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Scarsdale Village Official, Educator, Honored With Thomas Sobol Award

Thomas Sobol
Thomas Sobol Photo Credit: Tom Sobol on Facebook

SCARSDALE, N.Y. — A local public servant and school educator will receive a special recognition for their service in Scarsdale.

Christopher O’Brien, director of Information Services for the Village of Scarsdale, and Christopher Renino, assistant principal at Scarsdale High School, will receive the first Thomas Sobol Award for Service to the Community, according to an announcement by Kathy Steves, president of the Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service .

The award will be given Dec. 8 at a luncheon in Scarsdale.

Thomas Sobol , who died on Sept. 3, 2015 from a long battle with Parkinson's disease, served, from 1971 to 1987, as Scarsdale’s superintendent of schools.

He was New York State commissioner of education from 1987 to 1995, and subsequently served as professor of education at Columbia Teachers’ College, until his retirement in 2006.

Sobol believed that educational excellence in the classroom must be combined with support at home and that all children should have the opportunity to learn, the release said.

While in Scarsdale, Sobol was instrumental in helping to establish the Scarsdale Community Youth Service Project, a unique collaboration between the Village and the Schools and administered by SFCS, providing significantly to the well-being of students in the Middle and High Schools.

Christopher O’Brien has served 27 years in the Village’s Information Technology Department.

He joined as a part-time employee in 1989, and became full-time in 1992. O’Brien was promoted to director of Information Services in 2001.

“Christopher is known for his respectful manner, modest disposition, and readiness to serve. His helpful style and analytic abilities are significant and many of his initiatives have enhanced the delivery of services to the greater Scarsdale community” said Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo.

Christopher Renino has been a member of the Scarsdale School District for 32 years. He served as a teacher and chair of the English Department at Scarsdale High School before joining the administrative team in 2011.

As a teacher, Renino was known for his thoughtful instruction and deep scholarship.

He edited the “Macbeth” unit in a set of teaching materials, “Shakespeare Set Free” published in 1993 by Simon and Shuster in 1993. He was a master teacher at the Folger Shakespeare Institute in 1996; and also served as the adviser to the Book of the Month Club and the AFS Club.

"Chris was described by Scarsdale School Superintendent Thomas Hagerman as “A deep thinker, writer, and scholar,” highlighting Mr. Renino’s many published articles, workshop presentations and novel, "The Way Home is Longer," published in 1997."

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