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Saturday, December 3, 2022
Home Schools Rye Schools Board of Ed Q&A with Petra Nemeth, Board of Education Candidate

Q&A with Petra Nemeth, Board of Education Candidate

Welcome to the MyRye.com Q&A series with your seven (7) board of education candidates. The seven candidates are running for two open seats. The seven candidates are James Culyer, Vivek Kamath, Pooja Kotecha, John Leonard, Petra Nemeth, Mia Schultz and Tom Stein.

Election ballots will be mailed to voters automatically. You do not need to submit an absentee ballot application for this election (you do need to submit an absentee ballot application for the June 23rd primary elections). Ballots must be received in the school district offices by 5pm on June 9, 2020.

You will be voting on the proposed school budget as well as the board of education candidates.

Today we are pleased to present the MyRye.com Q&A with board of education candidate Petra Nemeth:

Petra Nemeth Rye, NY Board of Education Candidate 2020

Your Name: Petra Nemeth

MyRye.com: Why are you running for school board?

Education is the passionate focus of my personal and professional life. As the mother of 3 children in the RCSD I have served our schools in many different roles ranging from official committee memberships (e.g. RCSD Wellness Committee, Midland’s Excellence Committee and Green Committees) to behind-the-scenes contributions to two RMS Expos as well as advocacy work for Type 1 Diabetes. As a leadership development professional for Mentora Institute, and focusing on the educational sector, I have trained district leaders and coached educators across different states and school models in a blended methodology fusing in-classroom with digital delivery.

Why are you running for school board now

Having already once served in the role of trustee for the progressive school City & Country, I have been contemplating candidacy for the RCSD BOE for some time. However, it was important to me that I would be best equipped to serve our wide community by having experiences and relationships across the entire spectrum of our schools from elementary through middle and including high school (our children are in now 10th, 9th and 6th grade). The recent challenges with COVID19 and remote learning were not a factor in this original pursuit, however, they have given all the more urgency for me to raise my hand at this point so that I can offer up my professional experience from the adult learning sector, especially as it relates to a blended methodology fusing in-person and digital.

Yes or No: did you support and vote for the $80 million school bond that passed in 2019?


Yes or No: do you support and plan to vote in favor of the current as-proposed school budget of $92 million going to vote on June 9th?


What are three ways Rye schools may need to adapt in the wake of COVID-19? 

  1. We may need to consider technology enhancements and training of teachers in a more advanced use of digital tools thus unlocking the true potential of digital delivery that go beyond a server-based functionality. Use of an LMS (Learning Management System), deployment of interactive live tools like real-time polling, and other digital functionality can help create engaging online classrooms if applied with prudence and in conjunction with meaningful pre-and post-class reflections and assignments.
  2. We need to put a Safety Protocol in place for “Safe back to school with Social Distancing” and an Emergency Protocol in case we need to enter Phase 2 of “Remote Schooling”. As a community we should formulate our own Rye Resolve above and beyond state and federal directives and be inclusive in our plans of families with high risk family members.
  3. The importance of the social-emotional health of our kids, teachers and community members has to become a renewed topic of focus. We may want to consider forming a taskforce on the foundational work of the district’s Wellness Committee complemented with teachers, parents, and youth representatives and assist and train teachers of how to bring into their classrooms applied contemplative techniques.

What are the three biggest opportunities/challenges facing the Rye schools over the next 3-5 years? 

  1. We need to figure out how to best teach our children in an ever faster changing environment by augmenting the heart of our in-person classroom approach with select digital delivery elements while staying adaptive to new challenges and anchored in our values.
  2. We may want to consider diving deeper into the Science of Learning recognizing that the many platforms of learning resources are inducing extra stress and challenges for our youth. What can we learn from neuroscience and how can we assist our youth with process guidance, project planning, motivation and orientation to purpose?
  3. Ideally, we should try to be shaping an all-inclusive, diverse Rye community of residents who have come here to build their family’s home base. This may involve exploring new types of donorships. It also involves forging a bond with students on purpose-driven engagements and helping our youth become responsible and well-balanced citizens who will give back to society and – as alumni – their hometown Rye.

What are the three biggest areas for cost containment with the Rye schools over the next 3-5 years?

  1. Need to take a close look at the line items of the budget, which is something the board has already started to do (see recent proposal for budget adjustment)
  2. Ancillary, non-essential items as far away from classroom as possible; consider subscriptions where possible (e.g. some books)
  3. Reduce inefficiencies and renegotiate supplier contracts where possible

What is your favorite book? 

Leo Lionni’s “Frederick

What are you watching these days? 

Netflix’s “Money Heist” (thanks to my high schooler; it’s a provocative take on activism and revolt)

How many years have you lived in Rye?


Thanks, Petra!

Petra Nemeth’s social media:

Twitter (n/a)

Official bio provided to MyRye.com:

Petra Nemeth has lived in Rye for 6 years and has two children at RHS and one child at RMS. Over the years Petra has served in various functions e.g. the RCSD Wellness Committee, Midland’s Excellence Team, the Green and Healthy Food Committees. She also helped plan two Rye Middle School Expos. Petra is a Type1Diabetes advocate.

As Executive Director for Mentora Institute, a leadership development firm, Petra leads its Coaching Practice and focuses on the institute’s educational clients. She also has experience with operations, branding and strategy of media companies such as Time Inc’s This Old House Ventures, Bertelsmann and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, for which she has held various VP roles. Previously she was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and an investigative TV journalist back in Germany where she grew up. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School at UPenn and an MA in Comparative Literature from Indiana University. Petra actively practices karate and meditation.

“I have always had a relentless desire to deconstruct learning and yet I have come to realize that the greatest service is to empower the next generation, our kids’ generation, so they can solve the many challenges we will be leaving behind for them. For this we need to provide our students the tools they need to succeed as they mature on their paths and pursuits of their yet to be discovered causes. I would be honored to serve on the BOE and to offer my experiences as former school trustee, as leadership professional to other educational institutions and as someone who has been teaching and coaching actively on digital platforms for 8 years. Let us inspire our students with the belief they can be the change they want to see.”


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