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The Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund (DLYMF) honors the life and memory of Debra Leipman Yale (1956-2011), devoted wife of David and loving mother of Cameron, Jared and Griffin. A long-time resident of Armonk, NY, and the Byram Hills Central School District, Debra worked tirelessly to enhance education for all children in her community. 

Originally from Bay Village, OH, and a graduate of the Ohio State University, Debra was a highly respected executive in the cosmetics, fragrance and health and beauty care markets for 25 years. She brought thoughtful intelligence, alongside her spirited and energetic personality, to all areas of her life – but especially to her family, friends and community.  

For more than five years (2004 – 09), Debra served on the board of the Byram Hills Education Foundation (BHEF), including two years as its Chairman. During Debra’s tenure, the BHEF granted more than $1.4 million to the schools in her community. 

Following Debra’s sudden and unexpected passing in late 2011, the Yale family approached the BHEF about setting up a Memorial Fund to honor Debra’s memory and her strong commitment to the BHEF and the community she so loved. Launched with a generous donation of $15,000 by the Yale family, this Fund offers Debra’s family and friends a meaningful opportunity to honor her memory by supporting a cause about which she cared deeply. 

Contributions will be used to fund future grants awarded by the BHEF. Each year, grant proposals are submitted by teachers and administrators to the BHEF, then approved by the Board of Directors. From 2011 through 2019, the Yale family worked in collaboration with BHEF leadership to direct funds to specific grants in Debra's honor.  Today, the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund contributes to all BHEF grants, supporting all children and schools in the Byram Hills Central School District.  

Click here to see a video about Debra’s Fund, produced by Bobcat TV in 2015. 

Grants and Insta-Grants Named for Debra

The following grants, awarded by the BHEF to the Byram Hills Central School District, have been selected by the Yale Family to be funded with proceeds from the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund. The BHEF expresses its gratitude to the Yale Family for partnering with the Foundation to honor Debra’s memory through these grants.

Internet of Things - BHHS: $1,929: This grant funds Arduino microprocessor kits for use in various computer science classes, physics labs and engineering classes. The devices can be used to teach abstract mathematical principles as well as practical electronics.


Design and Create for 21st Century Learning - HCC: $2,300: This grant funds materials for the HCC Library makerspace to support creative design and expression by any and all students and teachers at HCC. The grant includes Cubelets, modular robotics and a Button Making machines and accessories, affording students the opportunity to explore, design, and create using physical and tangible thing that extend their learning.


Creating a Professional Photography Studio - BHHS: $18,863: This grant restructures and equips the BHHS photography room with a professional photography studio including lighting and backdrop equipment, as well as tripods and DSLR cameras.  Students will have the experience of working in a professional studio setting while learning proper lighting techniques to make them better photographers and artist, acquiring real-life applications and skills which can be used for further exploration in college programs as well as job opportunities. Co-funded with the BHEF.

Mindful Learning - Coman Hill: $1,235: This grant provides Kindergarten students flexible seating choices, allowing children to wobble, bounce, rock, kneel or stand which increases oxygen flow to the brain, blood flow and core strength. It also helps young minds be more alert and focused and creates a classroom environment that is conducive to open collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. 


Wiggle While You Work - Coman Hill: $2,437: This grant allows Second Grade students to differentiate their learning environment, enabling students to fully engage in and access the curriculum in a way that best meets individual learning needs. Students will identify their personal learning style and what works best to maximize their learning experience and produce quality work. 

Physioballs - BHHS: $1,200: This grant allows students to experience ‘active sitting’ which encourages students to stay alert while reducing fatigue throughout the day.

Motion Cameras for Study of Ecosystems - BHHS: $1,862: This grant funds motion triggered cameras for students studying biodiversity surveys, wildlife studies, and other environmental science topics.

Wellness Day Keynote Speaker (2017 Insta Grant - BHHS $2,500): This grant funds the BHHS Wellness Day keynote speaker presentation by Shaun Derik inspires students to achieve their goals and to pursue their dreams by proactively working through obstacles and setbacks.

Solar Telescope (2017 Insta Grant BHHS $1,518)This grant funds a specialized astronomical telescope capable of direct solar observations with the astronomy, earth science and physics classes, as well as the astronomy club, giving students more hands on experience and opening up new and innovate ways of studying the sun. This grant is co-funded by the BHHS Class of 1977.

