Skip to main content


October 2, 2018
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



Commissioner Elia Reappoints Distinguished Educator for Hempstead Union Free School District

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia today reappointed Dr. Jack Bierwirth as a Distinguished Educator (DE) to the Hempstead Union Free School District (Hempstead UFSD). The reappointment enables Dr. Bierwirth to continue to work collaboratively with the school board and school district staff to further improve academics, finances and outcomes at the district. Commissioner Elia first appointed Dr. Bierwirth as Distinguished Educator in September 2017.

“The school district has started on the path to enhancing the education it provides the children of Hempstead, but we know the journey is a long one,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “In Dr. Bierwirth, the board and district have a dedicated and capable partner whose support and guidance will help ensure the district continues to make the necessary and vital improvements to best serve every child.”

“Over the past year, Dr. Bierwirth has done a remarkable job in working with the school board, Superintendent, staff and community in Hempstead to make notable progress in a number of areas,” Commissioner Elia said. “However, we know that much work remains to be done to improve district operations and academics so every student in Hempstead gets the education he or she deserves. It is imperative that the Board of Education heed Dr. Bierwirth’s forthcoming recommendations and work diligently to implement a plan for the 2018-19 school year that incorporates a commitment to making substantial changes in district policies and organizational structures to significantly enhance student performance.”

Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents T. Andrew Brown said, “The Board of Regents and the State Education Department are committed to staying the course in Hempstead and partnering with the community to ensure opportunities to succeed in life are created for the students of Hempstead. Dr. Bierwirth has demonstrated his value time and again as a seasoned educator who cares about doing what is best for students. We thank Dr. Bierwirth for his dedication to the Hempstead community.”

Dr. Jack Bierwirth has more than 40 years of experience, including nearly 30 years as a superintendent of schools in the Freeport, Sachem and Herricks school districts on Long Island, as well as in Portland, Oregon.  Dr. Bierwirth also worked in the Hempstead Union Free School District as a district director from April 1974 to June 1977.  Dr. Bierwirth holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. 

As specified in education law, Dr. Bierwirth is considered a consultant to the district and his services will be paid for by the district.  In his first year, Dr. Bierwirth conducted an intensive review of district systems, structures and operations with the goal of helping the district to fully and effectively implement its improvement plans for Priority Schools and Focus Schools and developed an action plan to support district improvement.

Dr. Bierwirth’s work included reviewing the District Comprehensive Education Plan and related plans for Priority Schools and Focus Schools and making recommendations to the District’s Board of Education for their modification. While progress has been made in a number of areas, significant elements of the recommendations contained in Dr. Bierwirth’s 2017-18 Distinguished Educator Plan for the district have yet to be fully implemented.

During the first 45 days of his appointment, Dr. Bierwirth will focus on working collaboratively with the district to revise the action plan outlining the goals and objectives for the district and himself for the ensuing school year.  This action plan shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Education for approval.  Upon approval, Dr. Bierwirth shall provide a copy of the action plan to the school district, as well as submit quarterly reports to the Department.

Dr. Bierwirth’s appointment is effective October 2, 2018. The District must enter into a contract with Dr. Bierwirth within 30 days to implement the conditions of his appointment as prescribed in Commissioner’s Regulations. He will also serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board of education.