Edmonds School District superintendent to retire

Kristine McDuffy will step down after school year
By Brian Soergel | Aug 03, 2019
Photo by: Brian Soergel Superintendent Kristine McDuffy welcomed students and parents to the new Madrona K-8 in Edmonds in January.

This story was updated Aug. 8.

Edmonds School District Superintendent Kristine McDuffy on Aug. 3 announced her intention to retire after the 2019-20 school year, with an official date of June 30.

McDuffy’s announcement came just three days before a primary election in which eight newcomers and one incumbent, Gary Noble, are vying for positions on two of the district’s five seats.

Four of those hopefuls will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

"Superintendent McDuffy has been an exceptional leader in advancing the district's equity work, along with implementing student learning initiatives,” said School Board President Diana White. “Her work ethic and visibility in the schools and community are unparalleled."

White is not running for a new term. She is a candidate for Position 6 on the Edmonds City Council, facing Susan Paine.

Nancy Katims, who is running for the open District 5 position on the school board, released the following statement Aug. 3:

"Thank you to Superintendent McDuffy for her 37 years of service in public education. Her retirement only further emphasizes the importance of this year's election. The school board will play a critical role in selecting a new superintendent to lead the Edmonds School District into the 21st century, tackle the challenges we face, and ensure student success is always put first."

McDuffy, 60, has been with the school district for four years. Before that, she was superintendent of the Arlington School District.

Although McDuffy confirmed her age, she did not reply to a request from the Beacon to provide more information on her departure.

McDuffy has had some pushback from community members for her recommendation to cut staff and school programs in an effort to reduce a $17.7 million budget deficit. Board members approved the cuts.

White voted for the cuts, as did board members Noble and Ann McMurray. Deborah Kilgore and Carin Chase opposed the cuts.

Last summer, many held the Edmonds School District up as the standard after a new salary schedule provided an average 18.3 percent increase for teachers and staff.

“We wish Dr. McDuffy all the best in her retirement,” said Andi Nofziger-Meadows, president of the Edmonds Education Association, which represents more than 1,500 certificated staff in the Edmonds School District.

“A 37-year career in public education is something to be honored and celebrated. We also appreciate her early notice to the school board so that we can have a comprehensive, thoughtful process to hire the next superintendent.”

Staff email, salary

In an email to staff, McDuffy wrote:

“Hello Team!

“Hope you are enjoying the beautiful summer weather and have been able to rest and rejuvenate.

“We look forward to kicking off the 2019-2020 school year in the coming weeks. This is such an amazing team and there is great work underway!

“I do want to let you know that I have notified the Board of my intent to retire at the end of this school year, effective June 30. This was a very tough decision but after serving 37 wonderful years in public education – 17 as a superintendent – it is time.

“More information to come on the Board’s next steps to find an exceptional superintendent to support the district moving forward.

“It’s been an honor to serve alongside such dedicated, caring professionals. Look forward to making this a great year!”

For the 2018-19 school year, McDuffy’s base salary was set at $281,184, with “other salary” taking that up to $303,884.



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