Interim Superintendent Matthews to Leave District
By Lookout Staff
June 20 – Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Matthews announced Monday that he will leave the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to work for a firm that develops after-school programming for underprivileged schools.
The news comes three weeks after the former Maibu High School principal announced he had withdrawn his application for superintendent after concluding that the board was looking for a more experienced candidate.
Matthews will stay on as Interim Superintendent through July, while the School Board conducts its final round of interviews and selects a finalist for the top post, which will likely take place within the next few weeks, according to District officials. Matthews will then facilitate the transition with the new Superintendent in August.
“Although it is difficult to leave the District after thirteen years, I will always be grateful for the commitment and compassion to our children that I have seen from all district employees,” Matthews said. “I will always treasure the professional relationships that I have enjoyed throughout my tenure.”
Matthews will assume the post of Vice President in the newly formed Los Angeles office of Extreme Learning, a San Francisco based firm, where he will be in charge of bringing programs to Title I and Program Improvement Schools in Los Angeles County.
“I look forward to learning instructional techniques and strategies that can be directly applied to children in districts, like ours, that are truly committed to closing the achievement gap,” Matthews said.
Matthews joined the district in 1993, when he was hired as principal of the newly created Malibu High School. He is widely credited with the campus’ recognition as a California Distinguished School.
Before assuming the post of interim superintendent, Matthews served as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources under Dr. John Deasy, who left the district’s top post last year to become superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools, the second largest school district in Maryland.
School Board members praised Matthews’ achievements during his tenure with the 12,500-student district.
“Dr. Matthews has served as an exceptional leader in our District and we are profoundly saddened by his departure,” said Board Vice President Kathy Wisnicki, a friend and colleague. “We are extremely grateful for his years of dedication to SMMUSD and his extraordinary accomplishments both at Malibu High School and as an integral part of the Leadership team.
“I believe that he will be an incredible asset to Extreme Learning in providing services to students of greatest need,” Wisnicki said. “This new and exciting endeavor will provide opportunities for him to grow professionally and broaden his knowledge in educational reform.”
“We will miss his leadership greatly but understand that this is an opportunity for him to embark upon an exciting new career path,” said Board President Julia Brownley, the Democratic Party candidate for the 41st Assembly District.
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