Edgemont School Foundation Supports Model Schools Plus

Scarsdale, NY (October 12, 2015) – Keeping up with the times, technology changes rapidly and Edgemont is working diligently to stay on top. In addition to the wireless network and iPad initiative the Foundation has previously granted, we are excited to support our schools with the most recent initiative, Model Schools Plus. This grant will provide our schools with the professional learning and technological support to promote creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking, All-important facets in Edgemont’s strategic plan. The program will be instructed by the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, LHRIC.

Studies have shown that effectiveness in technology goes hand in hand with professional development. Edgemont administrators and faculty are excited about bringing Google apps into the classroom. Groups of teachers were trained on how to develop projects using the Google Apps for Education software in the classroom. Teachers will learn how to develop projects that reflect the needs of their students. For example, Google Sheets can be used to gain shared understanding of theme in literature. Google Moderator can be used to brainstorm questions in preparation for a field trip, taking photos on the trip to answer these questions and then creating online montages documenting their work. The training will take place over a long period of time so that teachers will have the opportunity to apply, reflect and assess what they have learned. In addition, trainers will visit our classrooms to provide guidance and the teachers undergoing training collaborate with their colleagues about the experience.

For those of you that still have relatives or friends in the school district, ask a high school student to share a little bit about their use of Google Apps in the classroom. It’s amazing to see how “living documents” are created and used. Students are using Google Apps in their daily academic schedule. This grant is another example of how the Foundation supports professional development enhances our schools and keeps us cutting edge.

The Greenburgh Nature Center and the Edgemont School Foundation Team Up With Community Stakeholders to “Go Green, Edgemont”

SCARSDALE, NY (May 6, 2015) – With training and oversight from the Greenburgh Nature Center, funding provided by a grant from Edgemont School Foundation (ESF) and support from The Moses Feldman Family Foundation, Edgemont schools have embarked upon a district-wide comprehensive waste reduction and recycling program. Students, staff, and administrators at Greenville, Seely and Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School will be separating their compostables, recycling and trash into new source separation stations in the cafeteria and teacher lounge. Uniform trash and recycling bins with clear signage will be placed throughout the schools. These new tools will allow Edgemont students to practice what they are learning in their classrooms about taking care of their environment and will reduce the schools’ waste headed for the incinerator by up to 75%.

“One of our strategic goals as a school district is to create authentic opportunities to foster students’ understanding of their roles as local and global citizens. Currently there are New York State laws requiring all schools to recycle. Soon we will be required to sort our food waste, too. Edgemont is fortunate to have this opportunity for oversight, training and funding. We will partner with our community resources to engage our students in an authentic expression of local and global citizenship to protect our environment and save tax dollars,” said Victoria Kniewel, Superintendent of the Edgemont School District.

Students in all grades, as well as faculty, administrators, janitorial staff, cafeteria personnel, food service staff and aides will be trained by the GNC to participate in the new source separation program. Green Teams comprised of teachers, staff and parents are being formed at each school and will also include Edgemont students who have taken the lead in promoting this program. The PTA and PTSA will have representatives on the Green Teams and will also be involved in reducing and/or improving packaging from outside vendors. The GNC will continue to be a resource for the Green Teams throughout the process.

In addition to the source separation systems and bins, the ESF grant will cover 3 new bottle-filling stations at the Jr./Sr. High School, as requested by Edgemont’s student groups including the Environmental Club, FoodSync, and the Student Government. This will help to reduce the number of plastic bottles the students purchase and consume each day.

Edgemont student leaders Zach Falk, Rachel Blume, Allie Rutter and David Scharf stated it perfectly – “When students recognize how they can contribute to their surroundings, they will be able to make a difference for the environment. The global trend to be more environmentally conscious is something that Edgemont wants to continue in our community. This initiative will enable students to further embody the values of the school that help shape them to become active contributors to society throughout their lives.”

About the Greenburgh Nature Center:
Established in 1975, the GNC is a 33-acre woodland preserve with trails, a pond, gardens, a playground, and outdoor animal exhibits. The Greenburgh Nature Center offers special programs for groups of all ages on a wide range of environmental topics, camps, and more. Its mission is to ignite passion, curiosity, and respect of the natural world. More than 80,000 community members visit the GNC each year. For more information:

About the Edgemont School Foundation:
Founded in 1993 by a group of concerned parents, school administrators and alumni, the Edgemont School Foundation through its endowment, awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, its students, and its teachers. ESF’s endowment is funded primarily through private donations. For more information:

About the Moses Feldman Family Foundation:
This Foundation seeks to improve the lives of individuals and to protect the environment by supporting non-profit organizations that engage in these endeavors.

For questions or more information, please contact:
Anne Jaffe Holmes:
Pam Miner:

School Foundation Celebrates Successful Year of Fundraising

By Julie Schneyer

The Scarsdale Inquirer

Download PDF

The Edgemont School Foundation, which awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, students and teachers, celebrated and looked back on a banner year at its annual fundraiser Tuesday, July 22, at Sunningdale Country Club. Andrew Falk and Steven Heinemann co-chaired the group this past year, and Falk will continue in 2014-15 with new co-chairman, Ellen Litt.

The event was a success, attended by approximately 90 people, including Edgemont High School principal Devan Ganeshanathan and Superintendent Victoria Kniewel. Cocktails, dinner and a jazz trio were all part of the festivities. Eve Brooks, one of the organization’s 14 board members, was in charge of organizing the event.

Dr. Kniewel addressed the group and praised the ESF, saying, “The foundation and the district work together well. Our mission and values are aligned. The district values the enhancement of an excellent Edgemont education in a fiscally responsible way through collaboration with all stakeholders and the foundation enhances the value of an Edgemont education. Examples of this excellent Edgemont education include high – level competencies in addition to strong content knowledge.”

This past year was a notable one for ESF, with accomplishments that included a $500,000 grant toward the five-year capital plan. The plan includes enhancements to school security, infrastructure repairs, and creation of a new multimedia lab and renovation of athletic fields. The grant is the largest ever awarded by the foundation. The foundation also raised $340,000 for the Jim San Marco Gymnasium, currently in the beginning stages of a large renovation. The school recently received state approval to start the work, which includes commitments from the school for a new roof and windows. Work begins this summer and will include a new floor, bleachers and partitions. “The foundation increased its commitment for this project by an additional $75,000 to fund physical education equipment and teaching aids to make the project a state of the art teaching facility,” said Falk, ESF co-chairman.

The organization’s logo went through a rebranding effort this year, with the help of graphic designer and Edgemont resident Lisa Feldman. “The logo selection, particularly the star, represents accomplishment, success and a bright future. The star was designed with kids in mind, but also applies to the foundation, which had a year with many significant accomplishments — and with a healthy and growing endowment, active board members and continued community support, the foundation is poised to continue to do great things in the future,” said Falk.

The Edgemont School Foundation was founded in 1993 and is trying to reach out to alumni with publication of its second annual alumni newsletter this summer. They completed their first alumni capital campaign and received a $1,000 donation from the class of 1964 reunion committee. (An article about the class of 1964’s reunion was published in the Inquirer July 11.)

Foundation board members are: Eve Brooks, Sheldon Glassman, Jonathan Kahn, Suzanne Kirsch, Ellen Litt, Dylan Pyne, Eric Selle, Henie Simon, Gary Stern, Beth Tomkiewicz, Eileen Westler and Gary Zimberg.

The organization’s logo also went through a rebranding effort this year.

Edgemont School Foundation Announces $500,000 Pledge in Support of District’s Five-Year Capital Facilities Plan

Scarsdale, New York (March 25, 2014) – The Edgemont School Foundation (the “Foundation”) announced today that it has pledged $500,000 to the District in support of its Five-Year Capital Facilities Plan, addressing the Edgemont School District’s critical need to upgrade facilities and infrastructure.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors strongly believes that the proposed capital improvements – including enhanced security and accessibility, repairs of infrastructure, a new multimedia lab as well as much needed renovation of athletic fields – are not only imperative, but also fit squarely within the Foundation’s mission to “ensure and enhance the value of an Edgemont education.” The Board said that these capital improvements will benefit every Edgemont student as well as the larger community for decades to come, which was a key factor in the Foundation’s decision.

