Mike Biondi, an assistant superintendent in the Livermore school district who also worked as a principal in San Ramon earlier in his career, has been found dead near a lake in western Nevada after being reported missing for more than a week.
Biondi, a San Ramon resident and married father of three, was 52 years old.
The cause of his death and circumstances about his disappearance were not immediately clear; however, Mineral County Undersheriff Bill Ferguson told the Weekly on Friday that foul play is not suspected.
Ferguson said that Biondi's body was found on the beach at Walker Lake on Wednesday (Sept. 30) and that the cause of death should be known when the autopsy is completed in six to eight weeks.
The Tri-Valley educator was last seen in Livermore at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22, according to a missing person poster posted on social media. The case is currently being investigated by the Mineral County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office -- the latter of whom could not be reached for comment as of Friday afternoon.
His death was confirmed on Thursday by his hometown San Ramon Police Department.
Biondi was employed as the assistant superintendent of educational services with the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.
"He is gone from us, but never forgotten," LVJUSD Superintendent Kelly Bowers said in an email to district staff on Thursday reflecting on Biondi's sudden death.
"I, like so many of you, am struggling to focus and cope today, and trying my brave best to support others even while processing my own intense range of feelings and emotions over the unexpected and devastating loss of our close friend and colleague, Mike Biondi," Bowers wrote.
The superintendent said an impromptu memorial display had been put up on the lawn outside the district office honoring Biondi and "his many, lasting contributions to our students, staff and community."
LVJUSD staff is set to hold a virtual gathering on Friday afternoon with a moment of silence, reflection and remembrance for their late colleague. "Let's share and take comfort in our cherished memories of working, and laughing, and learning with Mike, that will always remain in our hearts and minds," Bowers said.
Among his long career in education, Biondi previously served as the principal at Country Club Elementary School and Coyote Creek Elementary School in San Ramon before leaving for the San Mateo-Foster City School District in 2015. According to his Linkedin profile, Biondi served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the San Mateo-Foster City district for two years before joining the LVJUSD in 2017.
"I worked with him both in my role as a board member and as a volunteer tutor at Country Club Elementary School when he was principal there," Denise Jennison, communications specialist for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and a former school board member, told the Weekly.
"He was a valued member of the SRVUSD community for many years and I was deeply saddened to hear about his passing. My sympathy goes out to his family during this difficult time. He will be missed," Jennison added.
According to his biography on the LVJUSD website, Biondi's 23-year career in education included serving students and families as university instructor, director of curriculum and instruction, principal, assistant principal, department chair and teacher.
"Throughout his career, Mr. Biondi has held significant leadership roles at both school and district levels in the areas of data, technology, literacy, special education, California Standards implementation, and staff and leadership development. He is an advocate for school and community partnerships," his online profile read.
His profile also stated that when he is not volunteering in the community, he enjoyed swimming, outdoor activities and travel. Biondi is survived by his wife and three children.
Editor Jeremy Walsh contributed to this story.