2009 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree

Dr. Jack Bierwirth

Dr. Jack Bierwirth

Herricks Public Schools

Pick a word: collaborator, leader, pioneer, innovator. All have been used at various times to describe Dr. Jack Bierwirth.

As the superintendent of Herricks School District since 2001, he’s earned a reputation for collaborating with teachers, students, community members, and professional and government organizations to foster an environment of sharing, tolerance and global awareness throughout the district.

During his tenure, he has helped shape Herricks Public Schools into a “world-class school district,” complete with an international curriculum. Also, he established the first-ever high school partnership with the Foreign Policy Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world.

Bierwirth got an early start in public education as a sixth-grade teacher in Connecticut in 1969. During the next 20 years, he served in several leadership capacities in the Hempstead, Port Washington, Freeport and Sachem school districts. One could argue that he is one of the most experienced Long Island educators, having worked for five districts and been responsible for the education of more than 50,000 students.

In 1992, he was recruited to lead the largest school system in the Northwest — in Portland, Oregon. Under his guidance, the district was selected by the Pew Charitable Trust as one of seven districts in the country to pioneer implementation of standards-based education. Five years later, he became president of Outward Bound USA, the largest and oldest wilderness education program in the country, serving 30,000 teenagers and adults per year. He returned to his Long Island roots in 2001 to take the helm at Herricks.

Bierwirth has served on numerous boards and is the former president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts.