BYRON -- After leading the Byron Union district the past three years, Superintendent Ken Jacopetti is resigning to fill the same position in Vacaville.

Vacaville Unified trustees unanimously approved Jacopetti's hiring as superintendent last week, starting July 1. His resignation from Byron will be formally accepted Thursday.

"There is going to be a void. We'll miss him, but the good thing is he built up the foundation," board vice president Ken Silman said.

Jacopetti, 60, was hired by Byron in August 2006 as assistant superintendent of educational services and became superintendent four years later.

A 27-year educator, Jacopetti said there are "mixed emotions" about his departure.

"On the one hand, I'm really excited about the opportunity, but it's tough because I'm going to miss the foundation we've established," he said.

It will be a big difference going from a semirural three-school district of 1,700 students to a suburban K-12 setting with 16 schools and almost 12,700 students. But the prospect excites Jacopetti.

From a personal and professional standpoint, he said it is especially intriguing that Vacaville has five elementary schools in Program Improvement status.

Jacopetti's work in Byron included stabilizing Byron's special education program, including adding special day classes and implementing a "response to intervention program" to help struggling students, Silman said.

Jacopetti took the Byron superintendent position in the midst of tough financial times. Trustees credit his strong relationship with the district's bargaining units in getting them "to accept some very difficult things."

He also was not immune to the cuts, including having no one hired to take his old spot.

"He led by example. As a superintendent in our district, you wear a lot of hats," Silman said.

During Jacopetti's time at the helm, both Discovery Bay and Timber Point elementary schools were named California Distinguished Schools. Discovery Bay has also been tabbed a blue-ribbon school, a national distinction for Title 1 schools.

"I'm sure that's something that caught their eye," Silman said.

Byron Union also completed several new construction projects funded by Measure C bond money under Jacopetti's watch.

Jacopetti will have a three-year contract in Vacaville with an annual base salary of $180,000. Vacaville will also pay him $10,000 in moving expenses to relocate from Bethel Island.

Byron will soon select a recruiting firm to find a new superintendent. Meanwhile, Jacopetti plans to work with principals and teachers on developing next year's curriculum.

Vacaville Reporter Richard Bammer contributed to this story. Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.