Meet a Mom Leah De Santis | Northern Westchester Moms
The DeSantis Family: Georgie, Felix, JD, Roxy, and Leah

The DeSantis Family: Georgie, Felix, JD, Roxy, and Leah

Meet Leah DeSantis, a mother of three, dedicated volunteer, and Katonah Reading Room enthusiast. Leah and her husband, JD, moved from Manhattan to Cross River 15 years ago when their first child was born. They love the town’s quiet, country setting and proximity to the city. Learn more about the DeSantis family and all their favorite spots in Westchester.

Do you work and/or volunteer?
I’m currently not working outside of home, but I do spend a large portion of my time volunteering. I’ve always been involved in my children’s schools, and for the past few years, I have co-chaired the St. Luke’s School’s State of the School event. I’m also involved with the St. Luke’s Spring Gala and the school store, and I’ve served as a class parent several times. Next year, I’ll be more closely involved with the Parents’ Association Board, and I look forward to being even more integrated into this tight-knit community. Being so involved as a parent has allowed me to observe the St. Luke’s experience from within, not just from the sidelines. And each time I visit the school, I leave with a sense of peace that my children are happy and in very capable hands. 

The DeSantis Family: Georgie, Felix, JD, Roxy, and Leah

St. Luke’s 2023 State of the School Committee (Leah right center)


How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children—Felix, age 15; Georgie, age 14; and Roxy, age 11.

The DeSantis Family: Georgie, Felix, JD, Roxy, and Leah

Leah with her three children, Felix, Roxy, and Georgie.


Where do your children go to school, and how did you pick their school?
All three of my children attend St. Luke’s School in New Canaan. It’s about a twenty-minute drive from our home in Cross River. We’ve been fortunate to send our children to extraordinary schools: a Montessori preschool that helped us establish the framework we wanted and expected for our children academically and Katonah Elementary School, which provided a strong learning environment for each of them through the fourth grade.

Felix, Georgie, and Roxy started at St. Luke’s in fifth grade. We know many families want to wait until their children complete elementary school before switching schools, but the fifth-grade experience at St. Luke’s was unique and special for each of our children, and now each of them will be “lifers.” We were drawn to the smaller class sizes and wide range of academic and athletic opportunities at St. Luke’s. My children are thriving in their own way, and the support system is truly incredible. The curriculum is challenging but very interactive and engaging. I already know they will be well-prepared for college.

When did you move to Cross River and what led you to settle there?
We moved to Cross River from Manhattan fifteen years ago when our first child, Felix, was born. We weren’t planning to leave the city; we just wanted a weekend getaway. But after spending my maternity leave in Westchester, I realized there were so many opportunities for new moms there. I quickly enrolled Felix in Music Together and a gymnastics class. It was such a lovely community, and it was easy to meet other moms. We love Cross River for its proximity to the city, where my husband still works. It’s pretty special to be only an hour’s commute from the city but live in a quiet, country setting.

The DeSantis Family: Georgie, Felix, JD, Roxy, and Leah

Leah and JD DeSantis


What are your favorite family activities in the area?
When we moved to Cross River, we had no idea how close we were to the Ward Pound Reservation and how beautiful and expansive it was. Now that the kids are older and have non-stop activities, we don’t take advantage of it nearly enough. When time allows, we still try to take advantage of the local tennis courts and the track and field at John Jay.   

When you need “me time,” what are your favorite ways to escape?
These days, my “me time” is while the kids are in school, as I usually drive from one activity to the next from 2 to 8 p.m. My husband and I discovered Total Performance Strength & Conditioning in Mt. Kisco about two years ago. Our boys go there after school a few days each week, and we try to get there ourselves once or twice a week. I love it for its small setting and very personalized training.

What is the best advice you’ve received from another mom/dad?
The best advice I received as a parent was not to make idle threats. I continue to catch myself, but it’s so important. And now that I have teenagers, I try to take advantage of every second they want to do something with me. Those times are rare these days, so I jump at any chance I get.

What is your favorite place in or near town to…
Have dinner:
Our tried and true for family dinners is Blue Dolphin in Katonah. We also love Bacio in Cross River and Locali in Mt. Kisco or New Canaan. 

Go out for a special occasion:
As our children have gotten older, my husband and I have made a point of prioritizing date nights. Most recently, we have enjoyed Farmer & the Fish in Purdy’s, and Freddy’s in Pleasantville is definitely worth the drive. Luc’s in Ridgefield is another favorite.

Grab coffee: 
Katonah Reading Room. I’m not a coffee drinker, but they have exceptional teas, treats, and the BEST avocado toast. It doesn’t hurt that my brother and sister-in-law own it! We also love the Farmers Grind in South Salem, which is on our way home from St. Luke’s. It has terrific sandwiches and is great for an after-school treat.

Shop for the perfect gift:
Again, Katonah Reading Room for birthday gifts! They have a terrific selection of books, fun toys, and art supplies. And we can get a treat for ourselves while we are there. My daughter loves to shop at &James for gifts for her friends and, of course, something for herself.

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