Mark D. Benigni, Ed.D., has been an educator for over twenty-five years and is in his twelfth year as Superintendent of the Meriden Public Schools. Dr. Benigni leads a diverse urban school district with over eight thousand five hundred students.Under his leadership, the school system has achieved some of the highest test scores and lowest suspension rates in district history. The Meriden Public Schools approved Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Guidelines, launched one-to-one device programs at all schools, began elementary and middle school enrichment programs, and created an autism center. Dr. Benigni is currently the President of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Benigni served as a special education teacher at Platt High School, assistant principal at Belin High School, and principal at Cromwell High School. He also served as a City Councilor, and 4-term Mayor of the City of Meriden. Dr. Benigni brought his extensive proven school leadership experience to the college classroom, where he taught graduate and doctoral level courses at Southern Connecticut State University. Courses that covered school finance and educational leadership allowed students to receive practical examples and experiences from a current practicing superintendent. Coursework was grounded in theory, but always practical and designed to assist educational leaders in their day-to-day work.
Dr. Benigni believes that high quality public education can be the great equalizer for so many students and families. He is passionate about challenging all learners with high level course work in an innovative digital learning environment. Dr. Benigni values the relationships that he has made with students, staff, and families and is proud to have his own children attending district schools.
The district was recognized as a 2021 International Center for Leadership in Education Innovative District and a 2021 ISTE District of Distinction. Dr. Benigni was the recipient of the 2019 AASA’s and CoSN’s EmpowerED Digital Superintendent of the Year, The Bushnell William A. Yandow Educator Award 2019, and he was recognized as a 2015 Education Week Leader to Learn From.
The Meriden Public Schools also received awards from CoSN, the Learning Counsel, NSBA, Digital Promise, District Administration, and Edutopia. In addition to leading the Meriden Public Schools to its highest academic scores in district history, Dr. Benigni has presented at national conferences, taught doctorate classes, and published a book and numerous articles. The Meriden Public Schools was recognized as a model district for the state in recognition of their collaboration between union and management and their innovative practices, including building two new student-centered high schools.
Dr. Benigni received his Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and his Master of Arts in Special Education from The University of Hartford. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Western Connecticut State University. He currently holds the following certifications: Superintendent of Schools; Intermediate Administrator and Supervisor; Comprehensive Special Ed., Pre-K-12.