The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education has approved the appointment of Rubén Aurelio as the Associate Superintendent Educational Services, to begin on July 1, 2021. Mr. Aurelio was selected after a multi-round process that included rigorous screening of all applicants, three rounds of interviews, and background checks. Associate Superintendent Educational Services Bajé Thiara will be stepping down at the end of June. The District thanks Ms. Thiara for her dedication and service to our school community.
Mr. Aurelio comes to BUSD with a distinguished career in education. Most recently, Mr. Aurelio served as the Chief Academic Officer of West Contra Costa Unified School District and also as Executive Director of Schools. In addition to other central office administrative positions, Mr. Aurelio was the principal of a bilingual (Spanish/English) elementary school in San Leandro, and both a principal and assistant principal in Oakland Unified School District. Prior to his career in educational administration, Mr. Aurelio was a classroom teacher in Oakland, Union City, and East Palo Alto. He draws on these diverse experiences when envisioning excellent, equitable schools, and how best to enact that vision.
Mr. Aurelio earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cal State University East Bay. He centers his work around the transformative power of public education and the critical importance of honoring diversity, setting high expectations for all learners, and remaining open to feedback as a mechanism for continuous improvement.
Mr. Aurelio grew up near Los Angeles in a monolingual Spanish-speaking home as the youngest of five children. His parents immigrated from Argentina to the United States and worked in food services and manufacturing. The importance of education was always emphasized in his home. Mr. Aurelio is a proud first-generation college graduate, and he is particularly proud that his entire education has been in public schools. While at U.C. Berkeley, he participated in the Summer Bridge program, where he met his wife, who now works in higher education. They live in the East Bay with the youngest of their three sons, and three dogs. When not working, Mr. Aurelio enjoys camping, bouldering, walks at Pt. Isabel, and listening to podcasts.
“The Board of Education and I are very pleased that Mr. Aurelio is choosing to join Berkeley Unified School District as our Associate Superintendent,” said Superintendent Brent Stephens. “Mr. Aurelio brings a wealth of experience to this role as a teacher, school principal, school supervisor, and district office leader. His commitment to excellence and equity were evident throughout the rigorous interview process, as was his passion for working with families.”
Coming to BUSD as Associate Superintendent Educational Services is a full-circle moment for Mr. Aurelio. His first experience in K-12 education was as a volunteer at Willard Middle School while an undergraduate at Cal. “I look forward to engaging with the community, supporting all learners, and joining a team deeply committed to preparing the next generation of critical thinkers and leaders that our communities need,” said Mr. Aurelio.