EDUCATION: Matthews will step down as MBUSD superintendent
Mike Matthews announced on Tuesday that he will step down as the superintendent of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.
In a newsletter sent to MBUSD parents, Matthews, who has served as the district’s top leader since July 2010, said his last day will be June 30.
School board president Jen Fenton said Matthews had made a huge positive impact on the district.
“For 11 years Dr. Matthews has devoted himself to our students, our staff, and our community. MBUSD has truly excelled during his time as superintendent,” Fenton said. “Just today, the board received an email from a parent praising Dr. Matthews for setting an example by leading with kindness and respect. And it’s true…but I would be remiss not to add honesty, integrity and selflessness. He has given so much to our district and leaves big shoes to fill.”
Matthews, who has been a focal point for parents frustrated by the pace of reopening schools for in-person instruction, began his announcement by noting that next week marks the launch of “every-day-of-the-week” instruction for students, after a long and challenging pandemic year.
“It feels like the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter, bringing hope to us all,” Matthews wrote. With that light shining brighter, I am announcing today that after 11 years as your superintendent, it is time for me to take on my next challenge in life.”
Matthews noted that last July he asked the school board not to extend his contract, which ends June 30.
“I have informed the board that I have not changed my mind, and believe me, it was no easy decision,” he wrote. “I have loved every year in this district. It has been an honor to work alongside the dedicated and caring employees of MBUSD, striving together to create ever-improving academic environments for our students. And it has been an honor to serve the students and families of MBUSD, who give so much to help this district be an example of excellence for others to emulate.”
Matthews will leave behind a much-transformed district from the one he arrived at in 2010. Successful bond measures have modernized all its campuses and recently added a sparkling new athletics complex at Mira Costa High School; curriculum has changed to better align with state standards; and student academic achievement, as measured by standardized tests, is at a high.
Matthews said he believed it was time for a change, both for himself and MBUSD.
“In my life, I have served as a high school teacher, an assistant principal, a middle school principal, a high school principal, an assistant superintendent, and as a superintendent,” Matthews wrote. “I am 59 years old, but I am not planning on retiring, yet. I have always been a fan of change, for both organizations and individuals, as I believe it helps both to grow. Mark Twain said, ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ I’ve done just that many times in my career, and I have never regretted any of the changes I have made. My next adventure could be anything, and I look forward to whatever that is. While I have no firm plans for what is next, I’m genuinely excited about what lies ahead.” ER
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