Board of Education Members
Standing in the back row from left to right: Melissa Jacobs, Scott Levy, Jason Berland, Mia DiPietro, Petrie Verma. Seated in the front row: left, Lara Stangel, Board President and Lori Kanner, Board Vice President
Lara Stangel, President
Lara Stangel is proudly serving her third term on the Byram Hills Board of Education. She is honored to be the current Board President. Ms. Stangel had previously served as this Board’s Vice President. She currently sits on the Audit and Guidance Advisory Committees and serves as the School Board's Liaison to the Town of North Castle. Lara is also serving as the Legislative Advocate to the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).
Prior to joining the Board of Education, Ms. Stangel had served on the Byram Hills Preschool Association House Tour Committee. She also served on the PTSA as the Vice President of Education from 2010 to 2013, the PTSA President from 2013 to 2015 and the PTSA Liaison to the Byram Hills Education Foundation (BHEF). She was a trustee of the BHEF from 2011 to 2013, and again from 2015 to 2016, where she served on the Grant, Insta-Grant and Gala Committees.
As PTSA President, she established its Advocacy Committee, the purpose of which is to inform and help mobilize the community about educational reform and to instruct how to navigate changes that directly impact the Byram Hills School District.
Her professional career is as a psychiatric social worker, having worked in the field of mental health and education for 28+ years. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College in 1992 and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University in 1994. She also received an advanced degree in clinical social work from New York University in 1999.
Ms. Stangel has been living in Armonk for 16 years with her husband, Justin, and their two daughters, Emily who is in 12th grade and Ashley who is in tenth grade.
Lori Kanner, Vice President
Lori is currently serving the third year of her second elected term as a Trustee of the Byram Hills Board of Education. As a Board of Education Trustee for over five years, Lori has been a member of the Policy Committee and the Health and Athletic Advisory Committee. She also served as the Board’s Representative to the Westchester Putnam School Board Association’s Legislative Advocacy Committee and was the Board’s representative to the Byram Hills Education Foundation. Lori served as Vice President of the Board of Education during her first term and is once again serving as Vice President of the Byram Hills School Board for the 2022-23 school year. Currently, she serves on the Audit Committee, Finance Advisory Committee, the Guidance Advisory Committee, Athletic Advisory Committee and, along with the Board President, she serves as Town Liaison for the Board of Education. Lori feels it is truly an honor to serve the Byram Hills Community.
Lori served as a Board member of the Byram Hills Education Foundation for two three-year terms, the maximum one is permitted to serve. She continues to support this wonderful organization by volunteering and attending their events to support the Byram Hills School District and keep the schools cutting edge with new and innovative grants.
Prior to moving to Armonk, Lori was an Assistant District Attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s office. She also worked in private practice defending both insurance companies and medical professionals. She currently works at Pace’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law.
Lori and her husband Michael have three children. Their oldest two graduated from Byram Hills High School, and their youngest child is currently a student in the Byram Hills School District.
Jason Berland is serving the first year of his second term on the Byram Hills Board of Education. Currently, he sits on the Audit Committee, Health and Athletic Advisory Committee and the Policy Committee. He also serves as a Westchester Putnam School Boards Association Legislative Advocacy Committee representative. Jason previously served for six years as a Board Member of the Byram Hills Education Foundation, where he spent his final four years as Chairman.
Jason is the Deputy General Counsel and Head of Litigation and Investigations at 1/0 Capital, a venture capital firm in Manhattan that invests in growth-stage companies. Before transitioning in-house, Jason spent over a decade in private practice where he focused primarily on government and regulatory actions, internal investigations, white-collar criminal defense, international asset recovery and general commercial litigation. In the public sector, Jason served for eight years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Jason also sits on the Board of Tzahal Shalom of Northern Westchester and spent many years on the Management Team of the Armonk United Soccer Club. He is a graduate of Union College and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Jason has lived in North Castle since 2012, and he and his wife have two children currently attending the Byram Hills schools, and one who graduated from Byram Hills High School in 2022.
Mia DiPietro is serving her third term as a Trustee on the Byram Hills Board of Education. Currently, she sits on the Audit Committee, the Policy Committee and the Health and Athletics Advisory Committee. She will serve as the Board's Communications Liaison to the Byram Hills Preschool Association (BHPA). Prior to joining the Board of Education, Mia served on the BHPA Board for five years, acting as liaison to the Board of Education. In addition, she managed the BHPA Facebook page and served on the Working Moms Committee.
