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School Board Nominating Committee

Announces Three School Board Candidates

SBNC Statement from Jordan Copeland, 2019 SBNC Chair

March 25, 2019 – As the 2019 School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) has completed its nomination of Karen Ceske, Carl Finger, and Ron Schulhof 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 27 voting members (elected from each of the five elementary school areas) and three non-voting members. 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 on May 21st, 2019, Karen, Carl, and Ron will assume their roles on the School Board for three-year terms effective July 1. 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 signed the nominating petitions.

The Candidates

The SBNC strongly endorses Karen Ceske, Carl Finger, and Ron Schulhof for election to the School Board. The three 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.

Karen Ceske

Karen Ceske has been an independent reading and writing tutor for over 18 years, supporting students of all abilities from a range of colleges and high schools. She previously worked as an English and Social Studies teacher at the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula in the Bronx. She holds a BA in History from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, and an MA in the Teaching of English from Columbia University, Teachers College.

Karen and her husband Rob have lived in Scarsdale for over 15 years. They have a daughter in college and a son who is a senior at Scarsdale High School. Karen has served as President of the Scarsdale Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, President of the Scarsdale High School PTA, Chair of the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund for College, Secretary of the Scarsdale Middle School PTA, and President of the Greenacres School PTA. She also has served on other community boards including the Friends of the Scarsdale Library, the Scarsdale Adult School, the Scarsdale Student Transfer Education Program (STEP), the Greenacres Neighborhood Association, and the Hitchcock Church Weekday School.

Carl Finger

Carl Finger has been an active citizen in village government, serving as Scarsdale Village Deputy Mayor, Scarsdale Village Trustee, Chair of Law Committee, Chair of Finance Committee and Chair of Personnel Committee. Carl was on the Board of Architectural Review and the Conservation Advisory Council. County-wide, he has served on subcommittees of the Environmental Committee of the Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Public Works Committee of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Through Bet Am Shalom Synagogue, Carl has served on the Vision Committee and the Educational Director Search Committee.

Carl is an alumnus of the Scarsdale Schools who returned more than 20 years ago with his wife Eve. Carl’s two children currently attend Scarsdale High School. An attorney and principal at Finger & Finger, Carl’s practice includes Real Estate, Cooperative/Condominium, Landlord Tenant, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Tax Certiorari. He holds a BA from Brandeis University, a JD from the Boston University School of Law and an LL.M in environmental law from Pace University School of Law. Carl has been a softball and basketball coach, an umpire, and served two years as the local “Good Humor Man.”

Ron Schulhof

Ron Schulhof is a 5 year resident of Scarsdale with a child who attends the Quaker Ridge School and a preschooler. Ron currently performs pro-bono consulting work and is a private investor. Before that, he worked on Bond Trading Desks at Bear Stearns & Co., and FBR Capital Markets and then in Corporate Strategy at Deloitte. Ron holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Lehigh University.

Ron has been an active community volunteer since moving to Scarsdale with his wife Rachel. He is the current Sustainability Chair for the Scarsdale Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTC) and for the Quaker Ridge PTA, served on the Butler Field Committee and has been a coach and mentor to SHS interns and students. Ron chairs the Village Conservation Advisory Council and the LED Streetlight Committee. He recently completed a three-year term as a member of the Citizens Nominating Committee. He serves on the Scarsdale Forum Board of Directors and Audit Committee. Ron is also a little league coach.

The School Board Nomination Process

The SBNC nomination process involves several stages. 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. SBNC members then sought potential board candidates through public appeals and by recruiting committed community members. Each interested applicant submitted a biographical form and presented orally to the SBNC in the late winter.

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 both references provided by the applicant, as well as “off-list” individuals who were known to have had interactions with the applicant, such as serving closely in the same organization. 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.

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 devoted in aggregate well over 1,000 hours to their charge. 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

Finally, please remember to vote on the school budget and in the school board election on May 21, 2019 at the Scarsdale Middle School between 7am and 9pm.

