SOMERS, N.Y. – The Somers Board of Education has selected Donna Rosenblum to take the place of Anthony Cirieco, who vacated his seat to serve on the Somers Town Board.
Rosenblum, mother of two teens who have attended Somers schools since kindergarten, holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a master's degree in business administration from The Wharton School. She is retired from a corporate career at PepsiCo, where she managed large budgets and made significant human resources decisions.
She is currently team manager for the FC Somers Cyclones soccer team and a member of the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee.
“I thought about it for a long time,” Rosenblum said. “I knew it would be a challenge and I would learn a lot, but I care deeply about the schools. I felt it would be an example to my children, not only in terms of service, but in ‘putting yourself out there,’ which isn’t always easy.”
Of the eight candidates who were originally up for consideration, three withdrew for various reasons. The remaining five, Rosenblum, Rodd Kauffman, Bob Raffo, Joseph Marra and Ronald D’Souza, were interviewed individually by a subcommittee of the school board on Dec. 18.
“This process allowed us to meet people in a way we don’t normally get to do in the election process,” said board President Sarena Meyer. “They actually came to talk to us, and we deliberated extensively afterward.
“Ordinarily, if you’re elected in May, you get appointed in July and you have until September to get up to speed,” Meyer said. “In this case, the short-term, intermediate need was for someone with knowledge about our schools, our operations and our budget process at hand, so that the person who steps in on Jan. 22 could hit the ground running.”
“I am stunned at how wonderful the five candidates were,” Meyer said. “Each of them was very well-qualified and genuinely interested in serving. The subcommittee strongly encourages each of them to seriously consider running in April. Unfortunately, we could only choose one right now.”
Board member Harvey Kriedberg said, “I was also amazed at the quality of the people we interviewed. I also encourage those people to run in April. I believe we have three vacancies coming up. If you serve on the board, you serve everyone in Somers, as well as helping the children in our school system.”
Board member Linda Graffiti said, “In order to run for the board, you need to be a town resident, 18 or over. You also need to speak English. Then you just need a petition with 46 signatures.”