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Byram Hills Board of Ed to Fill Vacancy on March 8

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The Byram Hills Board of Education will select an interim board member at its Mar. 8 meeting after it met and briefly interviewed two candidates last week for the vacant seat.

Residents Melissa Jacobs and Gwen Torre each read roughly five-minute statements and answered several questions from the board.

Jacobs and Torre both have a background in education, have had children in the district and have volunteered in different capacities in the community.

After starting her career as a second-grade teacher in Pleasantville, Jacobs said she has worked as a substitute teacher in various districts throughout Westchester. She has also served on the Byram Hills Education Foundation and has been involved in all of the district’s schools as a parent.

She said her professional experience and familiarity with the school district would be an asset to the board and would help in continuing the high standards that are synonymous with Byram Hills.

“I would love the opportunity to support Byram Hills’ continued emphasis on academic excellence and rigor while also addressing students’ social and emotional growth,” Jacobs said. “I believe we need to continue to hire and retain the superlative teachers and principals that my sons have experienced, individuals who are truly experienced in our students’ education and who are a vital part of our learning community.”

Torre started her teaching career in Staten Island, where she was raised, and also taught in Queens and districts throughout Westchester. She has also volunteered as a board member for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

“I would like to learn and contribute to the educational future of my own community using some of the skill sets that I have already built over the years,” she said.

The vacancy was created at the end of last year following the resignation of longtime board member Ira Schulman, who was elected North Castle town justice. The appointed board member would serve until the May 17 election.

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