
Peter Gelman
Maxwell Saines
Andrew Gold
Yuni Sameshima
Lily Goodspeed
Adam Schwartzman
Williamena Granger
Yakov Shevin
Jordan Gratch
Carla Staffaroni
Caroline Guo
Joseph Taaffe
Matthew Habig
Isobel Tanner
Melanie Halbout
John Tiebout
Sara Hess
Benjamin Viagas
Maximilian Hinchcliffe
Joshua Waitt
Kira Hoffman
Michael Weinberg
Marco Iacono
Karly Wentz
Arturo Jumpa
Eric Windsor
Matthew Kanterman
Andrew Wong
Peter Kaplan
Vanessa Zapata

Twenty-five students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or
more of these exams. These students are:

Zsuzska Beswick
Sarah Joyce
Daniel Crowe
Audrey Lorberfeld
Louis Didier
Gregory McAndrews
Phoebe Edwards
Charlotte Ohl
Alanna Flynn
Alexandra Rudansky
Daniel Foster
Ariel Russ
Alice Friedman
George Schieferdecker
Timothy Furlong
Rachel Shuman
Alexander Genecin
Alec Steers
Charles Greenwald
Aaron Sternbach
Madeline Hendricks
Benjamin Wachtel
Jonathan Holton
Jacob Ward
Jason Weitzman

Thirty-four students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP examinations, with grades of 3 or higher. The AP scholars are:

Jocelyn Baumgarten
Daniel Luzzi
Ashwin Bhandari
Matthew Marr
Griffin Calkins
Grace Matelich
William Carlyon
Campbell McLaren
Madeline Cook
Taylor Mondshein
Michael Corenthal
Edgar Nackenson
Elias Everett
Lindsay Naughton
Robert Fine
Kate Rainey
Jeremy Forsyth
James Reddicliffe
Andrew Frank
Samara Roth
Adina Goodman
Victoria Senter
Sean Hagan
Cathleen Smith
Phoebe Hanley
Jacob Szabo
Sarah Henkind
Ying Tang
James Hiler
Robert Towle
Bradley Jacobson
Douglas Weinrib
Kevin Johnson
Carolyn Zelenetz

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5 comments to Mam’k Schools Brace for State Cuts, Celebrate AP Scholars

  • Eleanor

    Regarding school budget cuts…I suggest that we cut the salary for incoming Superintendent by $100,000 to $160,000 plus benefits. Let’s consider other current salaries and how our Superintendent’s responsibilies compare:

    Legislative Branch

    Speaker of the House of Representatives: $208,100
    Senate president pro tempore: $180,100
    Senate and House majority and minority leaders: $180,100
    Other senators and representatives: $162,100
    Judicial Branch
    Supreme Court chief justice: $208,100
    Supreme Court associate justices: $199,200
    Circuit judges: $171,800
    District judges: $162,100

  • Steaming Stanley


    Your suggestion to cut the CEO’s salary (i.e. Superintendent)is remiscent of the Obama adminstration’s recent announcement of cutting top salaries for companies who accept and used the TARP money and capping off the maximum at $500,000.

    On another note to the above story, I’m stunned and completely impressed with the number of students at MHS who scored 3 and above on A/P testing. Over 125 altogether. That is quite impressive!

    Great work! Way to go MHS Students!!!

  • Anon E Mous

    Yes Eleanor, right on the money !

    Your experience gives you good background on setting a number. Maybe it could be slightly lower or slightly higher, and perhaps it should be an even lower base with some incentives tied to both educational and financial goals. But the change, not small change, is definitely necessary.

    One more comparison to add to your list. The reported salary of the current superintendent exceeds the reported salary of the Chancellor of the NYC school system, the latter having 1,600 schools with 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees, and a $21-billion operating budget.

    The next superintendent needs to be a leader who can manage to do more with less, to contain costs. We cannot expect in this economy to continue to provide municipal raises while our neighbors suffer.

    The Town has identified that the schools tax will reach 60 percent of the real estate taxes paid by Town residents in 2010. That percent has been climbing slowly in past years and is now likely at the tipping point, where unless we make changes, for the most part only those who directly benefit from the school system more than they expend on it will come to or stay in our community. The makings of a Ponzi scheme unless we stop the train.

  • Eleanor

    I am concerned that we are being prepared to be “jacked up” again with this new Committee searching for a Superintendent. It seems to be implied that the $260,000 salary plus benefits may present a problem to get a qualified person to take this position because of the unusual demands and qualifications that have to be met. Give me a break…

    Our community has to start demanding a smart fiscal policy be set into place.

  • Anon E Mous

    Today many of us received an e-mail containing a copy of a request that the State not cut funding to the schools. A most reasonable request on its face.

    But it forgets the fact that the State can spend only the money it collects from taxpayers, a/k/a us, or from incurring additional debt. The School Board claims to know that the taxpayer well is dry and should know that we cannot burden our students further with increased debt that they must pay in the future.

    The letter claims that reduced tax certiori payments could not be anticipated. As real estate taxes are based on real estate values, how could it not be anticipated that such collections would fall in the current market.

    The letter says that it is expected that salary increase will exceed COLA and pension costs increases are outside their control. Perhaps salary costs need to be controlled and controlling salary costs control pension costs. Eleanor makes an excellent point in her comment above about the search for a new superintendent and the proposed salary.

    Yes, the well is dry. And all the pockets are being emptied. Immediate economic improvement is unlikely, so business as usual needs to be suspended. We need to find different ways of doing things and controlling costs while preserving the education of students. We need believe that this can be done.

    Else, as William H. Seward said ‘The circumstances of the world are so variable that an irrevocable purpose or opinion is almost synonymous with a foolish one.’