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 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...