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Longtime Seaford H.S. principal heads to Bellmore-Merrick District

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Scott Bersin has said goodbye to the Seaford Union Free School District and will say hello to a new role in the Bellmore-Merrick School District.

After 12 years at Seaford High School – with nine of them as principal – Bersin will take on the role of assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.

Bersin has spent 25 years in education. Before he worked as the assistant principal at Seaford, he was a teacher for nine years and assistant principal for three years at Great Neck North High School. As a teacher, he taught social studies classes and coached boys baseball and girls basketball.

“I think I always enjoyed working with young people, and I always enjoyed teaching,” Bersin said. “I spent a lot of years as a camp counselor in Merrick at Coleman Country Day Camp.”

Education wasn’t always his intended career, Bersin said. He studied economics as an undergraduate at Binghamton University and later went on to Brooklyn Law School. He also worked as an assistant district attorney at the Bronx County district attorney’s office.

He soon realized his intended path was education. He enrolled at Queens College to earn a teaching degree. By day, he worked as a prosecutor. By night, he took classes to earn his degree.

“I always wanted to work with young people; I just didn’t figure it out right away,” Bersin said.

He said he was thrilled to take on the role as principal in the Seaford district when the opportunity presented itself in 2012, especially to help students during their education.

“I was always really shocked at the importance of the principal’s role,” he said. “When you’re a young person going through school, you don’t see how leadership affects the learning experiences and school in general.”

During his time at Seaford, Bersin said, he was able to offer a “richer education” to every student by developing academic programs, ranging from rigorous courses to lighter electives.

“We were able to build programs in every single department for all different types of students,” Bersin said. “It was an exciting time in Seaford High School’s history.”

At the Seaford High School’s graduation ceremony at the Tilles Center this year, Bersin was presented with an honorary diploma.

“The way I see it, Mr. Bersin has always been a student’s principal,” John Striffolino, Seaford’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and personnel, said at the ceremony. “The students have always been at the center of his efforts and thinking. He thanked Bersin for the tremendous impact and influence he had on the high school’s program and students.

During his time at Seaford, Bersin was largely involved in the Seaford 9/11 Memorial Committee and the Patriot Awards, which are monetary scholarships given to five graduating seniors in honor of fallen alumni.

“The goals of this committee were so tremendous,” Bersin said. “It really struck a chord with me since I lost two very dear friends in the 9/11 attacks.”

Marianne Pensa, one of three 2021 Honorary Award recipients, thanked Bersin at the annual Patriot Awards dinner last month for his devotion to the Seaford School District as he leaves Seaford, or the community’s “happy little green bubble,” for a new adventure.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Scott during my time as PTSA president and on the Shared Decision Making Committee. Together, we were able to bring many of our visions to fruition,” Pensa said during the event. “It was a pleasure, Mr. B, and I wish you the best of luck.”

Bersin said he took the role at Bellmore-Merrick because he wants to have an even bigger impact on students and the community.

“I will miss all of the relationships with the students and staff of Seaford High School where we are all very close,” Bersin said. “I look forward to building that in Bellmore-Merrick. Everyone here seems to have such a great outlook on the mission and on the school district. I’m excited to get involved and become a part of the family here.”