SBNC Statement from Amy Lewis, 2020 SBNC Chair

March 30,  2020– As the 2020 School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) has completed its nomination of Amber Yusuf and Robert Klein for election to the Scarsdale Board of Education, I thank the members of the SBNC for their dedication, thoughtfulness, and diligence in performing this important civic responsibility. I also thank all of the applicants. Scarsdale benefits when so many talented citizens are willing to present themselves to the SBNC each year, as well as from the efforts of an engaged SBNC. 

Our community created the SBNC to nominate school board candidates who will work to maintain and enhance the quality of education provided by the Scarsdale schools. This year the SBNC was composed of 30 voting members (elected from each of the five elementary school areas) and one non-voting member. Pursuant to its governing resolution, the SBNC judges and selects candidates “solely on their qualifications to serve the community.” 

If elected to the school board Amber and Bob will assume their roles on the School Board for three-year terms effective July 1 (barring additional Executive order). The SBNC is grateful to the talented and engaged citizens who were willing to put themselves forward to serve on the Board of Education. All current voting members of SBNC will sign the nominating petitions once the election directives during the corona pandemic have been given to the district.

The Candidates

The SBNC strongly endorses Amber and Bob for election to the School Board. These two qualified candidates will bring different backgrounds and experiences to serve the community, and share a deep commitment to maintaining the excellence of the Scarsdale schools and serving different constituents.

Amber Yusuf

Amber has been a resident of Scarsdale for over 11 years, making many contributions to civic life here. She and her husband, Inder, have 2 children who attend Scarsdale Middle School. She’s currently a board member on The League of Women Voters, a member of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee, a volunteer consultant at TAP (The Accelerated Project,) c0-chair of PTA-sponsored STEAM Day,  and a previous member of the Citizens Nominating Committee. Amber has served as PTCouncil President, PTA President at Heathcote School, chair of After School Club and many more roles. 

In her most recent professional experience as Director of Operations for G2 FT, she advises small financial companies how to best utilize their tax strategy software. She possesses a great capability in seeing the big picture, and is able to sift through loads of information and extract the important and fine details. She makes the most complex issues digestible to everyone making her a unique and ideal candidate for our school board.

Through Amber’s various civic roles, she is extremely knowledgeable about our community. She is well-respected by those who have worked with her. She has a keen awareness of both local and global issues, and is incredibly open-minded, intelligent and genuine in all she does. Amber Yusef is vested in Scarsdale – particularly in our school district and is willing to devote the time and energy to be a conscientious and effective member of the School Board.

Robert Klein

Bob has been a resident of Scarsdale for 34 years.  He and his wife raised two children who graduated from Scarsdale High School and are now raising families of their own.  Bob’s career as an architect occupied his earlier life but he was an engaged parent, serving for 4 years as a local Boy Scout den leader. He also served two (non-consecutive) three-year terms as president of his religious congregation.  Bob’s career in architecture is particularly interesting as it relates to his candidacy on the Board of Education. A significant portion of his professional experience was in the “pre-planning” end of the business. Bob’s job was to interview clients, listening carefully and critically to their needs and hopes, and to establish the parameters for successful efforts. Basically, Bob helped ensure that large scale and complex projects  would meet the client’s needs – perhaps even in ways that they didn’t anticipate. In addition, Bob has shared these skills with architecture students and other professionals teaching at Harvard, Cornell, Columbia and other institutions. This sort of “first principles” / “blank-slate” approach, attention to detail and experience in creative and collaborative problem solving is the sort of mind-set and skill-set that will be valuable as part of the School Board Team.

Bob, now retired from firm practice, has devoted time to several interesting hobbies and philanthropic pursuits. He is a founding member of Neighbors for Refugees, an organization committed to welcoming, protecting and advocating for refugees in our community and abroad. And after taking pottery classes, Bob was asked to join the board of the Clay Arts Center in Rye, where he has now served with distinction. Bob Klein, an ‘empty nester’ and a lifelong learner, remains devoted to student success and education and will serve the community with his valuable skills and perspective. 

The School Board Nomination Process 

The SBNC nomination process involves several stages. 

First, the SBNC initially heard current school board members’ views on the role and structure of the school board, the school board’s relationship to various stakeholders, the roles and responsibilities of board members, and the anticipated challenges and opportunities for the school board during the next three years. 

Second, SBNC members then sought potential board candidates through public appeals and by recruiting committed community members. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. Each interested applicant submitted a biographical form and presented orally to the SBNC in the late winter. 