According to Foundation Co-Chair Steven Heineman, “Our financial support for the capital improvements is easily our largest grant ever to the school district. Importantly, given the generous contributions from the hundreds of community members who support the Foundation each year and conservative estimates of returns on the Foundation’s investment portfolio, we expect to not only honor this fifteen year pledge, but to be in a position to continue to award grants going forward – without reducing the Foundation’s endowment.”

Dr. Victoria Kniewel, School Superintendent, thanked the Edgemont School Foundation, saying, “We are so grateful for the Foundation’s extremely generous pledge. The pledge not only represents a substantial financial commitment, it also clearly demonstrates the broad-based community support for this capital facilities initiative. A major component of a successful school district is a strong partnership with parents. In Edgemont, this partnership moves to an extraordinary level through the generosity of the School Foundation.”

Foundation Co-Chair Andrew Falk added, “We congratulate the Edgemont Board of Education for its leadership and vision at this critical juncture for Edgemont’s schools. We are very pleased to provide our support for this historic initiative and look forward to continuing to work the school board to ensure that the Edgemont School District – the very center of our community – maintains its tradition of excellence.”

About the Edgemont School Foundation:
Founded in 1993 by a group of concerned parents, school administrators and alumni, the Edgemont School Foundation (the “Foundation”), through its endowment, awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, its students, and its teachers. ESF’s endowment is funded primarily through private donations. The Foundation is a fully qualified IRS 501(c)(3) not-for- profit charity. The Foundation has awarded approximately $2.0 million in grants to the District since inception. For more information, or to donate to the Foundation, visit our website at

Steven Heineman
ESF Co-Chair

Andrew Falk
ESF Co-Chair

Edgemont School Foundation Announces Grant to Fund iPad Initiative

Scarsdale, New York (January 22, 2013) – Edgemont School Foundation (ESF) announced today that it has awarded a grant of $89,000 to fund a district-wide iPad initiative, aiming to integrate mobile computing devices into all three of the Edgemont schools. The grant will provide a total of 105 iPads to the district, offering students and teachers the benefit of portable tablet computing and the multitude of available applications designed to support learning.

Edgemont School Foundation co-chair Steven Heineman said, “The use of iPads in all three Edgemont schools will keep Edgemont on the cutting edge of both technology and education. iPads have many advantages over traditional PCs, and with the large number of apps that have been designed specifically for educational purposes, iPads will provide a new and exciting dimension to the classroom. We are pleased to have been able to provide the necessary funding to make this initiative a reality.”

In total, the district will deploy four iPad carts (one in each elementary school and two at Edgemont Jr/Sr High School. Each cart will contain 25 iPads. There will be 5 extra iPads available that will be used either as loaners or as replacements should the units in the cart need repair or maintenance. The grant also includes the infrastructure to manage and support all 105 iPads in the district: a MacBook for local management and a virtual server. Finally, it will provide four AppleTV units that will enable iPad users to share their screen through ceiling mounted projectors in the classrooms around the building. The elementary carts will be housed in each of the school’s library. The two carts at EHS will be located in the E-Building and in the D-Building.

Michael Curtain, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Technology for the district thanked Edgemont School Foundation for its support. “We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from Edgemont School Foundation. It will help us to continue to integrate cutting-edge technology with the curriculum in the classroom. The iPad is an excellent solution for schools for a number of reasons, including ease of use, portability, reliability and the ability to deploy apps quickly and inexpensively. The iPads will be a great addition to Edgemont teachers’ toolkits for creating and supporting rich, dynamic, and engaging learning experiences for their students. We appreciate Edgemont School Foundation’s ongoing support for technology and learning in Edgemont schools.”

After several failed school budget referendums in the early 1990’s, many Edgemonters desired a vehicle that could create and finance new and alternative school programs and maintain the District’s tradition of excellence. Founded in 1993, Edgemont School Foundation, through its endowment, awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, students, and teachers. Since its inception, Edgemont School Foundation has granted over $1 Million to the Edgemont School District for programs that have improved the curriculum, modernized facilities, and enhanced the educational experience of all Edgemont students. Edgemont School Foundation is a fully qualified IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity.


