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BOE Appoints John Berenato as New Superintendent

The Manchester Township Board of Education, at their January 19, 2022 meeting, appointed John Berenato as the district's new Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Berenato will replace retiring superintendent David Trethaway, effective February 2, 2022.

BOE Statement

Melanie Biscardi, Vice President of the Board of Education and Chair of the Superintendent Committee, made the following statement:

Students, staff, families and all other stakeholders of the Manchester Township School District, it is with great excitement that the BOE and I have chosen our new superintendent, Mr. John Berenato.  As the chair of this committee, I felt the need to explain the reasons as to why we chose him as our new superintendent of schools. 

First, we started with a needs assessment questionnaire that was posted on our website and our town’s website. It asked what are the most important issues that we as a school district are concerned about. Your answers are what drove our search. You told us and we had that in front of us at all times. We know how important this decision is for our students and staff. 

Next, our committee consisted of the members who were non-conflicted (with relatives who are staff members). We are parents with children in this school district and because of this we have a vested interest.

After reading through many resumes, essays and interviewing close to 20 candidates, we all agreed on Mr. John Berenato.

Why did we as a committee choose him?  

To begin with, we saw that he had a plethora of knowledge as a former first grade and fourth grade inclusion teacher. He is aware of our at risk students and how we can help them. He knows that we need to remediate and accelerate all of our learners, all the while being mindful of our budget. He knows we need to look at chronic absenteeism. He knows the importance of math and language arts being key areas to dive deeper into, especially through the Pandemic. He sees how we need more work with dual enrollment and perhaps having academies within our high school like many other high schools in the county have now. He would like to do more with Joint Base.  He sees how early education from prek-3rd grades, middle and high school grades are truly valuable. He wants to look at shared services for us to save money but also bring in revenue to our district. He is well versed in the use of technology.  He wants to listen to the staff, students and families of this great community and see how we can make this district even better than what it is today. He truly takes pride in what he does and it was definitely evident in our interviews.

What is his Leadership Experience?

Mr. Berenato started as  a Supervisor of Curriculum in Springfield Township where he assisted in providing leadership for Preschool through 6th grade educational programs. He managed the collection and analysis of student achievement data. He observed and evaluated staff. He collaborated with district literacy coaches to identify needs and developed support cycles for staff. He delivered in-service programs. He learned how to help the military families that were stationed at Joint Base. 

In 2016, he left Springfield to become a supervisor and then later Director of Curriculum in Little Egg Harbor School District, a prek-6th grade school district. During this time, Little Egg entered into a shared service agreement with Pinelands Regional School District (a 7-12th grade district) where John served as Director of Math and Science and became Assistant Superintendent of Little Egg Harbor Twp School District. This allowed Pinelands and Little Egg Harbor to save money. Some other shared services that John worked to achieve were technology coach, ESL teacher, behaviorist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, transitional guidance counselor.  These are all services that are shared with Long Beach Township and Tuckerton Elementary School. Little Egg also worked with the students and staff of Bass River Elementary School in Burlington County that is now closed. The students and staff now work and attend Little Egg Harbor School District. By doing this, Mr. Beranato was able to not only have shared services but also bring in revenue to the district as well.

John was able to work very closely with Superintendent Melissa McCooley.  He also wrote many grants. He provided ongoing open lines of communication with the community and the staff. 

This man’s energy and zest for life along with education is something that really excited us and we know that the students, staff and community will feel the same. He wants to listen and build relationships in this district with the students, staff and families throughout our great community.  Every reference I spoke with had so many incredible things to say about him.  With a nickname of 24, Mr. Beranato wants to take us to the next level. 

What are his certifications?

Certificates for:

  • Elementary Education for grades k-8
  • Teacher of Students with Disabilities
  • Supervisor 
  • Principal
  • School Administrator

Highly qualified Language Arts and Literacy- having passed the Middle School Praxis

Where did he earn his degrees and certifications?

  • BS in Elementary Education and Psychology from The College of NJ
  • MA in Education Technology from New Jersey City University
  • Special Education Certificate from TCNJ
  • Supervisor Certificate from NJCU
  • Principal Certificate from Rowan University
  • School Administrator Certificate from Caldwell College

Mr. Berenato’s Remarks

Mr. Berenato speaking at BOE meeting

Mr. Berenato made the following remarks after the board approved his appointment:

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Board of Education for selecting and trusting me to be Manchester Township School District’s next superintendent. In the coming days I look forward to working with Mr. Trethaway and other district leaders to be able to better understand the educational landscape of Manchester Township School District and ensure a smooth transition for everyone.

Once I begin my tenure, on February 2nd, I will provide opportunities for the community to learn more about me, provide feedback about the current state of our district and engage stakeholders in realizing our goals, vision and mission. 

As we all know, our educational ecosystem was dramatically disrupted and affected by the global pandemic. We witnessed the entire school community embrace a new normal, riddled with new technology, during a time when there were so many questions and seemingly so few answers. We learned that technology, when properly utilized, can accelerate learning, elevate and enhance our instructional practices, and improve communication to our whole community.

It’s time for us to thrive, not just survive. Our next steps are critical and must properly address the unique needs of our community. We will continue to make decisions with full transparency and support a climate and culture of high expectations. More importantly, I will ensure that the health and wellness of our staff and students are at the forefront of every decision that we make. I believe this work will be most beneficial when performed in a collaborative manner and I intend to foster these relationships early in my tenure. 

To that end, I am ready to lead and support Manchester Township School District strategically and with the fortitude to overcome whatever obstacles lie ahead. I commit today to the Board of Education, staff, parents, students and the community, that I will work diligently to ensure that our district remains one of the best in the county and state. Thank you again for this opportunity.”