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Community News

Heard Around the Wa­ter­cooler

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July 1, 2019

by Maria Ann Roglieri – 

Dobbs Ferry Student Competes in U.S. Junior Chess Championship

Watercooler17-year-old Nicholas Checa of Dobbs Ferry will compete in the U.S. Junior Chess Championship. The 10-day tournament is an invitation-only junior chess competition and will be held in the U.S. Chess Capital of St. Louis in July. Checa became U12 National Champion in the USCF/Chess.com invitational championship in 2012 and since then has been a member of the All-American Chess Team. He became the youngest New York State Champion in history at age 11 and still holds that record. At age 13, he tied for fifth place in the World Youth Chess Championship in Greece, where he was the official U.S. player in the U14 section.

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Phelps Social Worker Achievement

Congratulations to Melissa Eisele-Kaplan for receiving her certification as a Certified Patient Experience Professional (CPXP) from the Patient Experience Institute (PXI). This prestigious and unique professional designation is awarded to professionals who are able to demonstrate strong leadership in influencing the systems, processes, and behaviors of a positive patient experience across the healthcare continuum. She is currently a member of the Phelps Patient Experience Department and for the past 11 years worked in the Hospice Department at Phelps. She has worked as a social worker for the past 23 years, both at Phelps and in New York City agencies and hospitals.

Tarrytown Students Win Falcon Naming Contest

The New NY Bridge held a contest to name the baby of the pair of peregrine falcons who live on the bridge. Students in Bridget Bentley’s class in The Public Schools of the Tarrytown’s Washington Irving School were honored as the winners for choosing the most popular name – Cardi Beak – and received certificates from the New NY Bridge Project.

Sleepy Hollow High Students Win Multiple Metro Awards

Competing against students from 55 high schools, SHHS performing arts students took home top prizes in the 2019 Metro Awards. They won Best Overall Production (under the direction of Julie Dore) and Best Choreography (under the direction of TJ and Tracy O’Sullivan) while Ginger Sakarya also won the Best Actress Award for her performance as Dolly. The students accepted their awards with cheers and tears. Congratulations to the cast, crew, pit, and production team of Hello Dolly!

Irvington Appoints New High School Principal

Juliet L. Gevargis-Mizimakoski has been appointed principal of Irvington High School, beginning July 1. She served as a high school assistant principal for 11 years in the Orangetown Central School District. Before that she was assistant principal at Millennium Art Academy High School in the Bronx, as well as a Social Studies teacher at Herbert Lehman High School in the Bronx.

Dobbs Ferry Man Receives Honorary Degree

Congratulations to Edward Plotkin, formerly of Dobbs Ferry, for receiving an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the City College of the City University of New York (CCNY). Plotkin served Dobbs Ferry for 50 years as chair of the Dobbs Ferry Planning Board. He also served as Commissioner of Public Works for Westchester County and was an adjunct professor of Physics in Manhattan College and Environmental Science at Mercy College.

Tarrytown Businesswoman Named One of Elite Women in Insurance

Congratulations to JoAnne Murray who was named one of the Elite Women in Insurance for 2019. Only 68 women across the country were selected. According to Insurance Business America, women accounted for 61% of the insurance industry workforce from 2006 to 2015 but are still underrepresented in leadership positions. This year’s 68 elite women include C-level executives and a wide range of directors and vice presidents. Murray is currently president of Alan M. Block Agency, Inc. She has also served on the Professional Insurance Agents Counsel and the Sleepy Hollow Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce, and she chairs the annual Tarrytown Halloween parade committee, and co-chairs Tarrytown’s Duck Derby. In the past, Murray has served as President of the Westchester Independent Insurance Agents Association.

(Please send your noteworthy news to mroglier@yahoo.com.)

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