Current Business & Job Title: Principal Beekmantown High School
Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York
Age: 37
Education: Specialist in Educational Leadership from Barry University, Master of Science degree in Education in Literacy from Alfred University Undergraduate Degree with a Major in Global Studies and a Minor in Education from St. Lawrence University
Community Involvement: Food Drives, Community events on campus, extracurricular activities for our kids, Honor Walks

When he walks into the room, you know Matt Bezio is the epitome of the passionate educator. There is a bounce in his step, a cadence in his voice and a glow on his face that exudes his desire to make a difference in the lives he touches. Matt grew up in the North Country, went away to college and then spent nearly a decade working in education in Florida. But when, as happens with so many people, the pull of home won out and he came back to take on his dream job as principal of the Beekmantown Central High School.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
Creating a positive and an inclusive environment for all students and staff on campus daily is extremely important within the educational setting and an intricate part of my job as an educational leader.

What is the single most important characteristic for success?
Perseverance. One’s ability to grit your teeth and overcome whatever obstacles obstruct your goals and aspirations when you are staring failure in the face.

What is your biggest professional success?
Offering opportunities for students to experience success. Establishing support systems that enable students to grow and flourish, as they reach their personal goals and aspirations.

What important lesson have you learned in your career?
You never know what others are going through. Negative behavior and contention manifest themselves in multiple forms. Understanding and empathy towards others is something I feel extremely passionate about.

What is your dream job?
My current role as a high school principal enables me to live out my dream of making a difference each and every day in the lives of others, especially our youth.

How has COVID-19 impacted you professionally and personally? What are you doing differently?
COVID has certainly created added stress professionally and personally. But it has taught me how to divert the stress I am feeling and use it to generate positive outcomes both professionally and personally. It has taught me that even a pandemic cannot impact on the wonderful aspects in my life. It reinforced in me that the impossible is possible. It reinstalled my faith that community and family will always persevere.

Write a note to your younger self…
There are times that you will look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am not sure
where I am going” but know that the person staring back at you has the ability to
generate what you want to become in life. Have the tenacity to know that your mindset
for success will ultimately allow you to reach who and where you want to be in life.

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
As a native of the North Country, I moved away for 10 years but the people and the feel of the community brought me home. The North Country has a tremendously warm and welcoming feel that when you grow up here you do not realize. Exposing our younger generations to experiences outside our area will ultimately drive them to become positive agents back in the North Country.