SMMUSD Superintendent Leaving Post

Dr. Ben Drati to become Superintendent of the Bellflower Unified School District

By Sam Catanzaro

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati is leaving his post to helm the Bellflower Unified School District. 

Drati, who has been the SMMUSD Superintendent for six years, announced his departure on November 18. 

“I wanted you to hear from me that I was appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Bellflower Unified School District, effective January 2023. The BUSD Board of Education approved my appointment at their November 17 board meeting. I realize this is unexpected. I want to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated serving as the Superintendent of SMMUSD and will always cherish my time here,” Drati said in a press release. “Together, we have accomplished many goals and laid the groundwork for continued success. I believe the district is poised to accomplish the mission of ensuring that all students are able to reach their full potential by providing an extraordinary educational experience for all while simultaneously closing the achievement gap.” 

According to Drati, his specific January start date at Bellflower USD still has to be worked out between SMMUSD and BUSD. 

“I will continue to root for and support the journey you have embarked on, and my family and I thank you for six great years of educating our students and preparing them for college and career,” Drati said. 

Drati’s departure could leave the district without a superintendent in January as no interim or permanent successor had yet been named. The SMMUSD Board will discuss options at its November 29 meeting.

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