John Bereska, former principal, dies at 66

A poster of former Principal Bereska hangs in the gym. The poster was displayed during the 2006-2007 pep rally.

Photo provided by Jennifer Erline

A poster of former Principal Bereska hangs in the gym. The poster was displayed during the 2006-2007 pep rally.

Paul Rapuzzi , Reporter

Former Hereford High School Principal, John W. Bereska, passed away from prostate cancer on Friday, Sept. 22 at 66.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Bereska, the son of two German immigrants, was born in Baltimore and raised in the city. He graduated from City College in 1968.

Bereska began his career in 1972, teaching American and World History courses at Kenwood High School. He also coached wrestling, golf and football. His accomplishments as a wrestling coach earned him a spot in the Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame.

In 1993 Bereska was appointed assistant principal at Woodlawn High School and two years later he was appointed principal of Lansdowne High School. Colleagues said Bereska expanded the school’s business program and raised school spirit.

Bereska’s career as a principal ended at Hereford in 2012 after 12 years at the school.

Bereska enjoyed playing tennis and played in multiple U.S. Tennis Association leagues. He also enjoyed time golfing and skiing, traveling to several slopes across the country and his family, friends and students.

Bereska was buried at Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Roman Catholic Church at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 28.

Bereska is survived by his wife of 42 years, daughters Lauren and Jamie, brother George, sister Doris and his five grandchildren.