SBNC seeks candidates to nominate for three seats on the Scarsdale School Board

Nina Ledis Cannon not seeking second term on Board of Education.

Scarsdale, NY (1/14/19) – The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) is seeking to identify potential candidates to serve on the Scarsdale Board of Education.  The SBNC held its first meeting of 2019 on January 13th and is now engaged in active outreach to build a robust candidate pool.

Over the next several weeks, SBNC members will recruit and review candidates in order to nominate three candidates for the nonpartisan slate in the next school board election.  The school board election and budget vote are slated for Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Bill Natbony and Leila Maude are completing their tenures on the board and Nina Ledis Cannon has chosen not to seek renomination.   

The SBNC invites all Scarsdale School District residents to propose names of qualified individuals to serve on the Scarsdale Board of Education by email to   A candidate must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, a qualified voter, and a resident of the Scarsdale School District for at least one year prior to the May 21st school board election date. Jordan Copeland, SBNC Chair, stated: “The non-partisan SBNC process is critical to the excellence of our Board of Education and our schools.  This year we will be proposing three new candidates for the Board, so this is a rare opportunity for service-minded Scarsdalians to help shape the educational policies that profoundly affect the children of our community.”

Interested candidates should complete a biographical information form and submit it via email to the SBNC Chair, Jordan Copeland, at as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 PM on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.  Forms are available on the SBNC website at  Please see the “Join the School Board” tab or contact the SBNC Chair for further information.


Jordan Copeland, Chair

Tanya Singer, Vice Chair


January 9, 2019

Twelve candidates have been elected to join the School Board Nominating Committee for  2019.

The following candidates were elected:

Edgewood: David Benderson & Amy Schiff

Fox Meadow: Laura Gelblum & Seema Jaggi

Greenacres: Todd Cohen, Jeniffer Fischer & Xue Su

Heathcote: Anirudh Bansal, Chris Marks & “Laura” Yung Liu

Quaker Ridge: Ekta Sahni  & Rob Tepper

A total of 240 votes were cast in the election, of which 6 were mail-in ballots.
Here is the breakdown of votes cast by neighborhood:
Edgewood:  25
Fox Meadow: 38
GreenAcres: 61
Heathcote: 73
Quaker Ridge: 43
This year’s new members will join the existing SBNC members of the committee serving staggered three-year terms.  Note that Todd Cohen will serve a 2 year term in Greenacres, Anirudh Bansal will serve a 1 year seat in Heathcote, and Rob Tepper will serve a 2 year term in Quaker Ridge.
The committee will have its first meeting on January 13, 2019 and by the end of March it will nominate 3 candidates for the Scarsdale Board of Education to fill the seats currently held by Nina Ledis Cannon, Leila Maude, and William (Bill) Natbony. All Scarsdale residents are welcome to propose Board of Education candidates to the SBNC. The SBNC Board of Education candidates, along with any other candidates who may choose to run, will stand for public election in May at the same time as the school budget vote.
Press Contact:             Wendy Gendel

(917) 921-4538

Candidates to run for the 2019 SBNC election year

December 16, 2018

The School Board Nominating Committee plays an integral role in shaping the excellence of the Scarsdale schools. By involving a wide breadth of community members, the SBNC helps fulfill its mission of evaluating and choosing the most qualified nominees for Scarsdale’s Board of Education. Since September, the Administrative Committee of the
SBNC has been recruiting SBNC candidates. Serving on the SBNC is a manageable time commitment and is one of the most interesting and impactful volunteer opportunities in town. All residents are encouraged to consider running for the SBNC

The twelve 2019 SBNC candidates elected on January 8th, 2019 will join eighteen others on the committee serving staggered three-year terms. By the end of March 2019, the SBNC will nominate three individuals to run for the Scarsdale Board of Education to fill seats currently held by Nina Ledis Cannon, Leila Maude, and William (Bill) Natbony. All community members are welcome to propose Board of Education candidates to the SBNC. The SBNC slate of Board of Education candidates, along with any other individuals who may choose to run, will stand for public election May 21st, 2019 during the school budget vote.

