By Arleen R. Thomas
July 20, 2022: As I have now concluded my sixth year as a proud member of the Bronxville Board of Education, I’ve been reflecting on my experience- all that I’ve learned and the many rewarding moments in which we were able to provide for and celebrate our students, faculty and staff. Being a Board member is hard work and also incredibly rewarding, particularly when we watch our students walk in graduation with so many different paths before them.
While I anticipated when I began my tenure that we may face challenges, I never could have imagined how COVID would impact us. We had to make some difficult decisions and many quick course corrections. Dr Montesano, the administration, teachers and staff navigated many uncertainties, and they did so with grace, compassion and a focus on each and every student receiving what they needed. What I’ll remember most about that period is the strong will to keep our students in class, how neighbors supported neighbors and the gratitude shown by our community for our teachers and staff.
I joined the Board when our two children were high school students. I watched their journey through the college application process, the transition to university and the continued pathway to adulthood. Now, in this season of their lives, they build upon the foundation and rely upon the friendships from Bronxville as they face the many challenges and opportunities before them today. My time on this Board showed me the greatness of this district in a way that I’m not sure would have been possible had I not taken on this role. We have much to be proud of and thankful for.
It’s important to me that I take the opportunity to thank the many people with whom I’ve collaborated. First and foremost, my fellow board members who also concluded their six years of service–Jack Bierwirth and Tom Curran. They contributed their expertise and experience every day to this district, and we are better for it.
I also want to extend my gratitude to Dr. Montesano and the entire administrative team for their vision and leadership. The district’s faculty and staff are second to none and embody the Bronxville Promise as they continually innovate in the classroom.
To our community members, I thank you for your unyielding commitment to keeping the school at the center of our Village and for always celebrating our students. To that end, I want to give special recognition to the many organizations and volunteers who have made our schools a better place in which our students can learn and discover new passions - in particular, the PTA and the Bronxville School Foundation whose contributions in both the educational space and in our physical buildings are your lasting legacy.
And, finally, to the students, I am in awe of your accomplishments, perspective and kindness for one another. Thank you for sharing your ideas and opinions on important topics and for being the ultimate ambassadors of our district. You are the true embodiment of the Bronxville Promise. It is my hope that, moving forward, our community continues to listen to and learn from our students.
It was an honor to serve this wonderful school district in the place that I’ve called home for two decades. I wish the current Board members and all community members the best in the future.
Editor's note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
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