Jason Lustig, Principal of King Middle School in Berkeley (right), seen here with BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett. Photo: Tracey Taylor.

Jason Lustig, the Principal of Martin Luther King Middle School, is to leave his post at the end of this academic year, after four years in the job, in order to pursue an academic course at Harvard.

Lustig, a Berkeley native, came to King from Cragmont Elementary School where he was also principal. He is popular in the King community where he is known, among other things, for his extensive collection of ties, some of which have been hand-made for him by students.

“Jason has been a great asset to our schools,” says BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett. “I really appreciate the way he balances excellent academic standards with his abilities as a very conscientious leader. He has great relationships with staff and the community.”

Lustig says he will be studying for a doctoral degree in education at Harvard as part of a new program at the university which is a collaboration between its business school and the Kennedy School. “It’s a great program and I’m really looking forward to it,” he told Berkeleyside. “But it will be hard leaving the Bay Area which I love — all my family and friends are here.”

Lustig says he will move to Cambridge, Mass. with his wife and three sons, but that he anticipates returning to the Bay Area. The third year of the course involves working away from Harvard, and he says he can envisage being back then.

Superintendent Huyett says the search for Lustig’s replacement has begun, and an advertisement for his job was posted two days ago.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Congratulations to Jason! Please hire your replacement before you leave. BUSD would be wise to raise principals’ salaries to help attract and retain top candidates. Having top quality principals makes a big difference in the schools, and it is not an easy job.

  2. My daughter had Jason as principle both at Cragmont and King a number of years ago, and I used to joke with her that Jason would follow her to Berkeley High. We are very impressed with Jason’s dedication to education. We are very happy for him to attend a great program and wish him and his family best of luck!

  3. Jason will be greatly missed. I am comforted only by the fact that this extraordinary opportunity clearly positions him to be an even greater contributor in meeting Berkeley’s or the nation’s educational challenges.