Bedford Superintendent to Retire for ‘Health Reasons’

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Dr. Christopher Manno, the Bedford Central School District’s superintendent, is retiring for health reasons.

After three decades as an educator, 52-year-old Bedford Central School District Superintendent Dr. Christopher Manno is retiring, citing “health reasons.”

“I am humbled and appreciative of the opportunity I was afforded to serve Bedford Central,” he said in a letter Tuesday morning to the school community. “I only regret our work together was not longer. My family and I have been deeply moved by the kindness, compassion, and caring demonstrated by many during this difficult time.”

Manno was selected as Bedford’s superintendent in the spring of 2016. At the time working in New Jersey as chief school administrator of the Burlington County Special Services School District/Burlington County Institute of Technology, Manno was picked by the Bedford Board of Education from a field of about 40 candidates.

Bedford was in the midst of a financial firestorm, facing deep staff and program cuts as a result of an $8.8 million budget deficit at the time of Manno’s hire.

“I can say without hesitation the caliber, passion, and work ethic of BCSD’s administration, faculty, and staff are unparalleled,” Manno stated in his Tuesday letter. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve, work alongside, and lead them.”

Manno announced in late Oct. of 2019 that he’d be taking a medical leave. He did not provide further detail about his medical condition.

Dr. Joel Adelberg, the assistant superintendent at the time, was designated as the acting superintendent of schools, as per Board of Education policy.

“The Board of Education has earned my deepest respect and gratitude for their constant dedication and focus on Students First,” Manno remarked Tuesday morning in his statement. “The support of our parents and community members is a critical component of success for our schools. Most importantly, BCSD students are kind, caring, smart, and talented. They make us proud each and every day.”

Manno cited developing the BCSD Success Plan, enhancing the district’s fiscal health and implementing the Dual Language Bilingual Education choice school at Mount Kisco Elementary School as among the district’s top achievements during his tenure. He also mentioned increasing a focus on inclusion, hiring new administrators, faculty, and staff members, instituting new high school courses and improving safety and security as other top accomplishments.

“BCSD will continue to be a wonderful place to learn and grow together,” Manno concluded.

Manno succeeded Interim Superintendent John Chambers at the time of his hire in Bedford. The vacancy had been created the prior year after Dr. Jere Hochman, who arrived in Bedford in 2008, was tabbed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as his deputy secretary of education.

Manno had also served as superintendent of the Burlington Township School District from 2005 to 2013. During his last year at Burlington he was named New Jersey State Superintendent of the Year. For the previous seven years he worked in the Montgomery Township School District, serving as director of curriculum and instruction, then assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction (2002-2005) in Montgomery Township. Earlier in his career, Manno taught middle school and high school math and was recognized as best teacher in Somerset County, where he was also a track and field, cross country and swimming coach.

Manno earned his bachelor’s degree and two masters from The College of New Jersey and his doctorate from Rutgers.

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