District News

Byram Hills Salutes Outgoing Board of Education Member for 23 Years of Service

Praising his dedication to public education, the Byram Hills Central School District honored its longest serving Board of Education member, Ira Schulman, who is stepping down after 23 years to become the North Castle town justice.

Ira Schulman and Dr. Jen LamiaPraising his dedication to public education, the Byram Hills Central School District honored its longest serving Board of Education member, Ira Schulman, who is stepping down after 23 years to become the North Castle town justice.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, Board of Education President Scott Levy and Superintendent Dr. Jen Lamia paid tribute to Mr. Schulman, who will begin his new role on Jan. 1.

Mr. Schulman, who served as board president eight times, shepherded Byram Hills through many important issues. He helped the District in the aftermath of Sept. 11, through budget challenges, changing enrollments, state mandates and most recently, the global pandemic.

“We were really blessed to have someone like Ira with so much experience and insight to help guide us along the way,” Mr. Levy said.

Dr. Lamia hailed Mr. Schulman for creating a culture of excellence at Byram Hills. 

“You’ve supported the most innovative programs, you’ve embraced community partners and other stakeholders and you continue to be a responsible and revered custodian of Byram Hills,” she said. “The Byram Hills District and your Board of Education are so proud to celebrate you today. We’re grateful to you, Ira, for your service to children and to public education.”

“We will miss your guidance, your compassion and your dedication,” she added. “Mostly, we’ll miss you, and we will not forget what you have done.”

Mr. Schulman leaves Byram Hills stronger than when he first joined the board.

“I hope that you’re an inspiration for all of our students because it’s an example of how an individual, through many years of distinguished public service, can add so much value to an institution that they love,” Mr. Levy said. “We will sincerely miss you, but wish you all the best in your new position as town judge.”

Dr. Lamia credited Mr. Schulman with helping to make sure that Byram Hills hired the very best teachers while remaining fiscally responsible, for creating expectations for a rigorous curriculum and for helping the District create an approach to cultural proficiency. She noted that he is a tremendous supporter of the Byram Hills athletics program and was honored by the Armonk Chamber of Commerce as its Citizen of the Year in 2019.

“Your level of passion 20 years ago as a board member is exactly the same as it is today,” she said. “You care about supporting public schools for the benefit of all children.”
 
Mr. Schulman, who received a standing ovation, was touched by the tributes. 

“The past 23 years have just meant the world to me,” he said. “To serve this Board of Education, this school district as a board member, eight terms as board president, has just been one of the true joys of my life.”

Mr. Schulman and his wife, Betty, have lived in the Byram Hills district for 35 years and their children graduated from the Byram Hills schools. He expressed his love of the District and said he’ll continue to cheer for Byram. 

“I do love this District, the education, the athletics, the fine arts, the music, the drama, the science research,” he said. “Everything about it, to me, is what makes not only this school district, but this country, great.”

Mr. Schulman was presented with a plaque honoring his service, and Dr. Lamia read the card from the entire District, which said: “Thank you for your selfless support of our students, staff, families and public education. Thank you for helping to make Byram Hills a place we’re all proud to be a part of. Your legacy will live in each of us.”

“Thank you so much for this honor,” Mr. Schulman said. “I hope I'm worthy of it in your eyes. That I am makes me feel all the better. Thank you so very much.”

At its January meeting, the board will discuss whether to leave the board seat vacant, fill it through an interim appointment or to hold a special election.