Pelham Examiner

Margot Phillips, Managing Editor/Features

Margot (MJ) is a senior at Pelham Memorial High School. Apart from working on the Examiner, she participates in science research and does oral interpretation on the PMHS forensic speech team. Margot has previously written for the News of Pelham, Colonial Times, and DOOR Magazine. She has a passion for history, biology, reading, and writing.

All content by Margot Phillips
Pelham United protest gives platform for residents to share experiences, condemn Asian hate

Pelham United protest gives platform for residents to share experiences, condemn Asian hate

April 4, 2021

Shouts of "Say their names" broke the sleepy  Saturday afternoon during spring break, an eerie echo of the Black Lives Matter protests of last june. This year, the cries call Pelham to "Stop Asian Hate." The...

Fourth PMHS Covid-19 case forces remote learning for remainder of week

Fourth PMHS Covid-19 case forces remote learning for remainder of week

January 21, 2021

A fourth individual at PMHS within the past five days has tested positive for Covid-19. Due to quarantines of staff, the high school will be remote Jan 21. and Jan 22. after only 8 days of hybrid in-person...

PMHS students who failed to follow Covid protocols by partying asked to self-quarantine

PMHS students who failed to follow Covid protocols by partying asked to self-quarantine

January 11, 2021

"If you attended this party you are expected to quarantine for 10 days," said PMHS Principal Mark Berkowitz in an email following reports of a party with 15-30 PMHS students. The email specified that...

PMHS to be virtual through end of 2020 due to staffing shortage

PMHS to be virtual through end of 2020 due to staffing shortage

December 17, 2020

Pelham Memorial High School will be fully virtual from Friday through the end of 2020 classes on Dec. 22. All other Pelham schools will be open on Friday for in-person instruction under the hybrid plan. The...

Update: Champ extends virtual instruction at PMHS to Dec. 3 due to Covid-19 case

Update: Champ extends virtual instruction at PMHS to Dec. 3 due to Covid-19 case

November 25, 2020

Pelham Memorial High School will be using fully virtual instruction from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2 due to an individual testing positive for Covid-19, according to emails sent out by Principal Mark Berkowitz and...

Siwanoy switches to all virtual for 2 weeks after individual tests positive for Covid-19

Siwanoy switches to all virtual for 2 weeks after individual tests positive for Covid-19

November 11, 2020

The third Pelham school heads into all-virtual learning as district officials announced that an individual from Siwanoy School tested positive for Covid-19 amid a rising infection rate in Westchester....

Pelham Middle School students evacuated to Ingalls Field.

Middle schoolers sent home after secondary students held in place due to Covid-19 case

November 6, 2020

Pelham middle and high schools were held in place due to a positive Covid-19 case "reported this morning at the secondary campus," the Pelham Union Free School District said in a statement made Friday...

Third Covid-19 case forces school district to switch Hutch to all virtual learning through Nov. 13

Third Covid-19 case forces school district to switch Hutch to all virtual learning through Nov. 13

November 3, 2020

Hutchinson School will run an entirely virtual schedule from Tuesday through Nov. 13 due to an "additional" positive case of Covid-19 in the school, according to an email sent Monday by the Pelham Union...

Village of Pelham voters enter the Daronco Town House after waiting an hour to vote before midday.

Foto Feature: Midday lines for Pelham voters, cars in OLPH lot in Pelham Manor

November 3, 2020

Before midday, Village of Pelham residents waited to vote in a line that ran from polling place Daronco Town House down 5th Avenue, wrapped along Schwerner Way and up Harmon Avenue. Voters at the front...

Voters Tuesday morning at Daronco Town House wrapped around the block to Harmon Avenue.

[Photo] Polls close at 9 p.m.: Local guide for Pelham Manor and Pelham voters

November 3, 2020

Voters Tuesday morning at Daronco Town House wrapped around the block to Harmon Avenue.

County Executive Latimer enacts mask mandate for schools amidst largest Covid spike since June

County Executive Latimer enacts mask mandate for schools amidst largest Covid spike since June

October 19, 2020

"We lost 12 people in two months, now we have lost 12 people in two weeks," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said in his Covid-19 briefing this afternoon. Westchester has seen a rise in Covid-related...

Pelham man sentenced to 10 years sex offender probation for possession of graphic images

September 23, 2020

Pelham resident Danny Manich was sentenced to 10 years of sex offender probation by Westchester County Judge Anne Minihan after being found to be in possession of graphic images of a young child on...

Pelham schools to start year in hybrid mode that includes required daily health form, altered schedules

Pelham schools to start year in hybrid mode that includes required daily health form, altered schedules

August 30, 2020

Pelham's school will start classes on Sept. 10 using the hybrid model, according to emails sent Friday to elementary, middle and high school families in the Pelham Union Free School District. Students...

