As he begins his first week as Manhasset school superintendent, Dr. Vincent Butera said his focus is on the needs of every student, from the brightest elementary school student reading two years above grade level to the high school senior struggling with math and everyone in between.
“Having worked in schools now for more than 20 years, it’s a responsibility of schools to serve all kids, and that means all kids from students who have special needs to students who are on the extraordinarily brilliant spectrum,” Butera said.
During his first year on the job, Butera said he hopes to build trusting relationships with his staff and his students, and he is excited to get into the community and interact with and, most importantly, listen to Manhasset residents.
“To build upon the historical success of the district, I must start by listening and learning from the many people who have built Manhasset into such an elite district,” Butera said. “I am keenly aware of the exceptional work done during Charlie Cardillo’s tenure and seek to continue the positive trajectory of the district.”
Following in the footsteps of Charles Cardillo, who retired in June after 12 years as superintendent, Butera joins Manhasset after five years as the Bayport-Blue Point school superintendent.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Queens College as well as his master’s degree in special education before receiving his administrative certification at Hofstra and doctorate in educational administration and technology from Dowling College.
“My previous positions and experiences have helped me develop a deep understanding and appreciation for those key factors that contribute to the success of students and the satisfaction of families and community members: their expectations, areas of concern and how they need to be engaged,” Butera said. “Of course, these experiences afforded me broad-based opportunities to work directly with many constituencies, which is invaluable to a leader’s perspectives.”
Butera said his interest expands from special education to a larger focus on the needs of every child in the district.
“I have been guided by key core principles throughout my career, one of which is an unwavering commitment to ensuring that we always do what is in the best interest of the kids,” Butera said.
With new leadership always comes change, something that Butera embraces in his personal and professional life. Much like he teaches his and his wife Rosalia’s children, 14-year-old David and 13-year-old Alexa, life is a journey filled with new experiences and challenges, and this is the next step in Butera’s winding journey.
“Changes in society and how we react to them are at the core of the public school experience,” Butera said. “We don’t choose who gets to attend our schools; we comply with state and federal laws. We don’t have the ability to turn our backs on what society presents us; it is experienced in our classrooms every day. I don’t know that I necessarily view change as a ‘challenge’ – I see it more as a part of our leadership DNA, something we are used to managing to meet the community’s expectations to maintain high-quality schools.”