The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


Beirao: the man behind the athletic program

Izzy Alvarez (‘25)/ Eastside Photo Editor
Mr. Michael Beirao, Athletics Director, poses in his office at East.

Cherry Hill Public Schools are shaped by community and academic excellence. While math, science, English and history play vital roles in education, athletics also play a critical role in building leadership qualities, discipline and mental acuity. School sports have been an outlet where students spend hours during the week practicing, working hard and utilizing their talents to grow and learn. Behind it all is Mr. Mike Beirao, the District Athletics Director for Cherry Hill Public Schools.

Responsible for the athletic departments of Cherry Hill High School East and West, as well as Beck, Carusi and Rosa Middle Schools, Beirao works diligently to create each sports schedule, recruit and hire staff and build relationships with the students to ensure students have access to a successful athletic program.

“I want [students] to feel good about who they are and what they’re doing. That is the most important. I think that being part of an athletic program provides a sense of work ethic, and you’re willing to show up every day at a specific time, you’re willing to work hard to do the things that someone is asking you to do,” said Beirao.

As the District Athletics Director, Beirao endeavors to provide positive experiences for the students who participate in athletics. According to Beirao, the programs in the athletic department have high participation rates, which contribute to a positive school culture, as well as help to provide a sense of school pride. Beirao strives to understand each school’s athletic program through the students rather than only seeing it through the coaches’ views.

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“I meet with a lot of students periodically. I spend a lot of time walking around the hallways and going and talking to the kids,” said Beirao. “I think [they] will give you a good feeling of what’s happening, and kind of keep your ear to the ground so you get the vibe of how the teams are going.”

As for his daily routine, he explains how it differs day-to-day.

“The biggest challenge of being an athletic director is that I work today, tomorrow, three months ahead of time, four months ahead of time, and a year in advance,” said Beirao.

He explained that at a given moment, he could be working on the schedule of a team for next year, while also working on tightening up the schedules for teams that will be playing in a few months. Despite the difficulties and diverse information he has to work with on a daily basis, he said that his biggest assets are his secretaries at East and West, his athletic directors at Beck, Carusi and Rosa, and the grounds and facilities managers. They work with Beirao every day from their respective schools to manage the athletics and to build successful seasons for each sport, aiding him in putting together all of the pieces to create the athletic programs – what he feels is the most important part of his job.

“The better people that you hire, the easier my job is. And without a doubt, I will tell you, that’s my number one job,” said Beirao. “Our top priority is always the safety and security [of the athletes]. And the better people that you have, they take that into consideration. So for me, that’s really important.”

Not only does Beirao believe that his job of recruiting and managing is important, but so are the relationships and connections he builds with the students.

“To me, it’s important that we are well-represented for our students, our athletic programs, our coaching staff, and our community as a whole,” said Beirao.

He explained that when kids have a good experience, a family environment and a positive team culture in school athletics, he feels it is then more likely that they will be willing to do “whatever is necessary to be successful.”

He added how he believes it is that motivation that leads the athletes to feel a sense of community, pride and spirit, which aids them in building a winning team culture.

From his years as the District Athletics Director, Beirao learned how to motivate, teach and push athletes and coaches in various sports. Working within the district and meeting thousands of students, he learned how to be a successful athletics director and understands that “for athletics, the journey is so much more important, and so much more fulfilling than the outcome.”

“You did all [of] the extra things. You played your hardest, you gave your heart and soul to it. The outcome doesn’t matter. Because you’ve already done everything you possibly could,” said Beirao.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Begun, Eastside Online Sports Editor
Sarah Begun is a sophomore and the Online Sports Editor for Eastside. Outside of Eastside, she loves hanging out with friends, playing lacrosse, and watching her favorite TV shows. Sarah's excited for this year and can't wait to work with everyone!

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