Vex Robotics Competitions (2017 Insta Grant  - BHHS $2,497): This grant funds resources for the robotics science elective courses. This grant is generously supported by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Wellness Initiative, 2017 - District Wide: $201,077: This grant provides opportunities for all students to reach their highest potential as they grow academically, socially and emotionally in all four schools, including:

  • Coman Hill - an indoor Educational Playspace that can be used year-round to enhance skills such as collaboration, creativity and problem solving.

  • Wampus - an outdoor Obstacle Course will provide an innovative and fun way for students to boost their physical and mental health.

  • HCC and BHHS - the Challenge Success program by Stanford University will assess student needs then utilize this feedback to develop an action plan to support students' emotional and physical wellness, including a new Wellness Lounge at each school where students can decompress, reflect and re-center themselves.

The Wellness Initiative grant is co-funded by the Byram Hills Education Foundation.


GAGA Ball, 2017 - Wampus: $2,495: This grant funds construction of a GAGA Dodge Ball Pit for the Wampus playground for use during recess, FUEL and PE. GAGA enables students to develop strategic thinking along with agility, jumping, striking and dodging as part of this fun and interactive activity.


Stage Monitoring System, 2017 - BHHS: $1,410: This grant funds equipment necessary to complete two Assistant Stage Manager Stations and a back stage monitor, modeled after a professional stage monitoring system. The system allows for better management of the stage space and provides an experience more like that of a professional theatre. The system would be used for the three theatre productions each year as well as for the many band, orchestra and choir concerts and other events hosted in the auditorium. 


Enhanced Technology in Dance Studio, 2017 - BHHS: $2,455: This grant lets the Physical Education Department enhance technology in the dance studio by wiring new components to the existing flat screen TV. Teachers and coaches will be able to provide new and creative ways to present material effectively and efficiently using programs and applications that they are currently unable to present in the dance studio.  

TV and Film Curtained Production Area with Cyclorama: A curved green screen wall and lighting system, 2016 - BHHS: $29,934: This grant redesigns a portion of an existing art and film editing studio and equips it with a permanent film and television studio annex. The grant includes a built-in ‘Cyclorama which is a curved green screen wall that can be used as a background for any virtual stage or as an unlimited deep space effect. This new area allows students to insert a variety of background or graphics into almost any production. This new production area serves as a functional addition to the existing film program and also enhances other programs and projects through the high school. It serves as a permanent production annex for any large-scale Bobcat TV/Media Studio project and greatly enhances the creative activities with the existing art and film studio.

Student Voice Circles: A Leadership and Facilitation Model for Student Learners 2016 - BHHS: $2,500: This grant funds a leadership training program to promote cultural diversity and global competence among Sophomore and Junior members of the Student Leadership Board. Students and teachers will receive training on Student Voice Circles – a school leadership and improvement model based on inclusion and and equity. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Potterbot 3D Ceramic Printer 2016 - BHHS: $2,500: This ceramic printer allows art students to use CAD software to design unique and reproducible forms and to create more complex forms than typical hand building and wheel forming processes allow. This printer lays “ribbons” of clay quickly and precisely so resulting art piece can be altered in any way using traditional claywork methods or left intact for firing.

Technology for Physical Education - BHHS: $2,000: The BHEF is pleased to partner with the Bobcat Boosters to fund this media system for the Physical Education department. This technology, including flat screen TV and state of the art media equipment, will support various health education programs and CPR instruction for all grade levels. 

Buddy Bench - Coman Hill: $1,853: This grant funds a designated seating area on the playground as a safe and encouraging place for children to go when they feel alone or are having difficulty fitting in. Students will learn strategies and techniques whether they are seeking a buddy or if they want to make a positive difference by being a buddy.  

Vernier Data System - BHHS: $2,497: This grant funds ten (10) Vernier LabQuest Mini Data Interfaces, sixteen Differential Voltage Probes and eight (8) Current Probes to be used for new programs in the physics, applied engineering and other applications in STEAM education. Physics students will use these devices for electronics explorations, utilizing the interfaces and probes to understand the characteristics of electrical and mechanical devices.

The 21st Century Classroom Pilot Project - H.C. Crittenden: $16,730:  This grant converts one sixth grade classroom into a “learning studio” that better supports 21stCentury learning by increasing the number of learning modalities that can be accomplished. The space will convert easily from full group instruction to small group work stations and individual learning spaces, allowing students to become personally and actively engaged in learning. The redesigned classroom will include adjustable height tables and chairs on casters, three (3) LED monitors and white boards to facilitate multi-sensory and flexible learning. This grant will serve as a model for future classroom redesign projects that promote the District goal of creating leaders of the next generation. 


