Now that the school year is in full swing, it is time once again for the annual rejuvenation of our community’s important and valuable nonpartisan nominating system for members of the Scarsdale Board of Education. I am writing to encourage residents who care about sustaining our outstanding school system to step up and run for a seat on the School Board Nominating Committee.
Our district’s exemplary track record arises in no small part from our nonpartisan system of selecting thoughtful, intelligent, fair-minded candidates for our board of education.
This system, however, simply cannot be sustained unless we all stretch ourselves a little bit and step up to play a part in making it work. The SBNC is a finite commitment of time during a short stretch of each term year. This is not a burdensome commitment, but it does make a genuine contribution to our community.
I’ve served twice on the SBNC (in the late ’90s and again during the past few years) and also on the board of education (2001-07). I have been consistently impressed with the caliber and dedication of those who participate in this important process.
When looking for candidates to put their names in the hat for SBNC seats, however, it’s been frustrating to hear so many prospects respond with “This is just not my thing.” I can’t help wondering if it’s their “thing” to have outstanding schools.
Everyone has busy lives and, of course, particular personal challenges may make serving difficult — I do get it — but this nominating system cannot remain robust without broad participation including, at the very least, a competitive slate of at least four candidates in each neighborhood.
If you have kids at home, they will be proud of your service (and of your co-parent for holding the fort during those Sunday afternoon meetings). If your kids have already graduated from the system and embarked upon their next life chapters, how better to “give back” than to contribute your experience in the community toward sustaining the system that launched them?
It’s easy to run. You need only collect 10 voter petition signatures from your neighborhood and submit a brief bio by Nov. 18. Forms and detailed information are available at scarsdalesbnc.com.
The election is in mid-January and SBNC meetings are concluded by mid-March. To participate in selecting prospective trustees for the board of education, those charged with oversight and policy for the entire school system, is immensely gratifying.
After all, by playing a role in this process you will help maintain precisely the wonderful schools that we all moved here for.