SAN LORENZO -- A new superintendent will lead the San Lorenzo Unified School District starting Oct. 7.

Fred Brill, superintendent of the Lafayette School District since 2008, was awarded a four-year contract by the San Lorenzo school board Tuesday night. He will replace Superintendent Dennis Byas, who took the job in 2007 and is retiring at the end of the month.

The Chicago native and Berkeley resident said San Lorenzo's diversity and size, at 12,300 students, was appealing. Brill currently oversees 3,400 elementary and middle school students in Lafayette.

"It's not a big monster bureaucratic district, and it's not a teeny tiny district. It's a good size for efficiency and intimacy and connectedness, which is important," he said. "I bring a sense of urgency in supporting the kids so that they have the opportunities to go to college and be successful in a career, and that is our job."

Brill's résumé includes other school administrator jobs in the East Bay, including work as an area superintendent in Oakland Unified, at one point overseeing 10 middle schools and at another, 15 elementary schools. Before that, he was an assistant principal and principal at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette for nine years and earlier taught English and history at Albany High School. He began his career working with troubled youth at the Oakland-based Seneca Center and spent a year in 1990 with the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program in former Czechoslovakia.

He earned his bachelor's degree in education from the University of Michigan, his master's degree in secondary education from San Francisco State and, in 2006, a doctorate in education policy, organization, measurement and evaluation from UC Berkeley.

The San Lorenzo school board considered 17 applicants for the job.

"We were looking for someone willing to work and learn the community and learn our vision," school board President Norman Fobert said. "He just seemed to fit the bill."

Brill will earn $235,000 a year in base pay and receive a minimum 5 percent raise each year. Benefits include 22 vacation days and an auto allowance of $500 a month.

Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Ramon and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/ashlyreports.