Full STEAM Ahead! - District-Wide: $90,495: To expand and accelerate the District’s STEAM Initiative, the BHEF recently approved the Full STEAM Ahead! grant valued at $90,495. This grant gives students of all academic levels in all four buildings exposure to coding, robotics, engineering, electronics and 3D modeling. A portion of this grant includes an investment in professional development to ensure seamless integration with the curriculum. (This grant is jointly funded by the Byram Hills Education Foundation and the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.)

Bobcat Buddies - Coman Hill: $1,847: This grant funds imaginatve play and sensory integration materials, board games, and craft supplies to be used throughout the Bobcat Buddy program at Coman Hill which helps develop social, communication and interpersonal skills among students within and outside the classroom setting.

Everyone Matters Book Bank! - Coman Hill:  $2,348: This grant funds a set of grade-level library books to support the Everyone Matters campaign which advocates for every person’s right to dignity and respect, without judgment or shame. The books will be utilized for real aloud and small group lessons in support of the Everyone Matters initiative at Coman Hill when students have the opportunity to share something unique and special about themselves.

Robotic Tools for Student Evaluation, 2015 - BHHS: $420: This grant funds two robotics platforms for developing a robotics components curriculum for inclusion in the math, science, and ultimately STEAM Initiatives at BHHS. The grant will be used to evaluate two robotics kits in order to determine which would be best suited for a larger scale rollout for students.


Utilizing a Portable Electroencephalogram (EEG) in Science Research: The EPOC+, 2015 - BHHS: $2,500: This grant funds a portable EEG device for use by students in the Authentic Science Research Program, as well as biology, psychology, statistics, health and other curricular areas. The device enables students to collect, synthesize and analyze data related to electrical impulses that come from the brain, and to use these results for original research and/or existing curriculum. 


Perseverance and Problem Solving, 2015 - Coman Hill: $1,280: This grant provides students with activities that foster perseverance and problem solving independently or in collaboration with others. The activities let students practice analyzing problems, making conjectures and planning solutions to problems through hands-on materials rather than traditional worksheets. 

Cubelets Educator Robotics Kits for STEAM Integration, 2015 - Coman Hill: $2,396 and Wampus: $2,396: This grant provides educator sets of Cubelet Robotic Block Kits that introduce STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) concepts in the second and third grade technology curriculum. Students can combine a host of sensors and action blocks to build their own robotic creations. The Cubelets will provide play-driven learning opportunities to integrate STEAM lessons. 

Art Therapy for Flexible Support Program Students, 2015 – BHHS: $2,365 (Insta-Grant, January, 2015)This grant funds an art therapy program to foster the social and emotional development and overall performance within the school environment. The program promotes self-awareness, confidence and self-advocacy, helping students better express themselves and flourish in the school environment.


Mindset Pilot Materials, 2014 – Wampus: $494: This grant funds "Get Smart" Toolkits for three third grade classes which leverage the work of Carol Dweck whose research is a growing trend in teaching children how to persevere in the face of challenge. The Toolkits provide practical applications for children to build confidence, take on challenges and persevere in the face of difficulty or failure. 

ETC Source Four PAR Cans, 2014 - BHHS: $2,156: This grant funds a bank of parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) can theatrical lights to be installed in the BHHS theater. When developing lighting plans, students will gel and focus this equipment to be used for many District events, including BHHS theater productions, concerts, Science Symposium, PTSA events, and more. 

Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and Engineering Design - BHHS: $9,381.54 (2013 - Grant): 3-D printing is a technology that is revolutionizing how we think about design and building. This grant develops a stronger connection to the elements of design and manufacturing engineering as part of a strong science curriculum. By providing an advanced engineering component to the physics and design classes, this grant enhances a student’s connection to abstract ideas. 3-D printers also connect to many requirements for the next generation science standards (KGSS), which are being adopted nationally as students are asked to apply their understanding toward engineering applications. Ultimately, 3-D printers are expected to have a broader impact on the entire student body.

Wampus Peaceful Playground, Wampus Elementary School:    $21,516.00 (2013 - Grant): This type of playground provides resources that enhance the Wampus playground and provide a better recess experience for students. The design is geared for students in grades 3-5. The program is intended to maximize the number of students involved in physical activities, rather than have them wait on line to use equipment or just stand and watch others. The program provides for several different games on a blacktop utilizing balls, beanbags, and other items, which promotes physical exercise to minimize safety hazards. Nearly 100 activities can be done with the program. Its customized design allows students to grow physically, emotionally, and socially. Such activities include learning how to resolve daily conflicts through cooperative play, and preparing students for leadership roles. Games will be explained and rolled out to each grade during their physical education periods to familiarize each student with the different games available to them. (This grant is jointly funded by the Byram Hills Education Foundation and the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.)

