Bernard P. Pierorazio is Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in New York State. As a proud product of the school system he now oversees, his career as a teacher, dean and administrator has been dedicated to the district’s students, their families and the Yonkers community. In 2011, the New York State Council of School Superintendents honored Superintendent Pierorazio’s commitment to education by naming him Superintendent of the Year.
During his tenure, Superintendent Pierorazio has championed the district’s school restructuring efforts to eliminate middle schools by expanding the prekindergarten-through-grade-eight school model. This initiative has resulted in data-proven increases in student achievement and has improved parental involvement.
At the secondary level, Superintendent Pierorazio has increased the number of district high schools to provide smaller learning communities that enhance student achievement. This strategy has led to marked increases in high school graduation rates, college acceptances and post secondary scholarships. In 2012, the College Board recognized Superintendent Pierorazio’s commitment to enhancing the district’s college-going culture by awarding him the William U. Harris Award of Excellence for increasing minority student participation in the College Board’s Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, Scholastic Aptitude Test and Advanced Placement courses.
To address the district’s aging infrastructure, Superintendent Pierorazio’s latest initiative is a $1.7 billion Performance-Based Rapid Infrastructure Development Enterprise, called Yonkers PRIDE. To restore decaying and outdated school buildings, this initiative utilizing public private partnerships is the first of its kind for a public school system in the United States. In July 2012, the project garnered international acclaim after being named among the 100 most innovative urban infrastructure projects by KPMG LLP at the 2012 World Cities Summitin Singapore.
To enhance opportunities for district students, Superintendent Pierorazio has forged partnerships with leading organizations and foundations including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, College Board and Yonkers Partners in Education. Embracing equity and access for all students, he has expanded the district’s collaborations with colleges and universities throughout Westchester and the metropolitan New York area.
Prior to becoming Superintendent, Mr. Pierorazio held the positions of Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Principal of Saunders Trades and Technical High School. As Deputy Superintendent, he was instrumental in developing the district’s Five Year Plan, which compelled the Federal Courts to declare unitary status for the Yonkers Public Schools, ending Federal oversight of the school district. Under his leadership, Saunders became a United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and a New American High School.
Superintendent Pierorazio earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education majoring in History from Central Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in History from Iona College, where he also received certification in school and district administration and supervision. He also has a certification in special education from the College of New Rochelle.
Superintendent Pierorazio is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions that highlight his educational career and are testimony to his community commitment. These awards include New York State Association for Women in Administration Maxine Giacobbe Award, New York Association for Continuing Community Education Lawrence Levin Professional Award, Fulbright Association - Greater New York Chapter Leadership Award, Nepperhan Community Center Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice, and Westchester Association of Hispanic Professionals Award for Leadership.
Among all his accomplishments, Superintendent Pierorazio is proudest of his two sons, Dr. Phillip Martin Pierorazio, a graduate of Georgetown University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and presently a surgeon at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, and Michael Bernard Pierorazio, Esq., a graduate of Columbia University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, working with the U.S. Patent Office.
A resident of Westchester, Superintendent Pierorazio is the son of Yonkers natives Joseph and Lillian (nee DeSantis) Pierorazio. He is married to Tina, who is a retired educator from the Ardsley Public Schools and an adjunct professor at Mercy College.