Pelham Examiner

Cristina Stefanizzi, Deputy Managing Editor

Cristina is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is the class of 2023 secretary and the Editor-in-Chief of the PMHS Pelican Yearbook. Cristina is also the co-president/founder of the PMHS Breast Cancer Awareness Club, a president of the PMHS Operation Smile Club, and vice president of the Pelham Together Youth Council. She also enjoys participating in the PMHS Concert and Chamber Choruses, as well as the Sock ‘n’ Buskin Theater Department. She is excited to contribute to the Pelham Examiner.

All content by Cristina Stefanizzi
Robbie Shepherd space suited up at Advanced Space Academy.

PMHS junior completes Advanced Space Academy at U.S. Space and Rocket Center, wins Right Stuff award

September 15, 2021

Robbie Shepherd, a junior at Pelham Memorial High School, completed Advanced Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, participating in numerous space-elated simulations....

Foto Feature: What did people want? Some NORMAL fun. They return to pack stands as PMHS football wins

Foto Feature: What did people want? Some NORMAL fun. They return to pack stands as PMHS football wins

September 11, 2021

The PMHS football team beat Sleepy Hollow 27-0 in its first game of the season Friday night—and the first game with all the fans in the stands in more than a year. Supporters packed the bleachers...

Snapshot: PMHS centennial celebrations begin, banners displayed outside building

Snapshot: PMHS centennial celebrations begin, banners displayed outside building

September 11, 2021

PMHS is celebrating its 100th year educating students, and will be hosting a centennial celebration on Oct. 16. The event will include highlights from across the decades and tours of the building. More...

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September 11, 2021

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September 11, 2021

The flooding destroyed basements full of household good in Pelham, with pickups by the villages on going.

[Photo] Foto Feature: Stacks of household items destroyed by Hurricane Ida’s flooding line Pelham’s streets

September 7, 2021

The flooding destroyed basements full of household good in Pelham, with pickups by the villages on going.

School board votes to require all district staff, athletes in high risk sports to show proof of jab or test weekly

School board votes to require all district staff, athletes in high risk sports to show proof of jab or test weekly

August 30, 2021

The Pelham Board of Education unanimously approved two resolutions Wednesday requiring all district staff and athletes playing high risk sports to provide proof of vaccination or participate in weekly...

Pelham schools to return to pre-pandemic schedules; health precautions remain in place

Pelham schools to return to pre-pandemic schedules; health precautions remain in place

August 12, 2021

The Pelham school district's reopening advisory task force met on Wednesday to review the district's plans for the upcoming school year starting on Sept. 9, including the discontinuation of fully remote...

The administrative offices of the Pelham Union Free School District are in a wing of the high school.

School district ‘disappointed’ at lack of new state guidance, will set own Covid rules for school year

August 6, 2021

The Pelham school district is "disappointed" it will not receive updated guidance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office or the New York State Department of Health on opening schools and will make its own decisions...

A window was boarded up after the attempted burglary at LeGravinese Jewelry.

Attempted burglary at LaGravinese Jewelers on Tuesday night

July 29, 2021

A burglar smashed a front window of LaGravinese Jewelers on Fifth Avenue late Tuesday night in an attempted break in. The burglar did not get into the shop, but stole a few display rings that were not...

'Black Widow' continues growing trend of female empowerment in Marvel Cinematic Universe

‘Black Widow’ continues growing trend of female empowerment in Marvel Cinematic Universe

July 23, 2021

Starting July 9, Marvel fans and moviegoers received a long awaited and much needed female empowerment film, finally bringing justice and closure to the character of Black Widow. Considering Scarlett Johansson's...

The Pelham school board approved a proposed diversity policy while meeting in Alumni Hall.

School board okays diversity policy after wording is criticized by new trustees, amendment defeated

July 19, 2021

The Pelham Board of Education unanimously adopted a diversity, equity and inclusion policy after its third reading Tuesday, but not before the two newly sworn-in trustees criticized language in it and...

