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Principal Profile: West Patent's Vera Berezowsky

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- When students hit the classrooms of West Patent Elementary School for another year of learning, they were led by a familiar face: principal Vera Berezowsky, who is into her seventh year.

Her first years at the wheel were quite different, though, as she compared herself to someone who was studying a new culture.

“The first year or so you’re basically – as I used to say – the archeologist, digging and looking through things, finding out about the culture of the building and district, how things are being done, who the people are and trying to build relationships,” she said.

The one-time teacher and former assistant principal has built many relationships along her journey, moving to and from schools in the Bronx, Ardsley, and now in Bedford Hills, and is early into yet another year at the helm on West Patent Road.

As she does each year, Berezowsky is trying to keep up the standard of teaching at the school, as well as the overall makeup of the student body.

“I’m always trying to find new ways to support my teachers,” Berezowsky said. “This building in particular also has a long history of looking at character education as the big umbrella of how we are preparing our students beyond the mere academics of learning to read and write. We focus on being good citizens, having common courtesy and how we treat each other.”

She continued, “Those intangibles, that you can’t put your finger on but you can see and feel when you come into a building. We’ve had a long-standing program, but we’re always tweaking, finding new ways to do things, to improve our results.”

Improvement might be on the horizon for the school in a more tangible way, as the school has found itself front and center in the discussion for possible renovation or even rebuilding projects. erezowsky expects, though, that the news will come in the winter or spring.

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