Shortly after the mid term elections I sent out an e blast advising that my first campaign manager and head of my transition team when I first became Town Supervisor was elected Colorado Attorney General. Phil Weiser, who attended Hastings High also clerked for two United States Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg before his election as the top lawyer in Colorado!
There is another local star who won election. Sean Casten, a graduate of Woodlands High School is now a United States Congressman-elect from the sixth district of Illinois. I have invited the Congressman-elect to participate at an upcoming Town Board meeting via skype ---it would be great if he could talk about his experiences living in Greenburgh!
This is what a fellow Woodlands HS graduate Andrew Kessler said about Sean:
I grew up with Sean in Greenburgh, and have known him since we were students together at RJ Bailey. We played Dad’s Club Soccer together for years, and became good friends in High School. In the 7th grade, we were both in the Junior High School Booster Club, and in what may have been his first foray into elected office, Sean defeated me for the position of club treasurer. His very brief statement before the election was a perfect illustration of how he would end up on the campaign trail: To the point, and very funny.
“Funny” is really an understatement. Sean has, without a doubt, what I consider to be the quickest wit of anybody I know. Yet it goes deeper than simple slapstick comedy. His retorts, his witticisms, they always reflect his incredible knowledge not only of pop culture, but of history, philosophy, science, music and the arts, and a plethora of other pursuits. While one comment may refer to “The Blues Brothers,” the next bon mot could be a reference to Lincoln or Einstein.
Growing up in Greenburgh was probably best illustrated by late summer afternoons and early evening basketball games in the driveway of his parent’s house. His brother Damien was a regular participant, as were myself, our friends Mike Scott, Boris Libman, and a few other friends. In what was usually a game of 3-on-3, if you looked at the court, it was a classic Greenburgh scene- teenagers of different races and backgrounds, vastly different ethnicities, all together, all friends since grade school, playing a very hard-nosed “no blood no foul” game that was above all else, punctuated by brotherhood. Tom and Judy’s kitchen and refrigerator were always open to us, and we took full advantage. Their kindness sometimes even extended into a dinner invitation, illustrating that they considered all of Sean’s friends to be part of their family.
Sean’s interests are as diverse as one can imagine, and that was evident when growing up. At Woodlands, you might find him on the soccer field, riding his bike, playing Beethoven concertos on the piano, or studying his schoolwork. (I am compelled to point out that I was his lab partner in Mrs. Browne's microbiology class our senior year, a point I will continue to make so long as he is in Congress!) What’s remarkable is, none of those pursuits have cooled as he has aged. He still runs marathons, still plays keyboards in a band, still loves to study science. He’s the same person he’s always been. Even his love for music is a microcosm of his personality. His passion for Beethoven is no less than his passion for Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, or Bruce Springsteen. He appreciates quality. As he heads to Congress, I’m confident he’ll take these qualities with him. He hasn’t changed in the 35 years I’ve known him, and I don’t expect him to start now.
Woodlands High School
Class of '89
David Greene, one of his teachers told me that another former classmate, Susan Morissey Mackle said:
Sean Casten, best known to his classmates as Boze, was recently elected to the United States Congress, representing the Sixth District of Illinois. Boze was a member of the Woodlands Class of ’89, graduating in the top of his class. He played for the soccer team, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was involved in many after school clubs and activities. Boze was known for his love of travel. He biked across the United States, and then Europe during his summers in High School, sending his friends post cards along the way. Music was also a passion - his Senior WISE project was focused on writing an original piece of music for the piano. He was a loyal friend with a wry sense of humor and an easy-going attitude – all attributes that should serve him well as a United States Congressman. The people of the Sixth District of Illinois have made an excellent choice.
A special thanks to one of his teachers, David Greene for highlighting graduates of Woodlands who are special. David takes pride in his former students. Over the years I have been impressed with the dedication of many of the teachers and former teachers at Woodlands. They care about their students, many stay in touch with the students they taught after graduation. Sean is one of many outstanding graduates who are doing great things for their profession and the country.