Third, pursuant to rules of procedure, committee members conducted due diligence by confidentially contacting dozens of people outside of SBNC for their input about the candidates’ qualifications to serve the community. In order to get a complete view of the applicant, SBNC members contacted references provided by the applicant. Committee members then reported relevant factual information to the other committee members, who were instructed to keep open minds and listen to one another carefully.

Finally, the committee discussed the qualifications of all proposed candidates fully and candidly before taking a vote, and voted by secret ballot to fill each vacancy in turn. This year’s SBNC members were devoted to the process despite   the challenges presented by the current pandemic restrictions. 

As per a vote of the committee, meetings and deliberations were conducted by Zoom (digital conference platform) and voting was conducted using Google polling. Using this available technology, the process was serious and focused, with respect for differing opinions. 

Discussions and deliberations regarding candidates are confidential in order to encourage people to apply, protect the privacy of candidates and references, allow for candid discussion among SBNC members, and select nominees based solely upon their qualifications. 

For more information about the SBNC and its procedures, visit the “About Us” and “Join the School Board”.

Please Participate 

Scarsdale is fortunate to maintain a nonpartisan election process for the Board of Education that selects candidates based solely on their qualifications to serve, not on their campaigning abilities or positions on specific issues. Informed and engaged residents willing to serve on the SBNC and the School Board, along with voter participation, help to ensure the highest quality school board leadership. Please consider serving or suggesting other school district residents to fill future vacancies. You can do so at any time by emailing

In addition, please consider a donation to the SBNC. The SBNC elections and process are financed by your contributions alone. Donations are solely used for running the SBNC elections and not towards any candidate.  Any amount would be appreciated. Please visit the donate page.

Finally, please remember to vote on the school budget and in the school board election on a date yet to be determined by New York State due to the current Coronavirus crisis. When scheduled the election (per Executive order not before June 1, 2020) will likely be at the Scarsdale Middle School between 7am and 9pm.


January 15, 2020

Ten candidates have been elected to join the School Board Nominating Committee for 2020.  The following candidates were elected:

Edgewood – Cecilia Anon-Kowalski, Prem Itharat

Fox Meadow – Swapna Kanekar, Jonathan Lemle

Greenacres – Deborah Jeanne Skolnik, Cindy S. Yau

Heathcote – Curtis Parker, “Claire” Yin Yang

Quaker Ridge – Susi D’ambra Coplan, Purnima Srivastava

A total of 137 votes were cast in the election, of which nine (9) were mail-in ballots.  There were two (2) write-in candidates.

The breakdown of votes cast by neighborhood are as follows:

Edgewood:  21

Fox Meadow: 26

Greenacres: 19

Heathcote: 37

Quaker Ridge: 34

This year’s new members will join the existing SBNC members of the committee each serving three-year terms on the SBNC followed by a two-year term as part of the Administrative Committee.  

The 21 amendments to the Resolution were passed.  A total of 125 Resolution ballots were cast in the election, of which nine (9) were mail-in ballots.  The breakdown of votes cast for each amendment is as follows:

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The committee will have its first meeting on January 26, 2020 and by the end of March it will nominate two (2) candidates for the Scarsdale Board of Education to fill the seats currently held by Christopher Morin and Scott Silberfein. All Scarsdale residents are welcome to propose Board of Education candidates to the SBNC at The SBNC Board of Education candidates, along with any other candidates who may choose to run, will stand for public election May 19, 2020 at the same time as the school budget vote.

Press Contact:  Felicia Block, (917) 287-3079


December 19, 2019

The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) election will take place on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 7 – 10 AM and 2 – 9 PM in the Scarsdale Middle School (SMS)Auditorium Lobby at 134 Mamaroneck Road. In the event schools are closed on Election Day, the election will be held on the earlier of (i) Wednesday, January 15, 2020, or (ii) the next day school is in session. Any Snow Date or Run-off election will be held in the SMS Auditorium Lobby at the times given above.

A mail-in ballot is available for those who choose not to vote in person. Mail-in ballots are available to the public in hard copy at Scarsdale Village Hall and the Scarsdale Public Library Loft at Supply Field, 244 Heathcote Road and in electronic form on the Mail-in Ballots page on this site. Completed mail-in ballots must be sent to: SBNC Administrative Chair, PO Box 172H, Scarsdale, NY 10583 and received in the SBNC PO Box no later than 4 PM on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Any resident of the School District may vote who is (i) a US citizen; (ii) 18 years of age or older; and (iii) a resident of the School District for 30 days prior to the election.

