The College Board Middle States Regional Office has named Superintendent of the Yonkers Public Schools Bernard P. Pierorazio the 2012 William U. Harris Award of Excellence recipient. Named after the former Middle States Executive Director, the award is given annually to an educator whose work exemplifies Mr. Harris' outstanding spirit and character. "Bernard P. Pierorazio not only exceeds the requirements for the William Harris Award of Excellence, he epitomizes those qualities," said Robert Alig, College Board Vice President for the Middle States Region. "As a change agent in Yonkers, he has fostered leadership at all levels and developed innovative programs for students and administrators."
During his tenure as Superintendent, Mr. Pierorazio has introduced several initiatives to foster student achievement, increase graduation rates and prepare students for post-secondary success. These include the restructuring of the school system through the introduction of a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade model; an increase in the number of district high schools to ensure smaller learning communities; and the formation of District partnerships with important institutions including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the College Board Association to establish the Palisade Preparatory School. In 2011,
Mr. Pierorazio was named Superintendent of the Year by the New York State Council of School Superintendents.
Superintendent Pierorazio received the William U. Harris Award at the 2012 College Board Regional Forum on Tuesday, January 24 in Baltimore, Maryland. "This award is noteworthy," explained Superintendent Pierorazio, "because it embodies the dedication and determination of all Yonkers Public Schools constituents; I am honored to represent them."
In addition, the Yonkers Public Schools was named to the AP Honor Roll in March, one of 388 districts nationwide, and was also honored at the Forum by the College Board as a member of the new Advanced Placement (AP) Achievement List. This list recognizes districts that have significantly expanded the pool of students who take AP classes, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. From 2008 to 2010, Yonkers Public Schools increased the number of students participating in AP from 458 to 551 and improved the percentage of students, from 22% in 2008 to 28% in 2010, who earned AP Exam scores of 3 or higher, scores typically needed to earn college credit.