Nancy Taddiken:
Superintendent, Edgemont School District

Andrew Falk:
Co-Chair Edgemont School Foundation

Steven Heineman:
Co-Chair Edgemont School Foundation

Jim San Marco Gymnasium Dedicated

The San Marco Dedication Ceremony was held on December 14, 2012 with a full house on hand to honor Coach San Marco. The event and fundraising efforts raised approximately $345,000 toward renovations of the Jim San Marco Gymnasium.

The older high school gym was originally built in the 1950’s and is in desperate need of a facelift. Edgemont School Foundation will fund a grant to modernize the space into a state-of-the-art physical education teaching and learning facility. The upgraded space will benefit all students and the P.E. Department and is anticipated to be completed in summer 2014. Additionally, the team meeting room will be updated with new, modern technology and equipment. The updated facilities, named after Coach San Marco, are a fitting way to honor the legacy that he leaves at Edgemont.

Jim San Marco has dedicated over 44 years to the Edgemont Community. A graduate of Edgemont High School, class of ’63, Jim was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He captained several varsity teams and won many titles and awards — most notably, the 1963 Con Edison Scholar Athlete Award. After graduating from Ithaca College, Jim returned to Edgemont as a PE teacher, eventually becoming Athletic Director.

Jim has coached many Edgemont varsity teams over the years, with particular longevity in baseball, soccer, tennis and basketball. With over 500 career victories and a winning percentage over .800, his teams have achieved remarkable success. His soccer teams alone amassed a 211-67-24 record. The girls’ tennis team went 67-16-1 with three trips to the State Championships. Over 19 seasons, the boys’ tennis team finished 188-14, won league and/or section titles in each year, and had a stretch of 95 consecutive wins.

Coach San Marco has won Coach of the Year Awards, Athletic Director of the Year Awards, and several other leadership and service awards. He served as a New York State clinician to certify soccer coaches and wrote the Section One Tournament Booklet, a “bible” used for over 20 years. He is also the author of the acclaimed book Coaching Kids to Play Soccer: Everything You Need to Know to Coach Kids 6-16 (Simon & Schuster 1987).

Jim is a true gentleman who has always put children first and led by example. His students readily recall the long-term life lessons he taught, such as: “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail;” “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra;” and “In every game, we win or we learn.”

Jim has been married to Lesley for 42 years and has two daughters

San Marco’s impact inspires community


The Scarsdale Inquirer

Download PDF

It wasn’t until the late 1980s when the administration realized that Edgemont Junior/Senior High School had finally outgrown the school’s lone gymnasium. When 1963 Edgemont graduate Jim San Marco was hired as athletic director in 1988, after serving as a physical education teacher since 1968, his mission was to see the project of a new gymnasium, the Pantherdome, to fruition. Having played and coached in the old gym, San Marco had a strong connection to both facilities.

However, that old gym holds the memories of his youth and part of his coaching career, which makes it all the more fitting that as of Dec. 14, the old gym will be dedicated in his honor and renamed the Jim San Marco Gymnasium. In addition, the gym, built in 1957 when the school was founded, will undergo a makeover.

With over $200,000 in donations made by alumni already, John A. Griffin, a 1981 Edgemont graduate who played soccer under San Marco and later at the University of Virginia, will match an additional $100,000 worth of donations made to the Edgemont School Foundation in San Marco’s name. That could double the total amount to over $400,000.

Griffin had two requests: 1) a large part of the funds be used for the physical education/athletic departments and 2) San Marco be honored for his 44 years of professional service in Edgemont.

Andrew Falk, the ESF co-chairman, has been working closely with foundation board members, Superintendent Nancy Taddiken and athletic director Ray Pappalardi to see the wishes of Griffin and others fulfilled. When San Marco was presented with the idea of naming the old gym after him, his first reaction was typical of the modest man — “No… way!” After hearing more, San Marco finally gave in for one reason: he knew that it would benefit the kids of Edgemont for decades to come.

“I said that if it was going to help kids out that I’d go along with it,” San Marco said. “I think I got that from Dave Kintzing. Dave didn’t want any of that stuff. When he retired we didn’t know anything about it. He took the whole staff and said, ‘I just retired. You can’t do anything to change my mind. I don’t want a party. I don’t want anything.’ He was a very modest, unassuming guy.”

