Madera Unified School District Superintendent Gustavo Balderas is leaving to take a similar post in Southern California.
Balderas beat 20 applicants to lead the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach. He is scheduled to start work at Ocean View on Jan. 1.
He's only been in Madera since spring 2011, when he left an Oregon district to become Madera's seventh superintendent.
Ocean View School District serves about 9,500 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Madera has more than 19,000 K-12 students in 27 schools, including three junior highs and two high schools. And in contrast to Ocean View's suburban setting in Orange County, Madera Unified serves both the city and rural students.
Roni Ellis, Ocean View's director of administration and community relations, said Balderas won the job there with his spirit and extensive résumé.
"The people that did the search and our board did make a statement that his extensive knowledge of the curriculum and his business background, in addition to his passion for education, made him a great candidate," Ellis said. "I think he's got a great energy. They just saw something in him that was a good match for what we need right now."
She added that although Balderas wouldn't come on board until January, she hoped he could make a few "guest appearances" before then. Balderas replaces William Loose, who was put on paid administrative leave in July.
The Huntington Beach Independent and Orange County Register contributed to this report.