Pelham Memorial High School

MVP Indivisible calls on residents to push for school district’s proposed diversity policy, hinting at opposition

July 13, 2021

Mount Vernon Pelham Indivisible has called on Pelham community members to email school board members in support of adoption of the proposed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policy, which will have...

'Manifest' thrives with creative writing and unique premise

‘Manifest’ thrives with creative writing and unique premise

July 2, 2021

A plane takes off on a routine trip, but when it lands five and a half years have passed and the 191 passengers on board hadn't aged a day. "Manifest" takes viewers through a three season journey that...

School board president says 'no change' made to public comment policy; multiple cultural competence proposals outlined

School board president says ‘no change’ made to public comment policy; multiple cultural competence proposals outlined

June 23, 2021

School board president Jessica DeDomenico addressed recent discussion surrounding the board policy on public comment at Wednesday's board of education meeting. "Given that community engagement is and...

Fifth grader Maggie Reid pedals 85 miles, raises $4,000 for Feeding Westchester

Fifth grader Maggie Reid pedals 85 miles, raises $4,000 for Feeding Westchester

June 18, 2021

Maggie Reid, an 11-year-old fifth grader at Colonial School, biked 85 miles with her father to raise more than $4,000 for Feeding Westchester over the Memorial Day weekend. They made that long run...

Resident of Esplanade asked questions on vaping and video cameras in schools Dec. 11, 2018 and received answers.

School board DID answer residents’ questions publicly in 2018-2019; so far, no comment on when, why the change

June 11, 2021

Pelham school board members and administrators answered residents’ questions during public meetings in 2018 and through part of 2019, based on a review of meeting videos by the Pelham Examiner. The board...

Champ's tentative plan for Covid-19 relief money: additional teachers, building-level subs, one psychologist

Champ’s tentative plan for Covid-19 relief money: additional teachers, building-level subs, one psychologist

June 5, 2021

The board of education Wednesday heard a draft plan for using the more than $800,000 the school district received as part of the federal Covid-19 relief fund for schools and localities. The new diversity,...

Pelham Manor police headquarters.

Pelham Manor Police Chief Carpenter abruptly retires over weekend; mayor not saying more for legal reasons

June 4, 2021

Pelham Manor Police Chief Jeffrey Carpenter has abruptly retired from the department he served since 1998, according to a two-sentence email statement Wednesday from the Village of Pelham Manor. He was...

Pelham school board approves tenure for 10, hears about pandemic's impact on some test results

Pelham school board approves tenure for 10, hears about pandemic’s impact on some test results

May 21, 2021

The Pelham Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to award tenure to ten district staff members and received a presentation on the impact of the pandemic on some elementary and middle school test...

School board candidates discuss their qualifications, debate equity audit, board's Q&A policy

School board candidates discuss their qualifications, debate equity audit, board’s Q&A policy

May 16, 2021

At an online forum on Wednesday, the five candidates vying for two seats on the Pelham school board discussed their qualifications and debated the district's racial equity audit and the board's current...

Powers seeks hand in rebuilding trust between teachers and students following equity audit results

Powers seeks hand in rebuilding trust between teachers and students following equity audit results

May 11, 2021

Janice Powers is looking to implement the district's recommendations on the racial equity audit if elected to the Pelham Board of Education, building off her work with Bridges of Pelham. "I think...

Trustee Eileen Miller (far left) with her family.

Miller wants to turn insight she’s gained into improvements with school board reelection

May 10, 2021

Eileen Miller is seeking reelection to the board of education to further the district's work with the equity audit and continue to work on the reopening of schools. "I encourage everyone to look past...

Jess Young

School board candidate Young on reopening: ‘Best thing we have done is changing our strategy as we go’

May 4, 2021

Jess Young is seeking reelection May 18 as a school trustee to continue her work on the board with capital projects and school reopening and to see future projects through. Young is in a five-person race...