Mackie Digital Sound Mixer - BHHS: $1,799 (Insta-Grant, May, 2014): This grant funds a digital sound mixer for balancing and limiting sound for theatrical and concert events using a new industry standard mixing system.

A Cappella Singing - H.C. Crittenden: $1,000 (Insta-Grant, April, 2014)This grant funds a performance and workshop for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students by the New York University a cappella group Ani V’ata.  The program introduces students to new and innovative ways to approach and perform music.

Ryan’s Story - H.C. Crittenden: $2,500 (Insta-Grant, January, 2014): This grant funds two student assemblies that address  bullying, cyber-bullying and teen suicide prevention. Ryan’s father, John Halligan, tells the story of Ryan’s life including instances when he was cyber-bullied. The presentation stresses four main components: forgiveness, knowing that someone cares and loves you, standing up for what is right or being a bystander and asking for help. 

Robots for Introduction to Computer Science - BHHS: $2,200 (Insta-Grant, 2013)This grant funds robotics equipment used to demonstrate the connection between computer hardware and software, helping students focus on conceptual ideas of computing and understand why certain tools or languages might be utilized to solve particular problems.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Children Adolescents - Coman Hill: $1,890 (Insta-Grant - 2013)To help students struggling with anxiety or depression, this grant funds a three-day workshop on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for a school psychologist to learn tools and treatment plans for delivering CBT interventions to children. 

Passport to Learning – Elementary Online Software - $21,901 (2013): 
This grant allows K-5 students to experience learning and digital content through and (featuring Aha!Math, Aha!Science, Easy-Tech, Study Dog and Sky). (This grant is funded jointly by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund and the BHEF.)


eBooks for the H.C. Crittenden Library - $11,250 (2013): This grant funds the acquisition of a starter collection of Common Core and curriculum-aligned eBooks .

How to Donate

If you wish to honor Debra’s memory with a tax-deductible donation, please CLICK HERE.  The BHEF will notify the Yale family when donations are received. In addition, donors will receive an acknowledgement letter and will be listed on the BHEF website.


About the BHEF
The DLYMF resides under the umbrella of the BHEF – a private, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of all children within the Byram Hills Central School District by generating community support to fund innovative grants that encourage learning and personal development. Since its inception in 1994, the BHEF has made grants totaling more than $4 million. Donations to the BHEF in honor of Debra Yale through the DLYMF are tax-deductible as permissible by law.


Since inception, more than $200,000 has been raised in memory of Debra. The BHEF wishes to thank David Yale and family for selecting the BHEF as a charity for Debra’s extended friends and family wishing to honor her memory.  Debra’s involvement with the Foundation enriched the lives of so many students, faculty and other volunteers who had the opportunity to work with her. We are honored to carry on her legacy through this Fund and the future grants named in honor of Debra.

David Yale
Founder, Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund 


David Yale*, Founder

Anonymous (8*)

