BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – The newest member of the board at the Briarcliff Manor Scarborough Historical Society is a senior – in high school.
At age 17, Jack Fischer is decades younger than the other members of the board. Although no records have been kept on the matter, Historical Society members believe Jack is also the first Briarcliff High School student to join the board.
But when it comes to having a passion for preserving history in Briarcliff Manor, Jack’s fellow board members say he is their equal.
“We’re really proud to have Jack on the board,” said Karen Smith, president-elect of the historical society. “We are really lucky to have him.”
Jack became acquainted with the board last year while researching an article on the history of the Briarcliff School District and Todd Elementary School.
“I’ve lived in Briarcliff Manor most of my life, and I’ve always been curious about my local history and the place where I’ve called home,” Jack said. “I like local history because there are still so many things to discover. With learning history in school, I’ve always felt like things were already known, and it was just a matter of memorizing it. But it was really interesting to do this project and discover things first-hand.”
This fall, Jack will also take on the task of co-editor-in-chief for the Briarcliff High School newspaper along with classmate Tyler Friedman. Tyler, 17, said it might be difficult for most students to handle both roles, but he says Jack is more than up to the task.
“He really has a passion for history and he has a way of finding those things that no one really knows about,” Tyler said. “He finds things and runs with it. It’s incredible the way he moves from source to source, and it’s really quite impressive to see his passion at work. Hopefully he can bring more relevance to the historical society in the schools.”
Tyler and Jack are both hopeful that someone in the schools will step up to take Jack’s place on the board after this year.
“I think it definitely has the potential to lead into other high school members,” Tyler said. “I’m sure someone will have a passion for that history because of Jack. They might not have as much, but I’m confident someone will take an interest.”
Jack said he is confident, too.
“I’m sure I can find someone else,” Jack said with a laugh. “For the kids that live around here, Briarcliff Manor is all we know. It’s our history, too.”