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Interim Athletic Director Relies on Past Experience in Settling into New Role

Read on for a question-and-answer session with the new head of athletics.

Southeast-Brewster Patch recently sat down with Dean Berardo, 's Interim Director of Athletics, and spoke about his transition into the position after years of teaching and coaching in the community. Following from the position in November, and a few weeks of the spot sitting vacant, officials appointed Berardo last month. He is a Brewster native who currently resides in New Fairfield, CT.

SBP: How long have you been with the district, and what sorts of experience have you had here in Brewster?

DB: I've spent 24 years as a teacher and coach in this district. A number of those years were in adaptive physical education, and the past 10 years were in general physical education with middle-schoolers. Through my experiences I've taught some classes at the high school level, and some at the elementary level. I've coached modified, junior varsity and varsity teams, and in 1998, I helped launch the hockey program.

SBP: What's your favorite memory from the last 24 years?

DB: Probably starting a program from nothing. This season I attended a Brewster hockey game for the first time in a while, and it's great to know that a group of people got the program off the ground, to the point where it's thriving now. 

SBP: When you heard of the vacancy, did you think stepping into this position was a natural progression in your career?

DB: There's no natural progression in life, I don't think. I was very surprised when the opening occurred, and I was excited to go through the process of interviewing. I think I bring a lot of different expereince to the job, in both athletics and physical education. We've got a great physical education staff, a great athletic staff, and they've thrown their support behind me. The community has, too, so there's an internal pressure to not let them down.

SBP: What's the most surprising part of the job so far? Have you had any on-the-job learning experiences yet?

DB: There's nothing really too surprising. The pace of the day is frantic. We start at 7:30, and when I look up, it's 2 p.m. ... The constant challenge of this job is giving everyone the tools they need to succeed. At a girls basketball game [in December], the scoreboard died. I knew of a few smaller, old shot clocks at the , that ultimately, we never disposed of. I plugged them in and when they lit up, it was like Christmas morning.

SBP: What are your goals for the rest of this year?

DB: I know we're going to be using the new turf field to its fullest capabilities, but otherwise, I'm just trying to maintain and move along as we go. I'm still learning and getting organized. I just want to give everybody what they need to succeed. I just want to be here for folks. 

SBP: What's your favorite part of the job so far?

DB: It's not stagnant, that's for sure. Everyday is different.

SBP: Is there something you'd like students, teachers, coaches, parents and the rest of the community to know?

DB: The door is always open. I'm willing to listen to the challenges, likes, dislikes they have, and we'll see what we can do to make everyone happy. It's not always going to work, but we'll try.

Noreen Mahoney January 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Congratulations on your new position Dean! I hope that as the dust settles you will find some time to get the word out locally about the JV and Varsity Girls and Boys Basketball games which are in full swing right now. Brewster Basketball doesn't get a lot of attention in the local media, which is kind of a shame since they are very talented kids. Good luck to you!
Cheryl Sacchetti January 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Have to agree with Noreen especially in girls sports. As a whole we have very talented kids in all sports and it would be great to hear what their doing and what the outcome is. It's nice to know when they play but outcome is another way to see how our school is competing with the rest of the district/region.
Ashley Tarr January 12, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Thanks for the comments, Noreen and Cheryl! I've sent this story to Mr. Berardo, so hopefully he'll see your suggestions. I'm also in the process of reaching out to all the coaches and reminding them that our Daily Sports Digest (http://southeast.patch.com/sports) is a great way to share achievements with the community. We encourage coaches, parents and students to email us (HVsportsdigest@gmail.com) with stats, photos, etc. and we will post (with appropriate credit, of course). Please consider spreading the word!
Noreen Mahoney January 12, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Will do! Thanks so much. It will be nice to see more about our local sports talent soon!
Mike Sabini January 13, 2012 at 06:02 AM
First of, I LOVE the enthusiasm Cheryl and Noreen that you both have for your school. NEVER lose it. Second, just want to echo Ashley's thoughts and encourage everyone to send us what you got on all these great Brewster athletes. You can email me directly at msabini@mail.com and I will gladly put it in our DSD.

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