Be Part of the Process and Vote

The SBNC election will take place Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 from 7 – 10 AM and 2 – 9 PM in the Scarsdale Middle School Auditorium Lobby at 134 Mamaroneck Rd. In the event schools are closed on Election Day, the election will be held on the earlier of (i) Wednesday, January 9th, 2019, or (ii) the next day school is in session. Any Snow Date or
Run-off election would 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. Copies of the mail-in ballot are available to the public in hard copy at Scarsdale Village Hall and the Scarsdale Library Loft at Supply Field; 244 Heathcote Road and in electronic form on this site at this page. 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 8th, 2019. Submit your mail-in ballot now if you will not be voting in person

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.

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


AMY SCHIFF: 44 Lyons Road Years of Residency: 20 years

Occupation: Voice teacher-private lessons/musical director at not for profit children’s theater Arc Stages.

Education: BA Music Binghamton University, MA NYU Vocal Performance

Child’s/Children’s age(s):  10

Civic Activities: Edgewood PTA 5 years, Cultural Arts Chair (school assemblies) 2 years, class parent 4 years, Girl Scout assistant leader 1 year, Bet Am Shalom “Green” committee, Bet Am Shalom Open Arms Shelter donations committee, Edgewood Classical Cafe Chair 2 years

DAVID BENDERSON: 14 Hamilton Road Years of Residency: 4 Years

Occupation: Ophthalmologist; Director, Valley Medical Group Ophthalmology

Education: BA – Penn State, MD-Penn State, Internship in Internal Medicine – Abington Memorial Hospital, Residency in Ophthalmology – University of Maryland Medical System

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 11, 7

Civic Activities: Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emmanuel – co-chair, Social Action committee (2018) ; Organizer/Advocate – Edgewood Parents of off-site Inclusion Classroom Children (2017), Volunteer – Edgewood Fair (2016, 2017); Volunteer – Young Writers’ Workshop (2016); Volunteer/Guest Lecturer – Valley Hospital Department of Community Health and Community Benefit (2015 – 2018); Volunteer/Guest Lecturer – Thrive! for Women (health education program in Bergen County – 2017), Organizer/Fundraiser – Colleen Conway Grace, MD Lectureship in Ophthalmology, University of Maryland Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (2015 – 2016)


LAURA GELBLUM: 45 Brewster Road Years of Residency17 Years

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom and community volunteer; former marketer at Lancome and American Express

Education: Emory University, BA  in Political Science

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 19, 17, 14, 10

Civic Activities:  Friends of Music & The Arts – Executive Committee Member; Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association – Executive Committee MemberScarsdale High School PTA – College and Career Center Volunteer, YES Office Volunteer; Scarsdale Middle School PTA – 8thGrade Activities Committee Member, MultiCultural Luncheon Committee Member; Fox Meadow PTA – Compact Committee Member, Friends of Music & The Arts Liaison, Abilities Awareness Committee Member, PT Council Young Writers Workshop Volunteer, and other roles; Temple Israel Center- Executive Committee Member, Board of Trustees Member, Nursery School Board Co-Chair, Nursery School Director Search Committee Member.

SEEMA JAGGI: 14 Overhill Road Years of Residency: 13 years

Occupation: Stay-home mom

Education: BS Purdue University, SM MIT, PhD MIT

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 18, 15, 12

Civic Activities: Junior League of Central Westchester Active member 2007-2014, JLCW Treasurer 2008-2010, Fox Meadow PTA Treasurer 2010-2012, Scarsdale Middle School PTA President 2013-2014, Scarsdale Council of PTAs Treasurer 2014-2016, Co-Chair PT Council STEAM Day Committee Fall 2016 and Spring 2018, Scarsdale High School PTA Treasurer 2018-present, Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation Board Member.


