A second high-level administrator will leave Berkeley Unified for a superintendent position in another school district in California.
Rubén Aurelio, Berkeley’s academic director, has been nominated as a finalist for a superintendent position in the St. Helena School District, pending board approval on May 19.
In February, Berkeley Superintendent Brent Stephens announced his departure from BUSD after a three-year term. He will take over as superintendent of the Lafayette School District.
“I am delighted and honored to work with our board of trustees in Saint Helena,” Aurelio said in a statement released by the Saint Helena School District.
Aurelio joined BUSD less than a year ago in July. As Director of Academics and Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, he oversaw the district’s principals and its instructional programs, including curriculum and professional development, with the goal of improving student achievement.
Lisa Pelosi, President of the St. Helena School Board, praised Aurelio for his “experience in administration, excellent work ethic, focus on student and family engagement, and building community partnerships.”
Pelosi said the board is excited about his “new outlook and vision,” adding that having a bilingual English and Spanish superintendent would be an asset to the district. Located in Napa Valley, the St. Helena School District serves fewer than 1,200 students, 53% of whom are Latino and 44% white.
Aurelio grew up near Los Angeles in a monolingual Spanish family that immigrated from Argentina. Prior to his role at BUSD, Aurelio worked at schools in the East Bay. He held administrative positions at San Leandro Unified, West Contra Costa Unified and Oakland Unified after starting as an elementary school teacher and principal.
“I am impressed with the great accomplishments of the district leadership staff, teachers and classified employees,” Aurelio said of St. Helena in the statement. “My commitment to leading the district is strong, and I look forward to collaborating with our staff, community members, community leaders, partners, and with students and their families.”
Aurelio will succeed Marylou Wilson, who is retiring as superintendent of the St. Helena School District after eight years, on June 30.
In a February statement on his retirement, the Saint Helena School District praised Wilson for “overcoming incredible challenges: operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and economic downturns for the community.” The district said the “greatest testimony of [Wilson’s] Leadership” reopened schools in November 2020 and kept them open with no school closures.
BUSD has not yet announced who will become the next Academic Director.