The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

Piscataway High School Welcomes New Assistant Principal, Mr. Berdecia

Mr. Berdecia sits down with Mahi to discuss discipline, integrity, and…Netflix
Photo by Mabel Amber on Pexels

As of last year, Mr. Berdecia is the new assistant principal of the 9th grade at Piscataway High School. However his responsibilities are not limited to freshman, so whether you’re an upper or lower classmen, here’s everything you need to know about Mr. Berdecia.

Antonio Berdecia Jr., better known as Mr. Berdecia, moved from his position as Director of Queen City Academy Charter School in Plainfield, New Jersey, to vice principal of freshman here at PHS during the 2022-23 school year. Berdecia states, “This is a much bigger environment, a lot more teachers, a lot more students, but overall a lot more support too.” Many people might be intimidated by a school of 2000 students, especially when they are coming from a school with only 360, however Berdecia immediately fit in with the environment we have here.

Mr. Berdecia in his office (Mahi Patel)

Mr. Berdecia holds many responsibilities, including but not limited to, coordinator of after school activities and vice principal of the ninth grade. Berdecia states, “I coordinate with all the advisors and anything clubs and activities related I will be in charge of. I also work with security guards, like planning drills and working out security plans.” He sees these activities as an opportunity for students to get involved and build themselves into a stronger person, and works hard to keep these activities going.

Despite some students’ opinions on administrators, Mr. Berdecia’s least favorite part of being vice principal is discipline. Berdecia states, “Discipline is probably the worst part of my job, but unfortunately it is a part of my job to deal with disciplinary issues.” Berdecia finds discipline disappointing, yet necessary as it can be upsetting to see that some students are not living up to their potential, however he understands the necessity of teaching that there are consequences to your actions. “I would like to build up students, so I’m looking for ways to make connections and help build not just strong scholars, but strong people”, he states.

To help his students grow into strong people, he attempts to instill values he finds crucial such as integrity. After spending 10 years with the Army National Guard, Berdecia understands the importance of having a code of values to live by, and he uses his experience as a veteran to guide his students to develop these values. Berdecia says, “The values that I learned in the military I have really taken to heart for my life and one that I feel is the most important is integrity. I truly believe that if you keep integrity in mind, all the other values will fall into place”. He hopes his students are able to do the same and will grow with these values and keep their integrity, not only for high school but for the rest of their lives.

From the perspective of someone new to Piscataway you can notice some of the faults within our community, which we have not addressed yet. Mr. Berdecia states, “I think the pandemic really affected our community, it put a lot of stressors on us. It made social interactions a little bit more difficult, and we are seeing that both teachers and students are a little less empathetic and understanding of each other”. Throughout the globe studies have shown that COVID-19 negatively impacted school systems, and The School Pulse Panel surveyed that more than 80% of public schools reported “stunted behavioral and socioemotional development”.

However, Mr. Berdecia believes that as a community, we are slowly but surely getting back to where we were prior to COVID. He hopes to aid the community even further by connecting to students, not only as an administrator, but as a member of Piscataway. This may come as a surprise to some, but Mr. Berdecia is not too different from his students and can often be found participating in activities you may enjoy as well. Berdecia states, “It’s nice to just sit down and watch some Netflix or HBOMax… I do like to watch 90 Day Fiancé”. Clearly ‘trash TV’ is a universal hobby for students and educators alike.


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About the Contributor
Mahi Patel, Journalism 2 Reporter
Hi! I’m Mahi and I’m currently a junior taking Journalism as an Independent Study. I always loved writing and I am so excited to be able to share my work with others through the Chieftain. I especially love to write about current events and student life so there will be many posts about that! Thank you so much for checking us out!"

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    King riosDec 7, 2023 at 11:10 am

    I like this article because Mr.Berdecia wants to help To help his students grow into strong people.