Rebecca Brightman & Bruce Altman*

Lindsay & Richard Anfang*

Felice & Jeffrey Anikstein*

Arcade Marketing & Visant Corporation*

Ron & Marie Arnold* 

Frank & Sharon Arthofer*

Scott & JoAnn Baron*

Carol & Steven Beck*

Stephen Becker*

Timothy Bernlohr

Allison & Jeff Berman*

Jeffrey & Leslie Blum*

Susan & Robert Bordash

Elisa & Ross Bremner

Chris & Tara Buonanno

Michelle & Greg Brooks

Nicholas Castaldo

Dale Cendali

Susan & Stuart Chavis*

Amy & Michael Cherry*

George Cinquegrana

Kathy, Nicole & Katie Cizynski*

Lawrence & Darielle Cohen *

Michelle & Alan Cohen*

Fran & Marvin Cooper*

Andrew & Susan Cott

Diane Crecca

Jeffrey Crennan

Paul & Nancy D`Andrea*

Aldon & Patricia Daniels*

Debra Davidson

Vicky & James Denkus

Joseph & Marie DiMauro

Denise & Daniel DiSano*

Gail & Mark Donsky

Michael & Olga Dubin

Rosa & Lou Ebling*

Robert Eik

Pam & Randall Eisenberg*

Lisa & Brian Feldman

Marla & Steven Feldman

Denise & Louis Ferrante

Lawrence & Rhonda Fineberg

Melissa & Steven Fink

Nancy Flinn

Melissa & Jeffrey Fishman

Diane & Perry Freedman

Donna & George Friedman

Sharyn Friedman

Evans Gebhardt

Cherie & Todd Glassman*

Robin & Jeffrey Glat*

Jana & Rick Goldenberg*

David Goldenberg

Donna & Louis Gordon*

Mark & Monica Gray *

Jeff & Tracey Greenfield*

Jill & Steven Greenspan*

Debbie Guarriello* 

Caryl & Jeffrey Hahn*

Dana & Brian Hartman*

Kathy Haupt

Jeffrey & Olga Henick

Jean & Edward Higham*

Lawrence & Robyn Hollander*

Michelle & Ross Honig *

Leslie & Dan Ilany*

Adam & Alicia Ifshin*

Carole & Scott Irgang*

Christine & Ronald Izewski

Dianne & Marc Jacobs*

Laura & Chris Jacobs 

Alyson & Steven Justman*

Tracey & Charles Kaliman

Jennifer Kaplan

Naomi Kelman

Elizabeth Kenny

Cyndie Klingensmith

Elyse Lazansky & Eric Kreutzer*

LaGravinese Jewelers, Inc. of Armonk

Joan & Andy Landorf

Robin & Douglas Lehman

Alyse Kobin & Rob Levin*

Cynthia Shmerler & Ford Levy*

Ken Leipman*

 The Leitner Family*

Laura Levitan

Susan & Eric Levy*

Robert & Susan Lichten*

Faith & Albert Lorenzo*

Carol & Michael Lowenstein

Charity & Richard Lunder*

Beth & John Lyons

Ralph & Susan Mack*

Pam Boker & Doug MartinJ

eanne & George Matson

Steven & Fran Mazer

Tais R. Melillo

Cheryl Ann & Rocco Miceli

Georgine & Rich Milker

Rhonda & Steven Moll

Giulio & Jeannine Monaco*

Janet & Kevin Morley

Laurie & Michael Morris*

Thomas & Denise Morrison

Tracy Morrison

Douglas & Lizabeth Moss*

Heather & Jacob Muller*

Network for Good

Randi Nielsen & Robert Birkenholz*

Regina Ebling Ofiero*

Diana & Carmine Paresi*

Kathleen & Jonathan Parker*

Paul & Paula Pearl*

Judy Perline

Leela Grammenidou Petrakis

Jessica & Walter Piecyk, Jr.

Mary Pisarkiewicz

Carla M. Polcyn

Seth & Linda Potash*

Myra & Marvin Pravda

Richard Prezzano

Matthew & Sarai Pye*

Janis & Joel Rabinowitz

Robert & Stacie Rawn

Richter Park Golf Course

Jocelyn Yuan Riddle

Kim & Brian Robbins*

Susan & Alan Roden*

Robert & Penny Romano*

Jacquelyn & Stuart Romanoff

Deborah & Mitchell Roschelle*

Liz & Bob Rosenblatt*

Jessica & Gregg Rosh*

Cecile & Michael Rothschild

Theresa & Michael Sacchetti

Stephen & Karin Sadove*

Christine & Mario Salandra

Christina & Douglas Saltstein*

Kelley & Michael Sanders

Emily & Jay Schmalholz*

Melinda Massoff & Martin Schwimmer

David & Susan Shaffer *

Elaina Sherman and Family* 

Deborah Sidran

Christopher & Carol Siege*

Craig & Christine Slosberg

Marie & M. Taylor Smelser*

Jen & Bart Sokol*

Frank & Amy Spadifino*

Cindy & Peter Spengler*

Paul & Karen Spiegel*

Edward & Pamela Spierer*

William & Bonni Stanley*

Felisse & David Starker *

Melissa & Daniel Steffen

Melissa & Robert Stillman*

Jennifer & Robert Sweatman

Ashley Taliana

Alan & Debra Tantleff

Harriet & Jerry Terdiman*

Linda Thaler *

John & Lauren Tonelli

Cathy TorelliElise & John Trainor*

Katherine M. Walton

Jill & Michael Weinstein*

Scott & Allison Weiss*

Leah Wilcox*

Tammi & Jason Wild

Tricia & Adam Winston

Hope & Gavin Wolfe*

David Yale*

Pearl Yale*

Annmarie & Angelo Zaccagnino*

Randi Zeller

Randy Zeno

Vivian & Scott Zimmerman*


*Multi-Year DonorAs of 5/2018

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