Mia works full-time as a Senior HRIS Specialist-Learning at Marsh McLennan where she has worked since 1998. She is active in the Byram Hills Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) on the Working Parents Committee and C.H.I.L.D and served as class parent for many years. She is also actively involved as a volunteer with the High School Theater Program.
Mia received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Elementary Education from Clark University. She went on to study System Analysis and Design at Columbia University. Mia and her husband, Ron, have lived in Armonk since 2007, where Ron grew up. They have three children attending the Byram Hills schools, Rebecca is in 11th grade, Adam is in 8th grade and Sam is in 4th grade.
Melissa Jacobs was elected to her first term as Trustee to the Board of Education after having been appointed to a vacancy on the Board during the 2021-22 school year. Last year she served on the Guidance Advisory Committee, which she will continue for the 2022-23 school year. In addition, this year she will serve as a liaison between the Board and the Byram Hills Education Foundation.
Melissa previously served for six years on the Board of the Byram Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) as a member of the Executive Board, Secretary, a member of the Grant Review Committee, and as co-chair for the Auction Fundraising Committee. She successfully planned and implemented an annual auction raising up to $70,000 each year to help fund grants in all four schools.
Melissa has also been active in the Byram Hills Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) in various roles. She co-chaired the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at Wampus and co-chaired the PTSA’s Cultural and Curricular Education Committee at Wampus. In addition, Melissa has served as co-chair of the Cultural and Curricular Education Committee at HCC Middle School since 2012, to facilitate bringing presentations and speakers to the school to enhance and enrich the curriculum for all the students. Melissa also served on the Challenge Success Steering Committee at HCC and has contributed to the District’s Site-Based Team as a parent member for several years.
Melissa is an experienced elementary school teacher who was previously tenured as a second grade teacher in Pleasantville. She has also worked as a substitute teacher in local elementary and middle schools including Byram Hills and a local preschool. Melissa has a BA from Tufts University in English and Child Study, and a MA from NYU in Early Childhood Education, and she is New York State certified in both Elementary Education and in Teaching Students with Special Needs.
Melissa has lived in North Castle since 2003, and she and her husband Ari have 3 boys. Her sons Alex and Ethan graduated from Byram Hills in 2017 and 2019, and her son Owen is currently a sophomore at Byram Hills High School.
Scott Levy is serving his third term on the Byram Hills Board of Education. Currently, he sits on the Audit Committee, Finance Advisory Committee, and is a liaison to the BHEF, the PTSA, and the Pre-School Association and the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association. Scott serves as the President of the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association and was formerly a Lower Hudson Education Coalition steering committee member. In June 2020, Scott was appointed to the NYS Regional Task Force for Reopening Schools. He serves on the NYS School Boards Association Investment Advisory Committee.
Scott is a Partner at Lynrock Lake LP. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a board member of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence at Yale Medical School. Prior to that, he spent over 20 years working in financial services as an investment banker and investor. He was formerly a Board Member of the Byram Hills Education Foundation, serving two years as Chairman. Scott is a Director of Gold Group Enterprises, a technology company. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Blythedale Children's Hospital, the President of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Westchester, and sits on the Harvard University Alumni Association Board of Directors. He graduated with a degree in economics from Harvard College and completed a Senior Research Fellowship in public education policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Scott has a daughter who is a Byram Hills graduate and two sons who currently attend Byram Hills School District.
Petrie Verma is serving the second year of his first term on the Byram Hills Board of Education. He will be a member of the policy committee for a second year and of the finance committee. He spent eight years as a member of the PTSA executive board. There, he was Recording Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, VP for Coman Hill and Wampus, and President of the board. During his time with the PTSA he worked closely with administrators and teachers to provide children an optimal learning environment with various school supplies and cultural enrichment programming. Throughout the years, he has been active in the buildings as a class parent and part of many committees such as book fair, beautification, sustainability, and staff appreciation luncheons. He helped pilot the annual Coman Cares week in 2016 and assisted in the planning of the awnings at the Wampus entrances. He has been a volunteer parent coach for Armonk Soccer Club and Armonk Baseball League. Petrie was also a member of the covid stakeholder group, district safety response team, and will continue on as a member of the district site based team for a tenth year.
Petrie is married and went to Manhattanville College for pre-med, but took a turn towards energy commodities trading. He grew up in Somers and has been living in this community since 1990. He has one son who is in 9th grade.
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