Amanda Stern Appointed as New BHUSD School Board President

Educators, elected officials, friends and family congratulated outgoing Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education President Noah Margo while welcoming his colleague and successor, Dr. Amanda Stern, as head of the board on Dec. 19.

Margo has held a seat on the board for three terms for a total of 12 years so far and has been its president for the past year. He was appointed to serve as its clerk until his current term expires in December 2024.

His colleagues complimented him for keeping the district’s focus on quality instruction and student wellness while overseeing the growth of its facilities. As president, he saw the debut of the Bulldog Wellness Center at Beverly Vista Middle School and guided the tail end of work on El Rodeo Elementary School, which is set to reopen next summer after closing for major renovations in 2019.

“You have lived construction for the last 12 years, first at Horace Mann (Elementary School), then Beverly Hills High School and then El Rodeo (Elementary School),” Beverly Hills Education Foundation Board President Tina Wiener said during the meeting. “We were so fortunate to have had you as a constant through the whole process, someone who has been there from the beginning and who was able to share what worked, what didn’t, what to watch out for and to keep us on track. After all this time, you continue to put students first.”

Members of the community said his leadership was characterized by “…dignity, style, and a sense of humor that will be missed,” in a proclamation issued by the board. He often took a hands-on approach to his role, bringing families into the classroom by producing and starring in “Now Noah Knows!”, a recurring series on KBEV highlighting a wide variety of people and programs in the district.

Stern is four years into her first term on the board and described her predecessor as a “mentor.” She is a school psychologist with over 10 years of experience, a background that makes her uniquely qualified to lead the district as it places greater emphasis on students’ mental health, her colleagues said during the meeting.

“You’re taking over this presidency at an exciting time, with El Rodeo coming online and the High School following close behind,” Wiener said. “So as a school community, we have so much to look forward to in the upcoming school year, and we look forward to working closely with you and the board to continue to bring innovative programming and projects to students and the district.”

Stern was sworn in by Councilmember Lili Bosse, and the incoming board president thanked city and district staff, local educational organizations as well as her wife, Lisa Rubel, and their two sons for their support. She went on to list improvement in students’ math scores, better implementation of online education tools and further development of mental health services in the district as her priorities. She also pledged to combat antisemitism and divisiveness while building up the public’s trust in their educators.

“With more access to information than ever before, it becomes untenable to know who or what to trust anymore, and I get that,” Stern said. “I would like to ask you as parents, as residents, however, for your trust in us and the confidence that all of us in the Beverly Hills Unified School district and the city at large are working hard to ensure the well-being, safety and academic success of our youngest residents. And with that, I give a final thank you to our students.”

In addition to Margo as the board’s clerk, she will also have the support of longtime colleague on the educational body and its recently appointed Vice-President, Rachelle Marcus.