Of course San Marco later named the annual varsity basketball tournament in Kintzing’s honor, so perhaps he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.

“When someone does something good I want to do something for them,” San Marco said. “I have no problem doing that. But when it’s the other way around …” He noted that they had to make sure that when he retired as athletic director in 2004 he would actually show up for the party they were throwing for him.

San Marco will be honored and the old gym dedicated on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. between games of the annual Dave Kintzing Basketball Tournament.

“I played for him right in this gym,” San Marco said. “This is where I coached, in this gym. Boy, am I blessed to have had the opportunity to not only work with so many great kids, but great people, too.”

At Edgemont, the field at the track is named after Charles “Doc” Blanford, there are two gardens named after former teachers at the junior-senior high school and the multipurpose room at Seely Place is named after former superintendent Alden Larsen, who hired San Marco, so these dedications are certainly nothing new. And while they are rare, the San Marco naming is a slam dunk, a no-brainer.

“I’m delighted that Jimmy is being recognized,” Taddiken said. “He’s given so much for so long. He’s an Edgemont graduate and it’s great to see him be successful, that he’s given so much in the environment that he started out in as a student.”

The irony is that neither Griffin nor San Marco are looking for any type of recognition, but as they did when Griffin was student and San Marco coach, they are teaming up to work hard for others, the current and future students at the school.

“I know it’s big and i know who it’s from, but he’s not looking for recognition,” Taddiken said. “He’s looking to recognize a coach who meant the world to him at Edgemont. Jim can enjoy this. He doesn’t look for recognition for himself, but it’s nice that people can recognize someone who has given so much to other people. Dec. 14 is a chance for others to say thank you and also make donations.”

In addition to honoring San Marco, ESF will reach out to alumni really for the first time since the foundation was formed in 1993 in response to a failed budget. Up to this point most of the donations to ESF came from community members whose kids were still in school and empty-nesters who still saw the value of the district. This is a chance to reach out to more alumni, and build a database for an alumni directory.

There is a website,, where community members can learn more about San Marco and the project, but also leave a message for him. Taddiken’s message not only thanked San Marco for his unending service to Edgemont, but also his wife, Lesley, and his two daughters, Mary and Jill, for the sacrifices they made as San Marco spent his days, evenings and weekends with the Panthers. “He missed a lot of family stuff,” Taddiken said. “The job of an A.D. is time consuming and challenging. As his stationery used to state, he was always the best he could be.”

Griffin posted: “Jim San Marco had a profound influence on my life. Other than my parents, Jim was the first adult to take a sincere interest in me as a person. He challenged me to become a better teammate, a better friend and a better citizen of the Edgemont community. He also taught me Japanese. Coach San Marco loved to use the Japanese word ‘wa,’ which means togetherness, or team spirit. We all felt so enlightened running around the Edgemont soccer field yelling, ‘We gotta have Wa!’

“Jim’s emphasis was always on character development. He taught me not only how to lose with dignity, but how to win with humility. He was universally respected among his players and his peers. Sometimes i was a little scared of Jim, and this was a good thing. No one wanted to let Jim San Marco down and in that way he brought all of us to new heights.”

Pappalardi has been assessing the gym in order to make the best use of the space. In addition to physical education classes, the gym is used for modified volleyball in the fall and wrestling and gymnastics in the winter after school. The space of the physical structure will not change, but things within the room can, such as potentially eliminating some bleachers to accommodate teaching stations.

“We’ve been as versatile as we can with the partition, but it’s pretty much set up to play basketball,” Pappalardi said. “You can’t pull the nets out of the way. To be able to make that a space we can convert for multiple purposes would be fantastic. If we could set up stations that would help develop physical fitness and skills related to sports, would be a much more ideal use for the space.”

In addition, upgrades are planned for the team room, with technology a priority.

“We don’t know enough yet, but I think it’s a great thing to honor Jim,” Pappalardi said. “He’s given his life to this place. He went to school here, he was an athlete here, teacher, coach. I think it’s about time we recognize what he’s done.”

San Marco was asked for his input on the project and noted that he did want the renovation and modernization to benefit as many students as possible.