Petition asking school superintendent to improve remote-learning plans gains 299 signatures

Petition asking school superintendent to improve remote-learning plans gains 299 signatures

August 25, 2020

Pelham parents David Joachim and Jade-Snow Joachim started a change.org petition Wednesday that has so far gained 299 signatures in a bid to get the district to provide "as much parity between in-class...

Village of Pelham police vehicles parked next to Town Hall, which houses the department.

Village of Pelham police steering committee will meet behind closed doors; here’s what you’ll miss

July 25, 2020

The ten-member Village of Pelham Steering Committee on Local Policing will meet in private for at least some sessions because it is not a public body as defined by the state Open Meetings Law. On this...

State legislators push for Budget Equity Act

State legislators push for Budget Equity Act

July 15, 2020

New York State Sens. Alexandra Biaggi, James Skoufis and Jose Rivera along with several other state legislators spoke at a virtual press conference regarding an amendment to the state constitution. This...

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June 24, 2020

'No Justice?' 'No Peace!' Pelham rally seeks to give white residents glimpse of black experience

‘No Justice?’ ‘No Peace!’ Pelham rally seeks to give white residents glimpse of black experience

June 17, 2020

“NO JUSTICE?” “NO PEACE!”  “NO JUSTICE?” “NO PEACE!”  The crowd marching up Fifth Avenue Saturday from the Pelham Art Center belted this simple message to all of Pelham as it made...

Pelham school district lays out plans for distance learning, breakfast and lunch distribution

Pelham school district lays out plans for distance learning, breakfast and lunch distribution

March 17, 2020

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel Dr. Steven Garcia laid out the district's distance learning plan during the school closure in an email. The plan is set to begin Wednesday...

Pelham schools shut until April 10 with distance learning starting Wed.; PMHS senior tests positive for COVID-19

Pelham schools shut until April 10 with distance learning starting Wed.; PMHS senior tests positive for COVID-19

March 15, 2020

Pelham public schools will be closed March 16 through April 10, with a tentative reopening on April 13, Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ said in an emailed announcement Sunday. The closure includes much...

More than 50 attend presentation on proposed construction of Village of Pelham municipal building and 126 apartments

March 11, 2020

Upwards of 50 people attended a presentation Tuesday by Village of Pelham officials on a developer's proposed plan for a new municipal building to include a firehouse, village offices and police station...

Book review: ‘First Came Us’ deals with the nuances of maintaining a family

February 19, 2020

Author Rachel Cullen, a Pelham resident, brings the nuances of maintaining a family to life in her latest book "First Came Us." The novel, presented from the points of view of three people in the same...

Use of social media by young people is transforming journalism; I'm one of them and I'm scared

Use of social media by young people is transforming journalism; I’m one of them and I’m scared

February 12, 2020

I'm afraid of how my social media use is affecting the world. A recent article in the Economist, "Seize the memes: Teenagers are rewriting the rules of the news; That will affect both the industry and...

The Local Branch, new coworking space, opens in former Capital One bank building

The Local Branch, new coworking space, opens in former Capital One bank building

January 20, 2020

When the Capital One bank across the intersection from the Pelham Art Center closed its doors three years ago, expectations were that, after the ATM and drive-through teller windows had been removed, the...

New nonprofit Amplify Pelham Science Research seeks to boost research program at PMHS

New nonprofit Amplify Pelham Science Research seeks to boost research program at PMHS

November 21, 2019

Amplify Pelham Science Research introduced itself last Thursday as a new nonprofit set up to support the science research program at Pelham Memorial High School. Science research is a four-year elective...

Fatality confirmed after person struck by Metro-North train on Monday

Fatality confirmed after person struck by Metro-North train on Monday

November 20, 2019

The person struck by a Metro-North train Monday died following the incident, said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin at the Pelham Town Hall forum Wednesday. She did not provide further details, but did advocate...

Environmental engineers like Pelham’s Eileen Feldman make possible New York area’s great tap water

November 20, 2019

It is fact that New York City and its suburbs have the best tap water (and thus, the best bagels and pizza). You turn on your tap, and there's no doubt that the water pouring out is clean and safe to drink....

Pedestrian struck by train between Pelham and Mount Vernon stations

Pedestrian struck by train between Pelham and Mount Vernon stations

November 18, 2019

A person was struck by a train somewhere between the Pelham and Mount Vernon East stations, snarling the evening commute, according to a Metro-North Railroad statement Monday. "New Haven Line delays...

Latin Club out recruiting (we hope).

[Photo] Foto Feature: Wolfs Walk street fest

September 9, 2019

Latin Club out recruiting (we hope).

Cupcakes, other treats banned at elementary school birthday parties

Cupcakes, other treats banned at elementary school birthday parties

September 4, 2019

Pelham elementary schools "will be replacing edible treats with non-food celebrations" at student birthday parties, according to a letter sent home to parents by the principals of Hutchinson, Siwanoy,...

