The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education on Wednesday night approved a contract with Matthew Duffy to become its ninth permanent superintendent.
Duffy will officially begin on July 6.
“I am humbled and proud to have the responsibility of serving the students and families of the West Contra Costa Unified School District,” Duffy said of his appointment. “I look forward to working with the Board of Education, teachers, parents, community partners and staff members to ensure that every student receives a high quality education and is prepared to be successful in the college or career pathway of their choice.”
The contract will pay Duffy $260,000 per year.
Duffy succeeds Dr. Bruce Harter, who is retiring on June 30 after serving as superintendent for 10 years.
“The most important job of the Board is to choose the District’s chief executive. Matthew Duffy was the consensus pick because he understands the importance of serving the variety of needs in our communities and he has proven success helping students excel,” Board President Randy Enos said. “I look forward to seeing his enthusiasm and knowledge at work in our District.”
Duffy will become superintendent in a diverse school district with 29,000 students. Some 51.6 percent of the student population is Hispanic or Latino, 18.9 percent is African American, 11.4 percent is Asian, 10.8 percent is White, 6 percent is Filipino, 0.9 percent is Pacific Islander and 0.4 percent is American Indian. About 72 percent of the District’s students are considered low income. English learners make up 32.8 percent of the students served by the District, with the predominate language being Spanish. Special education students make up 13.2 percent of the population.
Duffy has served as the assistant superintendent for educational services in Milpitas for the last three years. Before going to Milpitas, Duffy was a senior executive director for New Leaders for New Schools, a national non-profit organization that develops and trains school administrators. He was also an administrator in the Oakland Unified School District for nine years and a teacher and assistant principal in New York City.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Wesleyan University, a Master of Arts as a teacher of social studies from Lehman College and a second master’s in administration, policy and planning from Harvard. Duffy is also a proficient Spanish speaker.
Duffy was selected after the Board reviewed 22 applications and interviewed seven candidates.