By LIZ BUTTON
Bronxville residents Dr. Mary J. Giuffra and Adele Kittredge Murray are running uncontested to succeed Board of Education Trustees Dr. James Hudson and Pierre de Saint Phalle, who will vacate their seats this year after serving two three-year terms each.
On May 20, the public will vote to elect the new trustees and decide whether or not to approve the $46.2 million 2014-2015 school year budget, which the board adopted at its April 22 meeting.
Giuffra and Murray were both nominated by the Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees, commonly known as the NPC, on April 1. They will not face competition in their run to join the seven-member board as no other candidates submitted qualifying petitions to the district.
The district rarely sees contested elections, in part due to the existence of this vetting group. According to NPC chairwoman Anne Cox, this year’s nominating process, which began in January, was very rigorous, as usual.
Cox said the committee, which is made up of 21 elected members from seven voting districts, “always tries to nominate intelligent, energetic, committed people: the types of people who will rise to those challenges [the district faces] and who will be creative and find solutions.”
She said the committee is very pleased with the qualities of both candidates this year and believes their mix of skill sets will serve to compliment the new board.
A 38-year Bronxville resident, Giuffra has been a couples and family therapist for the past 40 years and practices in Bronxville and Tuckahoe. She is married with four children, all of whom attended Bronxville School.
Giuffra’s run was inspired by her gratitude to the school system for the fine job it did with her children, she said, who all went on to top colleges and became successful professionals. She also has two granddaughters who attend Bronxville School, one of whom heads to Cornell University in the fall.
“It is a time of great change in the State of New York [when it comes to education], and I think, with my background, my interest in the Common Core and my experience on educational and health professional boards, I can serve the board well,” Giuffra said.
Giuffra has been involved in strategic planning for institutions like the U.S. Association for Body Psychotherapy, where she helped develop a 10-year strategic plan and was the founding vice president, and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University, where she served on the Dean’s Council.
Giuffra has a PhD from New York University, where she was a tenured associate professor. She also served as a tenured full professor and was the founding director of the bachelors and masters nursing programs at The College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the college.
Compared to Giuffra who, in addition to strategic planning also has experience with curriculum vetting and expertise in family health dynamics, Murray has a different skill set: law and finance. Murray is an attorney who currently serves as the chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel for hedge fund Caspian Capital L.P.
Murray and her husband Michael have been residents of Bronxville since 2000. They have three children in Bronxville School, a son in sixth grade, a daughter in fifth grade and a daughter in kindergarten.
Prior to working at Caspian, Murray served in similar roles with XE Capital Management LLC and Perseus-Soros
Management LLC. Before that, she served as chief executive officer and general counsel for Medicalogic/Medscape, Inc. and as an attorney for the Olsten Corporation.
Murray received her bachelor of arts degree in government from the University of Notre Dame and got her law degree at the New York Law School, where she graduated cum laude.
Murray has been a member of the Junior League of Bronxville and has also held a number of roles in the Bronxville PTA as a class parent, music committee member and volunteer for the school’s Memorial Day events. In addition, Murray has often acted as a legal consultant and reviewed contracts for school events in her PTA service, according to the NPC.
Murray could not be reached for comment as of press time.