The company

Foto Feature: SOOP performs ‘Spring Awakening’

September 3, 2019

SOOP's summer theater presented "Spring Awakening" their first production in the 530 Studio (aptly named for its location at 530 Fifth Avenue). Despite the constraints of the smaller stage, the cast...

Protesters formed a silent wall in the center of the terminal.

Protest against ICE in Grand Central attracts tourists, Trump counter-protestors; Metro North delays result

July 8, 2019

A silent wall of people holding signs protesting against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency filled much of the Grand Concourse of Grand Central Terminal during the rush hour Monday. The protestors...

314 Pelhamdale Ave.

Voters approve purchase of house next to Colonial School for playground, offices

June 19, 2019

Voters approved Tuesday the use of $1.1 million to purchase the house at 314 Pelhamdale Ave. by a margin of 783 to 123, according to unofficial results announced by Pelham School Board President Sue Bratone...

From left, John Brice, Leah Tahbaz and Vincent Mazzaro in the PMHS gym after they were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Education.

Pelham voters approve school budget; Brice, Mazzaro, Tahbaz elected to Board of Ed

May 22, 2019

Voters approved the Pelham School District budget for the 2019-20 school year by a margin of 1,008 to 230, according to unofficial results announced by Superintendent Cheryl Champ. Leah Tahbaz, Vincent...

Four school board candidates highlight strengths of Pelham district at forum, suggest changes they'd make

Four school board candidates highlight strengths of Pelham district at forum, suggest changes they’d make

May 7, 2019

The four candidates running for three Pelham Board of Education seats up for election May 21 highlighted the strengths of the Pelham School District during a candidate forum Tuesday, while suggesting specific...

314 Pelhamdale Ave.

School board sets June 18 public vote on $1.1 million house purchase for offices, Colonial playground

May 2, 2019

The Board of Education voted 7-0 at a special meeting Wednesday to set a public vote for June 18 asking voters to approve spending as much as $1.1 million to purchase the home at 314 Pelhamdale Ave. for...

School board unanimously approves 2019-20 proposed budget; voters will have their say May 21

School board unanimously approves 2019-20 proposed budget; voters will have their say May 21

April 24, 2019

The Board of Education met on Tuesday to approve the proposed 2019-20 budget. Additionally, the board recognized Francesca Di Cristofano for becoming an Intel ISEF finalist and continued its discussion...

Anthony Senerchia with wife Jeannette and daughter Taya.

Large crowd turns out to give school board comment on renaming turf field in honor of late Anthony Senerchia Jr.

April 10, 2019

A large number of residents turned out Tuesday for the Pelham Board of Education meeting to support renaming the multi-sport turf field at the Glover complex in memory of Anthony Senerchia Jr. Trustees...

Polenzani performs on the operatic stage

Opera singer Matthew Polenzani of Pelham brings balance to the stage life

March 26, 2019

Matthew Polenzani thought he would end up teaching high school chorus, not singing in the top opera houses of the world. Polenzani, a Pelhamite, is an independent opera singer well known for his performances...

Jennifer Bell

Examiner Athlete of the Autumn: Diver Jennifer Bell

January 8, 2019

The SAT, the ACT, and what looks good on college applications seems to be the focus of many high school students. So being accepted and part of a school's diving team halfway through senior year should...

Just desserts- recipes for anytime, anywhere

Just desserts- recipes for anytime, anywhere

December 19, 2018

Dessert is the best. Hands down, no questions. Sure, watching somebody bake cookies from a perfect birds-eye-view on Instagram is great, but nothing compares to sticky-fingered, batter-in-hair, who got...

Pelham schools continue security training, add police patrols; parent questions vaping, fire alarm

Pelham schools continue security training, add police patrols; parent questions vaping, fire alarm

December 12, 2018

Two Pelham School District administrators briefed the Board of Education Tuesday on safety in the schools, including current work and goals. Goals include training staff in CPR and operating automated...

Self-published author Rachel Cullen writes anywhere, anytime—while raising three children

Self-published author Rachel Cullen writes anywhere, anytime—while raising three children

November 16, 2018

When it comes to writing, everyone has their own style. Some swear by a neat workspace or a nine-to-five workday. Rachel Cullen, author of the novels "Only Summer," "The Way I've heard it Should Be" and...

Photo credit: Todd Cross

David Joachim ‘caught the bug’ for journalism, finding success through hard work and mistakes

November 2, 2018

Picture, if you will, the Pelham train station in fall. Early in the morning, the platform is crowded with silent commuters, not quite awake or ready to face the world. Barely anyone looks up from their...

Author Hank Green at Town Hall: an absolutely remarkable thing

Author Hank Green at Town Hall: an absolutely remarkable thing

September 28, 2018

A hush fell over the auditorium as the last bars of "All-Star" faded out. A short video clip introduced the show and the book, followed by a smattering of applause and a few hoots. Then, an average-looking,...

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Margot Phillips