Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 7:57 pm | Fair 55º


Santa Barbara Schools Administrator Ben Drati Leaving for Santa Monica District

Ben Drati, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s assistant superintendent in charge of secondary education, is leaving for the top job at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in January.

Drati came to Santa Barbara in 2012 after being hired by former Superintendent Dave Cash, with whom he’d previously worked at the Clovis Unified School District.

He was one of the few top-level administrators to keep his position after a leadership shakeup last year, in which many cabinet members and school principals shifted spots within the district.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified school board voted on Nov. 3 to hire Drati as the new superintendent, a job he will start on Jan. 1.

“Although I will miss working in the community of Santa Barbara, my family and I are looking forward to joining the communities of Santa Monica and Malibu,” Drati told Noozhawk.

The district praised Drati for his work developing the Local Control Accountability plan and student programs that emphasize cultural inclusiveness. 

Ben Drati is leaving Santa Barbara Unified School District after four years as assistant superintendent of secondary education. Click to view larger
Ben Drati is leaving Santa Barbara Unified School District after four years as assistant superintendent of secondary education.  (Noozhawk file photo)

Drati, who graduated from Los Angeles High School, told Santa Monica-Malibu Unified officials he was glad to return to the area with his family.

He came to the United States at the age of 10 as a refugee from Uganda, and started his education in the United States as an English learner.

“We are thrilled with Dr. Drati’s appointment and look forward to working with him,” said Laurie Lieberman, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified board president, in a statement. “We are confident that his leadership skills, passion and energy will guide our students, parents, staff and community toward a successful future.”

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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