TODD COHEN: 1197 Post Road Years of Residency: 11 Years

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Northwestern University, BA in Economics; New York University School of Law, JD

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 15,15,10,8

Civic Activities:None

JENNIFER FISCHER: 28 Greenacres Avenue Years of Residency: 9 Years

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom, formerly Fashion Director of Sales, WWD

Education: BS, College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 19, 17, 15, 8

Civic Activities: Pleasantville Cottages Volunteer (2017-present), PTC nominating committee 2018-19, Scarsdale Downtown Revitalization Committee (2016-present), Greenacres Fundraiser co-chair, 2018-19, Greenacres teacher appreciation chair 2018-19, Fenway Golf Club Board of Trustees (2017-present), WRT Family Mitzvah Corps steering committee (2017-present), White Plains March for our Lives organizing committee, 2018, Artful Looking volunteer (2015-present), Greenacres class parent (2015-present) VP Fundraising, Greenacres (2016-2018), White Plains Hospital Pediatric Advisory Council (2017), WRT Cooking for a Cause (2012-14) WRT EC Fundraiser Chair (2012-14)

XUE SU: 32 Kingston Road Years of Residency: 6 Years – (note: This candidate’s name will not appear on the mailer)

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom, formerly Actuarial Analyst at Milliman Consulting Company,  Guardian Life Insurance Company

Education:MS, Mathematics, University of Connecticut; BS, Computational Mathematics, Nanjing University, China

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 13, 7

Civic Activities: Greenacres PTA: Parent Education Committee Chair (2017-present),  Co-chair (2013-2015); Cultural Arts Committee Chair (2018-present); Multicultural Committee Asian Coordinator (2012-2017); Greenacres Neighborhood Association Board member (2016-present);Scarsdale Chinese Association President (2016-2017);Scarsdale Forum Education Committee member (2015-present); Friends of Music and Arts Liaison (2015-2017)

HEATHCOTE (Vote for up to 3 candidates)

ANIRUDH BANSAL: 40 Birchall Drive Years of Residency: 12 years, 10 months

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: A.B. in Politics, J.D.

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 16, 12, 9

Civic Activities: None

CHRISTOPHER MARKS: 28 Secor Road Years of Residency:14 years


Education: Carleton College (B.A. Economics, 1992) Univ. of Dayton School of Law (J.D. 1995)

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 13, 11

Civic Activities: SMS PTA Exec. Committee, VP of Membership & Student Directory (2017-present); Heathcote PTA Exec. Committee, VP of Technology (2013-2016); Heathcote Capital Project Planning Committee (2015-16); Heathcote PTA Website Chair (2011-2016)

“LAURA” YING LIU: 2 Wheelock Road  Years of Residency8 Years

Occupation: Stay at home parent

Education: Beijing University, B.S. (Chemistry); Cornell University, MBA

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 12, 10, 10

Civic Activities: Heathcote PTA Executive Committee, PTA Secretary (2015- 2017): Heathcote PTA Learning to Look and Multicultural Committee volunteer (2015-2018), Team leader positions at HuaXia Greater New York Chinese School (2014-2018), Scarsdale Chinese Association volunteer, Scarsdale Library community outreach volunteer


EKTA SAHNI VISWANATHAN: 20 Griffen Avenue Years of Residency: 3 Years

Occupation: Banking

Education: Master’s in Economics from Delhi School of Economics – India & MBA finance – University of Connecticut

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 12, 9

Civic Activities: NY PACE – Small Business Opportunities/Mentoring for Minorities, Education outreach programs for girls throughvarious non-profits in India, PTA, March of Dimes and Building with Books volunteer.

ROBERT TEPPER3 Continental Road  Years of Residency: 1 year, 5 months

Occupation: Venture Capital Partner/Investor

Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Hartford/College of Arts and Sciences

Child’s/Children’s age(s): 13, 11, 8

Civic Activities:Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee, 2018 (served the final year for a departing committee member); Board of Directors of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle and Bellevue, Wa., 2016-2017; Board of Directors of Kirkland, (Wa.) Little League, 2016-2017; Special Needs Liaison for the Lake Washington School District, 2012-2017; Head Coach for Kirkland Wa. Little League team, 2014-2017.

Press Contact:             Wendy Gendel

(917) 921-4538

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