Brice, Tahbaz and Mazzaro will not seek reelection to school board

From left, John Brice, Leah Tahbaz and Vincent Mazzaro all announced they won’t be running for reelection to the school board. The picture is from the night they were elected in May 2019 after votes were counted in the Pelham Memorial High School gym.

The three school trustees whose terms are up this year—John Brice, Leah Tahbaz and Vincent Mazzaro—each announced they will not seek reelection at recent board of education meetings. Their three-year terms end on June 30, with the balloting for the open board seats and the school district budget to be held on May 17.

As two incumbent board members were defeated by Ian Rowe and Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane in last year’s five-way race, the school board will have five of seven trustees with board experience of a year or less come July 1. The remaining two, School Board President Jessica DeDomenico and Vice President Sue Bratone Childs, were reelected to new terms in 2020. No candidates have publicly declared they are running for the board.

Brice announced he would not be running during a Feb. 2 board work session. He said he “doesn’t feel comfortable with any of the other media outlets we have now, so I decided to do it directly.”

Brice, who was appointed by the board in August 2018 to serve out an unexpired term after a trustee resigned and was elected to a full term in May 2019, encouraged residents to put themselves forward if they feel up to running for the board of education. “Even running is a great experience if you don’t get elected,” he said. The learning and the takeaways that one gets from being surrounded by other trustees are worthwhile and should spur other residents to run in May’s election, he said. 

Brice had a previous stint on the board from 2001-2010, including four years as president. Before his 2018 appointment, he served on the district’s bond steering committee. He has also been a member of the Pelham Manor Zoning Board of Appeals, Pelham Manor Planning Board and the Village of Pelham Architectural Review Board.

Tahbaz and Mazzaro both announced they were stepping down during Wednesday’s school board meeting.

“It has been and continues to be an honor to serve this community,” Tahbaz said. She stressed the importance of relationships and the strong community bond she made during her term. She said she wishes to move on after three years of service but will remain involved in the Pelham community and speak with residents about local topics and issues.

Before her election, Tahbaz served as president of the PTA Council, was a member of the Pelham Memorial High School site-based council and served on the boards of the Junior League of Pelham, the Pelham Children’s Center, the Pelham Education Foundation and Pelham Together.

In making his announcement, Mazzaro said the youngest of his five children is graduating this year and stepping down was a “perfect parallel.”

He said his time on the board had been difficult but extremely worthwhile and rewarding. “There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but it is for our kids,” said Mazzaro.

Mazzaro was appointed to serve out an unexpired term after a resignation at the same time as Brice and also was elected to a full term in May 2019

Prior to the school board, he had served as a member of the Pelham Recreation Commission and treasurer for Friends of Pelham Sports, which spearheaded the fundraising effort to install a turf field at the Glover complex.