A Message from New Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati


The following is a press release sent out by Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials.

New SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati. Photo courtesy of SMMUSD.

Dear Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students, staff, parents and communities:

I am humbled and delighted to join you as your superintendent. I have great respect and appreciation for the trust you’ve bestowed on me to serve as steward over the most important job in the world, aside from parenting, and that is the education of our children.

I want to thank the SMMUSD school board members for the great care and sensitivity they exercised in selecting me through a rigorous and thorough interview process, which included a validation visit at Santa Barbara Unified School District.

You will have many opportunities to learn more about me and for me to know more about you in the months to come. What I would like to leave you with at this juncture are my commitments to myself and how I will work, and that is to:

  1. Keep the interests of children as my highest priority and goal. And, to shape our system so that our system works to support all of our students instead of them having to fit into our system.
  2. Work collaboratively with the Board of Education to lead our district well.
  3. Value and support the work of teachers who teach our students.
  4. Appreciate the work of our classified staff and to treat them as vital partners in the work of our district.
  5. Lead and mentor the management team to be effective leaders of schools and the entire district.
  6. Respect and partner with our parents as they raise their children.
  7. Listen with empathetic ears and to look for and find those who may not feel like they have a voice.
  8. Serve as a worthy ambassador for Santa Monica and Malibu to the outside world.

In closing, I want to commend the communities of Santa Monica and Malibu for not settling and daring to be greater than what you are now for the sake of all students. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your superintendent. I take this responsibility with great care.

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