“We’re several months away from a plan, but it’s at least getting a facelift, new floors and possible various equipment to make it contemporary and state of the art,” Falk said. “Also a portion will renovate the team meeting room and put more technology built into it. The balance of the pledge or the majority will go into the foundation’s endowment to fund various initiatives for the school.”

The Edgemont School Foundation is one of the most important resources helping the district overcome budget constraints, though mostly in the areas of technology and infrastructure needs.

“They’ve been very generous in funding programs and updating buildings that we would not have been able to afford and now with the 2 percent property tax cap that we can’t go above each year it’s a real handicap for us,” Taddiken said. “It’s the generosity of people and the foundation’s motto ‘to enhance and ensure an Edgemont education.'”

Athletics typically has its own help from Edgemont rec and the e club, but this time around the money will go to benefit all students since everyone is required to take physical education.

“I think this accomplishes two things,” Falk said. “It fulfills the donors’ wishes to have San Marco honored in an appropriate way, and it’s within our mission. It fills a crucial need and we’re really helping every student because every kid takes P.E. That really has an impact.”

Life of Jim

No one has had more of an impact on more Edgemont students than San Marco. In 1947, the San Marcos moved to Edgemont when Jim was just 2 years old. He graduated from Edgemont High school in 1963, and returned to teach and coach there in 1968 after graduating from Ithaca College. From 1988-2004, San Marco served as athletic director and coach, and from 2004-11 as a tennis coach. This is the first school year that he has not been officially involved with the program at Edgemont since 1968, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t around and available to any students, school staff or community members.

Even as a high school athlete — he was quarterback of the football team as a confident sophomore and led Edgemont to its first winning season, a 4-3 record — San Marco was a legend at the school. He knew he was destined for a life of education and athletics, his two passions. After his first year of college he switched to a business major, but quickly realized that it wasn’t for him and returned to his original plan, a career path that he valued above money or prestige. Ironically the prestige came and the contributions he made working with kids, like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” have made him the “richest man in Edgemont.”

San Marco’s memories of the soon-to-be renamed gym are plentiful, and if you have a few days he will tell you about some of them, complete with the names of everyone involved.

“I think my first memory is of practicing in the gym on a Saturday when playing sixth-grade rec basketball,” San Marco said. “In those days, rec basketball went from sixth to eighth grade and baseball from fifth to eighth grade. Those were the only sports offered and Edgemont dads coached the teams. We played about seven or eight games during the season. Beginning in ninth grade, we tried out for the JV and varsity teams. Modified teams did not exist.”

As a player, San Marco helped the basketball team win its first league title in that very gym as a senior in 1962-63. “My mentality was that I wasn’t afraid of failing,” San Marco said. “You can’t live in the past. You can’t forget about it. You learn by it. You win or you learn.” (That last sentence is one of his famous San Marco-isms. One time a player told him, “We’re not going to learn anything today, Coach.”)

During San Marco’s coaching days, Bruce Lefkowitz broke the single game county scoring record during a night affair at home. He needed to score 52 points, which he could have done on any given day, but in this game against Alexander Hamilton it turned out he needed to in order for the team to win. He scored 50 and was fouled late in the game, hitting both shots. In another game Lefkowitz fouled out and it was up to the rest of the team to lead Edgemont to victory. The Panthers stepped up and got the job done with a buzzer-beater.

“Not just the games or the scores — a lot of those i don’t remember — but I just remember playing here in high school and this was the only game in town,” San Marco said. “In those days there were like seven sports, all male sports. Everyone would be piled on here, in the corner, under the basket. It was completely packed, a wild thing. Football we had great support as well. This is a special place here.”

San Marco would do whatever he could to give his teams an edge. He would find out what type of basketball an opposing team used and make sure to put it in the budget to get two or three types of balls to prepare for road games.

He also took great pride in watching former teacher and Coach Cindy Moeller put on the dance and gymnastics show in the old gym before it was moved to the Pantherdome to accommodate larger crowds. Growing up there were the Teenarena nights when half the gym was used for a sock hop, the other half for games and ping pong. “It was a great healthy environment and we all had a lot of fun,” San Marco said.

San Marco, the oldest of five, had two brothers and two sisters, whom he instructed in sports. His first real coaching assignment came when he was a junior at Edgemont. He was asked to coach an eighth-grade basketball team. He was on the way to becoming a successful coach in terms of wins and losses with boys’ soccer, boys’ basketball and girls’ tennis and boys’ tennis, but also working with kids and getting the best out of them. He learned a lot from his former coaches like Art Mann and Kintzing.