Rowe and his family.

Rowe seeks leadership in forming district reopening plans, criticizes ‘inappropriate’ questions on student survey

April 30, 2021

Ian Rowe, former CEO of Public Prep, a network of public charter elementary and middle schools, and Pelham parent, wants your vote for one of the two seats open on the Pelham Board of Education. Like...

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School tax increase lowered to 2.5%, proposed budget includes funds for Covid-19 learning issues

School tax increase lowered to 2.5%, proposed budget includes funds for Covid-19 learning issues

April 18, 2021

The Pelham Union Free School District's 2021-22 budget would increase taxes 2.5%, a reduction from the proposed 3.31% made during Wednesday's board of education meeting. Use of an additional $550,000 from...

Survey responses in Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ's presentation.

PMS will switch to full-time in person April 19; PMHS to get expanded hybrid April 26 due to space issues

April 9, 2021

Pelham Middle School will return to full-time, in-person learning April 19, while Pelham Memorial High School will instead move to a "more robust" hybrid model April 26 because it has more students and...

The administrative offices of the Pelham Union Free School District are in a wing of the high school.

Citizens Nominating Committee will not interview school board candidates for second year due to Covid-19

April 1, 2021

For the second year, the Pelham Citizens Nominating Committee will not interview board of education candidates due to Covid-19 complications. "Given the challenge running an appropriate process during...

Board of education discusses reopening plans, new state testing requirements

Board of education discusses reopening plans, new state testing requirements

March 26, 2021

Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ and members of the community reopening task force gave an update regarding a return to full-time in-person learning at Wednesday's board of education meeting. Elementary...

Owen-Michaane seeks board seat after hearing Champ's call for medical expertise

Owen-Michaane seeks board seat after hearing Champ’s call for medical expertise

March 23, 2021

During a February school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ asked for help from medical experts in the district in the effort to reopen schools safely. Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane...

The first two of five major recommendations from the report on the racial equity audit done by the NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.

Problems revealed in equity audit are lived experience for BIPOC grad and parents, who call for changes

March 22, 2021

As a person of color who went through the Pelham school system, Nora Tahbaz read nothing in the district’s racial equity report that was a surprise. It was her lived experience. Tahbaz, a Pelham Memorial...

School board president talks about racial equity moves including Princeton Plan, restorative justice

School board president talks about racial equity moves including Princeton Plan, restorative justice

March 18, 2021

Pelham Board of Education President Jessica DeDomenico said enacting the Princeton Plan as recommended in the district's report on racial equity "solves a lot of the concerns around race and equity" but...

Champ says elementary students will return to fully in-person learning April 12, secondary schools to follow

Champ says elementary students will return to fully in-person learning April 12, secondary schools to follow

March 11, 2021

Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ told the board of education Wednesday elementary school students will be brought back fully in-person starting April 12, which allows for an extra week after spring break...

Champ proposes budget with 3.31% tax increase, possible return to in-person learning after spring break

Champ proposes budget with 3.31% tax increase, possible return to in-person learning after spring break

March 1, 2021

Pelham Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ proposed a $80.2 million preliminary budget for the 2021-22 school year with a 3.31% tax increase at the board of education meeting Wednesday. She also said the district...

The new Hutchinson School under construction.

Racial equity: Champ will ‘repair community harm’ with more diverse staff, examination of instruction

February 8, 2021

The Pelham school district plans to "repair community harm" identified in a racial equity audit by hiring a more diverse staff and examining instruction to "reflect principles and values of inclusivity...

The online petition calling for Pelham schools to reopen for full-time, in-person learning.

Pelham parents petition board of education to fully reopen schools in spring, next year

February 4, 2021

At Wednesday's school board meeting, a group of Pelham parents presented a petition calling on the trustees and Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ to give students the opportunity to attend school full-time...

