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  • Writer's pictureMichael Morales Smith

An Interview With New Superintendent Ben Drati

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

During the interview with Dr. Drati, we were able to really get to know someone crucial to Mayfair. Drati is originally from Uganda, but he and his family had to flee from Uganda to avoid the genocide of his tribe under the reign of Idi Amin. His Christian name is Benjamin, but his family chose Drati as a surname upon coming to the United States because that was his father's name. Due to different naming customs between Uganda and the United states, ¨Drati¨ became the family name. During school, he excelled at math and chemistry. He played football in college at Fresno State University and played the positions of Tight End and Offensive Line. He also studied chemistry because he had been fascinated by it, and soon science persuaded him to study chemistry for some time so he could pursue work in the pharmaceutical field.

While studying he decided to start substitute teaching at the request of a friend. After a while of subbing, he seemed to have made such an impact that he rightfully became a teacher, which eventually led to administrative work as a Vice Principal. He soon got promoted from Vice Principal to Principal to eventually becoming superintendent of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and then from there to here in Bellflower. There are 5 people on the School Board, and Dr. Drati is the superintendent of it. This means that he is the person to facilitate the meetings and organize them, among many other responsibilities. That being said, Dr. Drati isn't just about work. The morning of the interview, he got up at 4:00 to do his daily cycle for about 70 miles and get back right in time to go to work.

By coming to The Bellflower Unified School District, he wants to see people come together but issues always abound no matter the circumstance. He wants to strengthen democracy and increase transparency in the district. He has 6 years of knowledge of working as a superintendent. Drati helps people with stress and frustration that the students carry on their shoulders. Drati says, “You can never plan a day out,¨ but his most frequently busy day is Tuesday because of meetings. If Drati never had become a Superintendent, he would have gone to pharmaceutical school. Drati came to The Bellflower Unified School district partially because of all the politics at his previous work, and so he could work with students like those of the Bellflower Unified School District. Finally, he wants the students to know this bit of wisdom: ¨Don't ever let doubt creep in your mind, you've got to talk positive.¨

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