Being a superintendent at any school district on Long Island is a dream job, but leading such a top-notch district as Manhasset’s is probably as close as it comes to any educator’s total fulfillment.
A longtime veteran of numerous school districts in Long Island, Dr. Vincent Butera has been at the helm of the Manhasset district since July 2017. Butera has big shoes to fill as he is replacing the popular Charles Cardillo, who guided the district through years of infrastructure renovations and continued academic success. Butera is looking forward to the challenge and he is pleased to lead a district so dedicated to public education. Indeed, his first impressions of the district are glowing.
“My initial impression is how impressed I am with the quality of the people in the district and their commitment to the betterment of Manhasset,” he says. “We are working with a wide array of individuals and groups to partner with the school to make it an even better place.”
A native of Ridgewood, Queens, Butera has said that his third grade teacher, Mrs. Gloria Christian, influenced him greatly in her ability to inspire students to reach their potential. In high school, Butera’s favorite subject was English. He also played football and was on the school newspaper. Butera has been an educator in the New York City area for a quarter of a century. Pursuing his love of social sciences, Butera received a BA in History from Queens College, before switching to education and obtaining an MA in Special Education also from Queens. Both Dowling College and Hofstra University were next. Butera earned a an Ed.D from Dowling College and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Hofstra.
Butera began his career in 1993 by teaching social studies in the New York City school district and later, at Huntington UFSD. His career as an administrator started in the Floral Park UFSD, where he served as an assistant principal. In 2001, Butera became an elementary principal in the Franklin Square UFSD. In 2009, he was appointed the assistant superintendent for curriculum in the Long Beach UFSD. Then it was on to the Bayport-Blue Point Superintendent, a position he held from 2012 to 2017. Butera’s career has not been confined to public schools. He has also taught at the college level, first at his alma mater, Dowling College, from 2007-09 and most recently at the College of St. Rose.
When asked about both short-term and long-term goals, Butera noted that any school district is either improving or declining, “there’s no status quo.” For Manhasset, the goal is not just a formal education, but “everything that impacts kids.” That means the curriculum and educational opportunities, but also building a professional staff and nurturing their growth.
In addition, Butera is looking to renovate learning spaces, both the classroom and the entire physical structure of a school, for a “future ready” environment. In an age when so many young people feel alienated from life, all to the point of taking tragic steps, Butera is keenly aware of the need to support and nurture the social and emotional well-being of each student lucky enough to be in the district.