Mauricio Arellano will take over as Superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) on April 17, 2023, following a unanimous vote of the Board of Education in their meeting Tuesday. Arellano is the current Superintendent of the Redlands Unified School District. SBCUSD’s current rotation of Administrators in Charge will continue until Arellano arrives.
While a local resident, Arellano was chosen from dozens of qualified candidates who applied in a nationwide search led by McPherson and Jacobson on behalf of the Board of Education. District staff, parents, students and community members helped shape the search parameters as the Board sought to ensure an inclusive process that identified an ideal leader to carry SBCUSD forward.
“Your Board of Education sought to hire the best leader for SBCUSD, and we found him,” said Board President Dr. Scott Wyatt. “Mauricio Arellano embodies the essence of everything our community asked us to find in a Superintendent. Based on what he’s done, we believe SBCUSD can expect him to be inclusive, innovative and, most of all, effective. We are united and unwavering in our enthusiasm for what his leadership will mean for our students.”
His appointment as Superintendent will be a homecoming for Arellano, who grew up in San Bernardino attending SBCUSD schools as a child, graduating from San Bernardino High School and starting his career in education as a bilingual elementary school teacher in the District 32 years ago. He is the son of immigrant parents from Mexico who also worked in SBCUSD schools.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed Superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District. I want to truly thank the members of the Board of Education who have put their trust and faith in me to lead this incredible organization. I am sincerely inspired to return to the District where I attended kindergarten to high school and started the first thirteen years of my career serving as a teacher, Principal, and Director of Human Resources. Having the opportunity to return and give back to the District that gave me and my parents so much is a blessing,” said Arellano.
Arellano was a first generation college student when he pursued his undergraduate degrees in sociology and Spanish at the University of California, Riverside. He later earned a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, San Bernardino.
Arellano has led the Redlands Unified School District for the past five years, during which time RUSD has been recognized with four California School Board Association Golden Bell Awards recognizing outstanding educational programs, four California Distinguished School Awards, the Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association for the RUSD 2025 Excellence for All Students multi-year vision, and most recently the City of Redlands Beautification Award for the beautification projects completed at all schools and the District Office facility. Prior to serving in his current role, Arellano served for 14 years as the assistant superintendent of human resources in the Palm Springs Unified School District.
Arellano has been personally recognized many times for his leadership, most recently being named as U.C. Davis C-STEM Superintendent of the Year in 2020. While in Palm Springs Unified, he was awarded the Riverside County Administrator of the Year in 2016, was the recipient of the 2015 Riverside County Office of Education Models of Excellence Award for his work with the Skillful Leader Program, and received the ACSA’s Ray Curry Award for excellence in school personnel in 2012 and ACSA’s Region XIX (Riverside County) Personnel/Human Resources Administrator of the Year in 2008.
“I look forward to working alongside my colleagues across the District to build on the successful programs and innovative initiatives they have created that serve our students well and to work as a team to further develop creative and effective programs that meet the individual brilliance of each one of our students,” Arellano said. “It certainly takes a village to prepare our youth to be successful, therefore working in collaboration with our union leader partners, service-oriented community groups, elected officials, parents and all other educational partners who are committed to the success of our students will be a priority. San Bernardino City Unified School District has great leaders, great teachers, great support staff, great kids and great families. I am excited to be a part of that greatness.”