San Marco’s coaching career ended after the fall of 2011 when he coached the girls’ tennis team for the final time. Prior to the spring of 2012 he stepped down before the boys’ tennis season and did not return to coach the girls this fall. He knew that as much as he enjoyed the athletes and the coaching that he couldn’t put 100 percent into it. And if he couldn’t do that, he was going to hand the reins over to coaches who could.

“That first year [with rec basketball] we finished undefeated, just as we did when coaching my last season with the girls’ tennis team last year,” San Marco said. “It was a great way to begin and end a coaching career. Of course there were a number of losses in between those two seasons and I think they made me a better coach. I have always said that when you lose a game you get immediate feedback about what you need to work on. Sometimes winning a game hides the mistakes you make as a team and coach and you may be unsure as to what you really need to work on to improve as a team.”

When San Marco took over as athletic director in 1988 the program was a mess. He made having the right coaches and supporting teams by building up the E Club priorities. If nothing else, the athletes would have a fighting chance as compared to the football team being 0-8, baseball 0-17 and boys’ basketball having only one win when he became A.D.

When hiring coaches the bottom line was, “Do I want this person coaching my two daughters? If i didn’t want them coaching my two daughters I didn’t hire them.”

On the current roster of coaches are Edgemont graduates Mike Tracy, Peter Jacobson, Matt Bernstein, Kerri Hirsch, Sam Koch and Katie Feinstein. “It says a lot about our community and kids that they want to come back here and coach these kids,” San Marco said. “It says they had a good experience. A lot of our students come back to Edgemont to raise their families because they know it’s a great atmosphere. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been here since 1968.”

San Marco played football, basketball and baseball at Edgemont, but even when he coached tennis he coached it like a team sport, perhaps because that’s the only way he knew how. As a coach he had to learn soccer on the job and in his second year the team was in the Section 1 finals. However, he felt like he wasn’t doing a good job because he didn’t know the sport that well and actually considered quitting. Then reality struck and he realized what he could actually do when he learned the game, so he spent countless hours doing just that. After about a decade he thought he had it figured out, but was still learning. He even wrote one of the better soccer coaching manuals, “Coaching Kids to Play Soccer: Everything you Need to Know to Coach Kids 6-16” (Simon & Schuster, 1987) — the book was later re-released — and trained coaches for New York State.

In the beginning San Marco looked to Lou Gallo of Rye, another football guy turned soccer coach. “Three days a week I would play soccer with the kids at Rye,” San Marco said. “He would introduce me as ‘Jim San Marco, the guy with a thousand questions.’ I needed to know whatever it was inside and out. If a kid asked me something i needed to come through for him. I needed to have the answer for him. If I didn’t I would get it for him.”

Griffin is one of countless student-athletes to come through Edgemont and remember what San Marco meant to him on and off the field. Then there are many who probably don’t even realize the impact San Marco has had on the community. But that’s OK with San Marco. As long as he makes it through his public appearance on Dec. 14, the plaque on the new gym, the Jim San Marco Gymnasium, will tell everyone what they need to know.

Perhaps one day another of San Marco’s dreams will come to fruition — an all-weather turf field with lights at Blanford Field. But that’s a project for another day.

© 2012 S.I. Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Edgemont School Foundation and Edgemont School District to Dedicate Jim San Marco Gymnasium

Backed By Significant Alumni Donations, Foundation Will Fund Gym Renovation In Honor Of San Marco’s 44 Years Of Service To Edgemont Schools

SCARSDALE, NY (October 24, 2012) – Edgemont School Foundation (ESF) and Edgemont School District announced today that the community will dedicate one of the district’s Jr./Sr. high school gymnasiums in honor of Jim San Marco on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm. San Marco served Edgemont’s youth as a physical education teacher, athletic director, coach and mentor for 44 years.

