Katonah resident and psychologist Dr. Marc Abrams has helped hundreds of children and their families over the past thirty years, and he’s now running for the Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education to help even more. We had the opportunity to connect with the good doctor and discuss his thoughts on the school district, his hobbies and even his guilty pleasure.
Katonah Connect: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Dr. Marc Abrams: I’m a psychologist who has worked with families and children, in one form or another, since I was a teenager, but certainly as a psychologist since 1991.
KC: You’re a psychologist? Interesting! I didn’t realize that.
MA: Don’t be so shocked! I get that reaction a lot. I’m very atypical for a psychologist. When people learn what I do, some of them say “you actually help people for a living?” I suppose it’s a compliment?
KC: Why did you decide to run for the BOE? Perhaps it needs some psychological help?
MA: I became very frustrated with what I perceived to be a lack of creative vision in our school district, and more importantly, a lack of genuine concern for ongoing problems in our school district.
KC: What skills would you bring to the board?
MA: I’m a strategic thinker who looks at the whole picture and plans for long-term solutions. I think that’s very important, and it’s missing from the board. Plus, I’m very knowledgeable about children and how they learn and develop.
KC: What do you think the district does well and where do you think there is room for improvement?
MA: I think that they do a very good job of recognizing positive achievements amongst the students and the staff. I believe that they need to do a much better job of working collaboratively with the parents.
KC: What was your favorite class in high school?
MA: I didn’t have one. I was more interested in sports.
KC: What sports did you play?
I was a wrestler and also played soccer to stay in shape. I was a great wrestler. But when it came to soccer, I mostly kept the bench warm.
KC: Do you still enjoy warming the bench?
MA: No, I don’t play soccer or wrestle anymore, but I do martial arts.
KC: Any chance we would see that at a BOE meeting?
MA: Hah! No. I started practicing martial arts in 1973, and I still train and teach traditional Japanese martial arts to this day. I train in Japan several times a year, and I sometimes travel to Europe to teach other teachers and senior students.
KC: Really? So who would win in a fight – you or Mr. Myagi?
MA: Mr. Myagi wouldn’t stand a chance!
KC: Have you watched any of “The Karate Kid” movies?
I’ve only watched the first movie and part of the second one. I liked the first one better because the martial arts were actually pretty realistic.
KC: What’s the worst martial arts movie you’ve ever seen?
MA: Steven Seagal movies for sure. He’s so full of himself. It’s an elegant art to watch, but he makes it look brutal.
KC: When the zombie apocalypse comes, what will be your weapon of choice and how will you use it?
MA: I would use chopsticks to pierce the zombies’ brains through each of their ears.
KC: Okay, gross. Let’s fast forward to the present. Do you have any hobbies?
MA: I consider myself an amateur landscape artist, and I’m a professional martial artist.
KC: Were any of those a COVID hobby?
MA: Actually, during COVID, I got into mixology. I think I’ve gotten pretty good, but it doesn’t always work out as planned.
KC: Now we must know, what’s the worst drink you’ve ever made?
MA: Whenever I try to mix sake with literally anything else, I almost always fail. I would compare the taste to sweet milk gone sour. But hey, half the fun is messing up, because next time you know what not to do.
KC: Speaking of cocktails…do you have a guilty pleasure?
MA: As a former wrestler, I love watching sumo wrestling on the NHK (the national broadcasting channel for Japan). I was a lightweight wrestler in high school, and these guys are…definitely not that.
KC: Wow! Sumo? Sounds fun, although I can’t imagine that here in Westchester. Moving on…who is someone you look up to?
MA: Shaquille O’Neal.
KC: Really? Why?
MA: Look how tall he is – the only thing I can do is look up!
KC: Oh boy…here come the dad jokes. What’s your favorite restaurant?
MA: There are so many, but one restaurant that I love is Kotobuki in Stamford. I’ve eaten there since 1988. I love sushi! Not to brag, but I ate sushi way before it was popular in America. I was cool before it was cool.
KC: I’d say a martial mixologist sounds pretty cool. Unrelated, what undomesticated animal would you want as a pet?
MA: A komodo dragon because I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone trying to break into my house.
KC: Fill in the blanks, wrong answers only:
MA: I don’t have my homework because I skipped class that day.
We evolved from the black hole.
Psychologists have the best excuses for not getting anything done.
I lay awake at night thinking about where’s Waldo?
*Editor’s note: At the time of this interview/posting, only two people had announced their candidacy for KLSD BOE. Both candidates were offered the opportunity for an interview. Now that all announcements have been made, all six candidates have been offered the same opportunity. We will happily (and fairly) feature all who agree to be interviewed, regardless of who the EIC chose to marry (see above). Yes, we are capable of separating business and personal.