New Haven Unified Superintendent

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arlando Smith and Chief Business Officer Akur Varadarajan were appointed Aug. 23, 2013, to serve as co-interim superintendents of the New Haven Unified School District.

“Dr. Smith and Mr. Varadarajan will provide us with stable and experienced leadership in the year ahead while the Board conducts the search process for a new permanent superintendent,” Board of Education President Linda Canlas said.

Dr. Smith, who became Chief Academic Officer in June 2012, is a former assistant professor of educational leadership and administration at San Jose State University, and also served as an adjunct professor of educational leadership and leadership development at St. Mary’s College. He previously taught at both John F. Kennedy University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as at the New Teacher Center at UC-Santa Cruz and at Cal State-Fullerton. He earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Management at the University of La Verne in 2005.

Dr. Smith spent seven years as principal of Gunderson High School in San Jose and two years as principal of Graham Middle School in Mountain View before being named coordinator of academic improvement for the Gilroy Unified School District. He has served as a school reform facilitator for both West Ed and for the Stanford School Redesign Network.

Dr. Smith began his career as a social studies teacher at Gladstone High in the Azusa Unified School District, where he also served as department chair and activities director and coached football and basketball.

Mr. Varadarajan became Chief Business Officer in April 2010 after three years as Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the Salinas City Elementary School District.

Mr. Varadarajan started his career in New York City, working first for the Department of Finance and the Office of Management and Budget and later for the Board of Education. He came to the Bay Area in March 1997, joining the San Francisco Unified School District, where he spent seven years, the last three as Director of Purchasing. In September 2004, he joined the Ravenswood City School District as the Chief Business and Operating Officer.

A native of India, Mr. Varadarajan was educated at the University of Madras, with a masters degree in commerce, and he also completed extensive professional training for chief business officials offered and designed by FCMAT (Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team) and CASBO (California Association of School Business Officials).