Chamber of Commerce running town-wide Valentine's and kindness initiatives

Chamber of Commerce running town-wide Valentine’s and kindness initiatives

February 3, 2021

The Pelham Chamber of Commerce is planning numerous Valentine's Day initiatives for the month of February to support local businesses and thank frontline workers. The chamber is encouraging Pelham...

Foto Feature: Rainbows still serve as symbol of hope throughout Pelham

Foto Feature: Rainbows still serve as symbol of hope throughout Pelham

January 27, 2021

Rainbows have served as a symbol of community hope and togetherness through the Covid-19 pandemic. The paintings, pictures and other images started appearing in spring 2020 and were seen in communities...

Pelham school district alters elementary hybrid schedule, lengthens day in mid-year adjustment

Pelham school district alters elementary hybrid schedule, lengthens day in mid-year adjustment

January 22, 2021

The Pelham school district is making mid-year adjustments to the hybrid learning schedule for the elementary schools beginning Feb. 1, including changing the start time to 9:10 a.m. and having rolling...

'Death to 2020:' Satirical reflection on historic year

‘Death to 2020:’ Satirical reflection on historic year

January 15, 2021

A historic pandemic, the deaths of millions of Americans, raging wildfires, a nail-biting election, Black Lives Matter protests and more. 2020 was quite a year, with many moments being added to future...

District staff approved to work from home when students are virtual; elementary parents want full-day Wednesday

District staff approved to work from home when students are virtual; elementary parents want full-day Wednesday

January 8, 2021

Pelham Superintendent Cheryl Champ discussed the results of surveys of district staff and elementary parents on hybrid learning Wednesday at the board of education's first meeting of the new year. The...

Axon Body 3 camera in demonstration.

Village of Pelham police reform panel calls for body cams, reveals off-duty officers no longer do residency checks

January 2, 2021

The Village of Pelham's steering committee on police reform called for officers to wear body cameras and revealed the Pelham school district will no longer hire off-duty members of the force to conduct...

A moment captured from the 2020 PMHS Olympics.

Continued teen partying during Covid-19 threatens Pelham’s health—and school traditions

December 21, 2020

Some Pelham parents believe going to "the woods" is a rite of passage for Pelham students, but that’s not an excuse for the reckless, dangerous and illegal behavior kids take part in at Split Rock Golf...

County Exec. Latimer discusses increase in Covid-19 cases

December 4, 2020

Westchester County Executive George Latimer gave an update Friday to the public regarding the rising number of Covid-19 cases. Westchester is now briefing on Covid-19 two times a week due to the continuous...

Pelham village board, with public back, addresses debate over political symbols in schools

Pelham village board, with public back, addresses debate over political symbols in schools

November 30, 2020

The Village of Pelham Board of Trustees met Tuesday with members of the public present for the first time since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed, addressing the debate in the community over the thin...

The new Pelham municipal center will be on the former Capital One bank site at 200 Fifth Avenue.

Village of Pelham trustees restart talks with downtown developers Pelham House after Covid delay

November 13, 2020

The Village of Pelham Board of Trustees discussed Tuesday delayed plans to construct apartments and a new municipal building to house the village’s government departments. During the meeting, the...

After long, strange journey, Memorial Field now appears headed for real rebirth

After long, strange journey, Memorial Field now appears headed for real rebirth

November 6, 2020

Through four mayors, unaccounted millions in funds for supposed renovations and shifts in project goals, historic Memorial Field in Mount Vernon sat untouched and unrepaired. Westchester County tried for...

Foto Feature: Senior haunted trail brings frights and fun (outdoors)

Foto Feature: Senior haunted trail brings frights and fun (outdoors)

November 4, 2020

The Pelham Memorial High School Class of 2021 participated in the senior tradition of hosting something haunted, though with a Covid-era adjustment. The usual haunted house became a haunted trail, with...

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Cristina Stefanizzi