Residents will also vote on several proposed amendments to the SBNC Resolution. The proposed changes can be found at the Resolution page, as well as at Village Hall and at the Scarsdale Public Library Loft.

Following are the list of those running from each neighborhood along with biographies of each candidate:



Years of Residency: 5 years

Occupation: School Psychologist

Education: Cornell University (BA – Biology and Society); Fordham University (MS Ed and Professional Diploma in Bilingual School Psychology)

Children’s ages: 10, 8

Civic Activities: Edgewood PTA member and active volunteer at school functions


PREM ITHARAT: 180 Lyons Road

Years of Residency: 8 years

Occupation: Financial Advisor / Wealth Management / Entrepreneur

Education: NYU Stern School of Business (BS, MBA)

Children’s ages: 12, 7, 3

Civic Activities: 2019-Present: Co-President Edgewood PTA; Chair, Red Cross Young Patrons of Metro NY North – Westchester, Lower Hudson Valley, Greenwich; Rotarian, Greenwich Rotary; Executive Leadership Committee Member, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light The Night – Westchester / Fairfield / Hartford; Ambassador, American Cancer Society Making Strides Fairfield Walk; President, Greenwich Young Professionals Group; Hudson River Museum Contemporaries Council Member; Co-President Elect Edgewood PTA (2018-2019)



Years of Residency: 9 years

Occupation: Global Head of Tax Education: University of Pune, India (B.Com)

Child’s age: 14

Civic activities: Treasurer Fox Meadow PTA (2014-2016)



Years of Residency: 2 years

Occupation: Real Estate Investment

Education: Union College (BA), Columbia Business School (MBA)

Children’s ages: 5, 2

Civic Activities: Attended Scarsdale Schools K-12 (Fox Meadow); iMentor – Weekly Mentoring Program



Years of Residency: 18 years

Occupation: Writer/Editor Education: Cornell University (BA – English)

Children’s ages: 19, 15

Civic Activities: Advisory Board – Scarsdale Adult School, Member – Junior League

CINDY S. YAU: 29 Kingston Road

Years of Residency: 10 years

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Georgetown University (BS – International Relations); UC Berkeley (Master’s in Journalism), University of San Francisco (JD)

Children’s age: 14, 12

Civic Activities: SHS Volunteer, College and Career Counseling Center (2019-2020); SMS EC Committee Members/Chair of Hospitality (2019-2020); SMS Co-Chair of Multicultural Committee (2018-2019, 2019-2020), Edgewood Book Fair Committee Chair (2016-2017); Co-President and Co-President Elect, Edgewood PTA (2014-2015, 2015-2016); Edgewood Multicultural Fair and Taste Around the World (2011-2017), Edgewood Fair Registration Chair (2011-2014), Classical Café Chair (2012-2013, 2013-2014)


CURTIS PARKER: 23 Cushman Road

Years of Residency: 4 years

Occupation: Senior Vice President, AR Global Investments

Education: University of Tulsa (BS – Finance)

Children’s ages: 9, 7, 1

Civic Activities: Heathcote PTA (2015-2019), Scarsdale District-Wide Facilities Committee (2017), Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers (Treasurer, 2012-2015)

“CLAIRE” YIN YANG: 35 Secor Road

Years of Residency: 3 years

Occupation: M&A Tax Partner at PwC

Education: Mansfield University of Pennsylvania (BS-Accounting/Information System)

Child’s age: 8

Civic Activities: Heathcote Multicultural Committee Chair (2019-2020); Heathcote Annual Lunar New Year Assembly and Teachers’ Luncheon (2017-2019); Learning-to-Look (2018-2019); various volunteering activities at Heathcote and Scarsdale Chinese Association


SUSI D’AMBRA COPLAN: 1 Black Birch Lane

Years of Residency: 8 years

Occupation: Network Distribution/Affiliate Relations – ABC Television Network Education: University of Michigan (B.A – English & Psychology)

Children’s ages: 16, 13

Civic Activities: WRT – Teen Task Force (2019-Present), Disney VoluntEAR – Supporting charitable organizations in the NYC area (2000-Present); Career Closet – Volunteer (2019-Present)


Years of Residency: 7 years

Occupation: Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase Education: University Of Delhi, Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Children’s ages: 15, 14

Civic Activities: Active volunteer at various activities at QRS, SMS and SHS; India Youth Fund Volunteer; Global Finance People Agenda Volunteer


For additional information, please contact Felicia Block, SBNC Administrative Committee Chair, at