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Who is Bernard Pierorazio?

Bernard Pierorazio's Bio:

"Making college achievable for every child."


Bernard Pierorazio has been a leader in education reform and growth for over forty years. He is a community-centric family man who cares about helping young people make the most of their potential-- and providing the resources they need to do it. In his academic professional career he has served as a principal and dean of multiple schools, an adjunct professor, deputy superintendent of Yonkers schools, and finally superintendent. He held the position for nine years and revamped Yonkers' school system, enabling marked increases in graduation rates, academic participation in minority communities, and scholarship offers.


Over the course of his career, Bernard Pierorazio has implemented long-term changes in the school district of Yonkers and beyond. In various roles as assistant principal, principal, deputy superintendent, and finally superintendent for numerous schools, he worked to put lesser-known places on the map and gain attention from their state governments and even the U.S. Department of Education. He took on challenging roles in which he negotiated with major unions, and one of his proudest accomplishments was finally settling a decades-long federal desegregation case for Yonkers schools. One of his biggest focus was increasing the amount of high schools in the area so that students could learn and work in smaller, more personalized communities. With oversized classrooms playing a considerable role to a teacher's overall success, Bernard wanted to alleviate this problem by spreading the resources out so that both the teachers and the students can benefit in a more holistic manner. At the end of the day, high school students are at a critical juncture within their educational careers. What they do there determines where they go after graduation and beyond. Bernard's strategy directly led to higher student involvement, thus higher graduation rates as well as increase in college acceptances and scholarships. In 2012, Bernard received the William U. Harris Award of Excellence for his efforts to increase more minority student participation in the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Test and Advanced Placement classes. 


Still one of the most defining moments in Bernard's incredible educational career was his strategy in addressing the distric's aging infrastructure. After challenging the overall educational infrastructure of schools, Bernard looked to create more intimate learning communities by eliminating middle schools from the equation. He conceptualized a major initiative, Performance-Based Rapid Infrastructure Development Enterprise (PRIDE), which repaired and rebuilt Yonkers’ school buildings. Although the project was not put into action, it was recognized as one of the 100 Most Innovative Urban Infrastructure Projects at the 2012 World Cities Summit.


Community organizations are immensely important to Bernard Pierorazio and he emphasizes that students need good extracurricular and workforce opportunities. He believes that in order to keep young people interested in higher education and success, we need to start by providing them with a sense of community and purpose. He restructured and implemented the Yonkers Workforce Investment Program so that it offered a summer youth employment program for residents from ages 14 to 25. It resulted in hundreds of summer jobs. He is also a member of numerous local community councils, including the Jewish Council of Yonkers, Family Service Society, and the Community Planning Council.


Now, in addition to those already stated accolades, Bernard Pierorazio has received a host of other awards and certifications, including the Leadership Award from the Fulbright Association’s Greater New York chapter and the Lawrence Levin Award from the New York Association for Continuing Community Education. He is inspired by his own family and the growth of his two sons and continues to advocate for a brighter, better future in education. Currently, Bernard serves as a Regional Field Associate at Successful Practices Network CTE Technical Assistance Center. There, he works with the New York Department of Education to improve technical opportunities for students in the Greater-New York area.


Outside of education, Bernard Pierorazio is a family man. Among all his accomplishments, Bernard 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.

Bernard Pierorazio's Experience:

  • Educational Leadership Consultant at MT. VERNON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

    Assisted the Superintendent with recruiting, vetting, soliciting school and community input, interviewing, and hiring five key central office positions and two elementary principal positions. Additionally worked with four elementary principals to restructure and revamp their master schedules to accept the new PK - 8 programs that will be initiated in September. Met with Board Trustees and began assisting with their vision to re-establish the strong CTE programs that once were a cornerstone of Mt. Vernon High School and to establish CTE programs in the other two high schools.

  • Retired - Superintendent of Schools at Yonkers Public Schools

    Superintendent Bernard P. Pierorazio retired from the Yonkers Public School District in February 2014. A proud product of the Yonkers Public Schools, Superintendent Pierorazio's tenure with the District spanned forty years. Known as an educational change agent, he consistently improved the District by providing innovative and quality educational opportunities for students. Last Spring, Manhattan College presented him with an honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy in recognition of his contributions to the Field of Education. In 2012, he received national recognition by garnering the College Board's William U. Harris Award of Excellence for his commitment to increasing minority participation in college readiness assessments and enhancing the District's college-going culture; and in 2011, the Council of School Superintendents named Pierorazio New York State Superintendent of the Year. Pierorazio was the District's fourth longest serving Superintendent of Schools.

  • Deputy Superintendent of Schools at Yonkers Public School District

    Implemented changes in the instructional infrastructure which led to improved student achievement in both elementary and secondary schools. One of three members responsible for negotiations with three major unions. Headed team that developed the District plan, which was a key component in the settlement of the twenty-year old Federal Desegregation case.

  • Assistant Superintendent Secondary Administration at Yonkers Board of Education

    Established planning process and implementation for instructional and structural reform in the area of “Smaller Learning Communities,” in partnership with The Learning Lab at Brown University.

  • Principal at Saunders Trades & Technical High School

    Recognized by the United States Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and one of seven New American High Schools, an award for schools with Career Academies. Twice recognized by New York State as a School of Distinction, and cited by the Middle States Association as an “exemplary school.”

  • Principal at John Burroughs Junior High School

  • Assistant Principal at John Burroughs Junior High School

  • Assistant Principal at Hawthorne / PEARLS Gifted & Talented

  • Student Dean at Yonkers High School

  • Adjunct Professor - Evenings at Elizabeth Seton College

  • Coordinator / Teacher, Alternative Education at Yonkers High School

  • Alternative Education / CHOICE at Scarsdale Junior High School

  • Social Studies Teacher at Yonkers High School

  • Regional Field Associate at CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY

    The CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY is pleased to announce the appointment of Bernard P. Pierorazio as Regional Field Associate for Southern NYS. Bernard, has worked in public education for over forty years, as a teacher, dean, principal, and as Superintendent of the Yonkers Public Schools for nine years. In 2011, he was honored by NYSCOSS, naming him New York State Superintendent of the Year. As Superintendent, he increased the number of district high schools to provide smaller learning communities that enhanced student achievement by concentrating on the relevance of CTE programs and earning two NYS P-Tech Grants. Prior to becoming Superintendent, Bernard held the positions of Deputy Superintendent, where he restructured the adult education program and created the very successful Pathways to Success which has earned three NYS Literacy Zone grants for the District. As Principal of Saunders Trades and Technical High School, Saunders became a USDOE Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, a New American High School and was later recognized as a Model School by the Successful Practices Network. Last Spring, Manhattan College presented him with an honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy in recognition of his contributions to the Field of Education.

Bernard Pierorazio's Education:

  • The College of New Rochelle

    Certification Special Education
    Concentration: Special Education and Teaching
  • Iona College

    Master of Science (MS)
    Concentration: Educational Leadership and Administration, General
  • Central Connecticut State University

    Bachelor's degree
  • Iona College

    Master's degree
    Concentration: History

Bernard Pierorazio's Interests & Activities:

Bernard Pierorazio is the recipient of numerous awards and is recognized for his achievements and commitment to the education sector. These awards include New York State 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 the Westchester Association of Hispanic Professionals Award for Leadership. Among all of his accomplishments, Bernard 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 United States Paten Office. Outside of work, Bernard sees himself as a family-oriented man that loves to spend his time with his wife and kids. When he is not with this family, you can usually find Bernard working on another DIY home building project, exploring the city, or riding his bike throughout the bike paths of Yonkers, New York.

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