Pierson Athletics Department Earns Rare School Of Distinction Award

From left, Section XI Executive Director Tom Combs, Pierson Athletic Director Eric Bramoff and NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas.

The Pierson athletic program earned one of the state’s top honors and awards, the “School of Distinction” award, for the 2020-2021 athletic season.

Pierson earned the rare award by having all of its varsity teams earn Scholar-Athlete team status, which is when a team has a combined grade point average of 90 or higher.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced the winners of the awards in July, but athletic directors weren’t actually given the awards until their local workshops took place. Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County high school athletics, held its workshop earlier this month where Pierson Athletic Director Eric Bramoff was one of just 12 recipients in the county to take the award back to their respective school.

Bramoff wasn’t sure if it’s the first time Pierson has been bestowed the honor, but it’s the first time it has under his six-year tenure.

“It’s a prestigious award, and a true testament to the athlete’s hard work in and out of the classroom, and it just proves that athletics are an extension of the classroom,” he said on Monday. “Excellent job by both the students and faculty.”

In a press release in July when it announced the winners, NYSPHSAA stated that the purpose of the School of Distinction, and the School of Excellence Awards which were announced at the same time, “was to unite varsity coaches in challenging their teams to achieve a statewide academic honor.” Pierson was one of 64 schools in the state to earn the award.

“To see a total of 188 schools receive either the School of Distinction or School or Excellence Award is truly remarkable,” Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director, said in the release. “This program highlights and celebrates schools that value the importance of academics, as well as athletics. It is always exciting to see how many of our member schools take advantage of this opportunity and show the value of education.”