ESF will fund a grant to the school district to renovate the Jim San Marco Gymnasium into a state- of-the-art teaching and learning facility, update the team meeting room with modern equipment and technology, and host an annual interscholastic tennis and/or soccer tournament in San Marco’s name. The gym was originally built in the 1950’s. “New equipment will include elements that promote challenge by choice, and developmentally appropriate activities” said Ray Pappalardi, Edgemont Athletic Director, “it will be uniquely designed to stimulate learning through physical as well as mental challenges.” The upgraded space will benefit all students and the Physical Education department and is anticipated to be completed in summer 2013.

Jim San Marco helped shape the lives of many Edgemont youth. Since his impact was so strong and alumni and friends are so fiercely loyal to Jim, Edgemont School Foundation has already received pledges in honor of Jim from a small group of Edgemont alumni in excess of $200,000. In an effort to foster this momentum, ESF announced a challenge: John A. Griffin, an Edgemont alumnus coached by Jim, has agreed to match additional donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.

“I feel strongly that my life has been blessed as a result of the relationships I developed with teachers, parents, coaches, administrators, and especially students,” says San Marco. “I always urged students to ‘be the best you can be’ and, based on their successes, they have done just that. Perhaps in some small way, I have helped them to become better people and contributors to society.” San Marco adds “each day I realize more and more just how wonderful a life I have been fortunate to live. I now know how Lou Gehrig once felt when he said he was the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

For a detailed Biography of San Marco visit

After several failed school budget referendums in the early 1990’s, many Edgemonters desired a vehicle that could create and finance new and alternative school programs and maintain the District’s tradition of excellence. Founded in 1993, ESF, through its endowment, awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, students, and teachers. Since its inception, ESF has granted over $1 Million to the Edgemont School District for programs that have improved the curriculum, modernized facilities, and enhanced the educational experience of all Edgemont students. ESF is a fully qualified IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity.

Please refer to to view alumni commentary on the impact San Marco had on their lives.


Nancy Taddiken
Superintendent, Edgemont School District

Andrew Falk
Co-Chair Edgemont School Foundation

Steven Heineman
Co-Chair Edgemont School Foundation

E’monters urged to attend fundraiser

The Scarsdale Inquirer
FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012

Download PDF

To the Editor:

The reputation of the Edgemont schools is what brought most of us to this close-knit community. While we all struggle with taxes that seem to be continually increasing, we rationalize that it will help to ensure our community’s goal of continued excellence for our children and maintain our property values. It is extremely difficult to achieve the excellent Edgemont reputation and standards through public school funding alone due to state mandates, pension requirements and tax certiorari claims. This is why supporting and contributing to the Edgemont School Foundation is so important right now.

After several failed school bud- get referendums in the early 1990s, many Edgemonters desired a vehicle that could create and finance new school programs and initiatives. Founded in 1993, the ESF, through its endowment, awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, its students and its teachers. The ESF is a fully qualified IRS 501(c)(3) entity chartered in New York State as a not-for-profit charity. We are proud that the Edgemont School Foundation has filled this very important role for 20 years. We would like to invite the entire Edgemont community to join us at the annual Edgemont School Foundation cocktail and dinner scheduled for Tuesday, July 31, at Sunningdale Country Club. We will be honoring Tom Blank, a PE teacher for 32 years at Greenville, and Dr. Barry Friedman, a Greenville school psychologist for 29 years and principal of the junior/senior high school for the past four years, who are retiring after their significant years of dedication to our schools. Tickets are $150 per person and partially tax deductible and can be mailed to ESF at PO Box 1154, Scarsdale, NY 10583 or contact Much of the proceeds from this event enable the ESF to continue our mission to “ensure and enhance the value of an Edgemont education.”

We look forward to seeing many of our friends and neighbors at Sunningdale for what promises to be an evening of great food, drinks, jazz and fun.

ANDREW FALK STEVEN HEINEMAN Co-Chairmen Edgemont School Foundation

© 2012 S.I. Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Edgemont School Foundation to Host Event at Ridge Hill


The Edgemont School Foundation will host a fundraiser at the Ridge Hill Shopping Center on Sunday April 1st at noon. Residents are invited to private screenings of The Lorax and The Hunger Games and there will be discounted shopping, food and free parking. Proceeds will benefit the Edgemont School Foundation which works towards “ensuring and enhancing an Edgemont Education.” Tickets will go on sale in the next few weeks.