McDuffy’s tenure as leader of Edmonds schools to end in 2020

After nearly 40 years in education, the superintendent says she’ll retire after the next school year.

Kristine McDuffy (Edmonds School District)

Kristine McDuffy (Edmonds School District)

EDMONDS — Superintendent Kristine McDuffy will spend one more year at the helm of Edmonds public schools and then retire to spend more time with family.

McDuffy informed the district’s Board of Directors on Aug. 1 that she intends to step down June 30, 2020. She told directors she wanted to provide them ample time to find a successor.

In a letter to directors, McDuffy said she was “proud of the work we have accomplished and the work we have underway. There is much important work ahead this school year and I can assure you that I will be giving it my utmost attention, leadership skills and care.”

She shared her announcement with district employees the same day.

“This was a very tough decision but after serving 37 wonderful years in public education — 17 as a superintendent, it is time,” she wrote in an email. “It’s been an honor to serve alongside such dedicated, caring professionals.”

McDuffy took the reins at Edmonds in July 2016, following eight years as superintendent of the Arlington School District. She is the Edmonds district’s second female superintendent.

“Superintendent McDuffy has been an exceptional leader in advancing the district’s equity work along with implementing student learning initiatives,” said Diana White, president of the school board.

“Her work ethic and visibility in the schools and community are unparalleled.”

Andi Nofziger-Meadows, president of the Edmonds Education Association which is the teachers union, said McDuffy’s lengthy tenure in public education “is something to be honored and celebrated.”

“We wish Dr. McDuffy all the best in her upcoming retirement,” Nofziger-Meadows said in an email. “We also appreciate her early notice to the School Board so that we can have a comprehensive, thoughtful process to hire our next Superintendent.”

With an enrollment of 20,299 students, Edmonds is the county’s largest school district. It has an annual operating budget of $321.6 million.

This spring, with a looming $17.7 million shortfall in next year’s budget, McDuffy recommended laying off roughly three dozen full- and part-time teachers and shaving spending out of the materials, supplies and operations budget to help close the gap.

Teachers strongly opposed the approach. And it divided directors though her proposal eventually passed on a 3-2 vote.

McDuffy said Monday that episode and the prospect of future financial challenges did not factor into her announcement.

“Although this past year was extremely difficult and it was sad to have members of our team impacted, my decision to retire was simply based on prioritizing family first,” she said. “We look forward to the next chapter in our life.”

McDuffy is a 1977 graduate of Everett High School. She met Rob McDuffy, who would become her husband, while both were attending what was then called South Junior High School in Everett. The couple have one son.

She began her career in public education in 1983 as a teacher in the Shoreline School District, according to her resume. She then worked as a principal for nine years in the Lakewood School District before being chosen as the district’s superintendent.

After a five-year stint in that role, she went to work for Western Washington University as an administrator in its education department.

The Arlington School District hired her in 2008.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Everett Police Department was investigating a woman's death Sunday morning after a driver hit and killed her on Broadway in north Everett. (Everett Police Department)
Woman killed by suspected impaired driver in Everett

A driver reportedly hit the person, which prompted the closure of Broadway between 17th and 19th streets Sunday morning.

Charges: North Everett murder suspect caught on camera

Jeremiah Stringfellow, 27, is being held on first-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of Naej Belledent, 22.

Police: Snohomish man fled to Oregon after Arlington shooting

The wounded man, 30, was left in critical condition. The suspect, 39, was arrested for investigation of first-degree assault.

A snow plow clears snow off of 92nd Avenue West on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Another dusting, with more snow on the way in Snohomish County?

Light snow showers hit the area Friday morning. Another system was coming in the evening. And yet another next week.

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run collision on Highway 99

Glenn Starks was walking on the shoulder south of Everett when a car struck him, police say. The car’s driver ran away from the scene.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
‘Set for the next four years’: Monroe schools levy officially passes

The levy funds 14% of the district’s budget including athletics, extracurricular activities and some transportation services.

The Washington State Patrol was investigating a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles Thursday on Highway 530 near Oso. (Washington State Patrol)
Darrington man identified in fatal 4-vehicle crash on Highway 530

Ryan Gray was driving east of Arlington when he rear-ended a Jeep, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Lisa Lefeber, CEO of the Port of Everett, speaks to a crowd while in front of a sign celebrating the opening of the new Norton Terminal on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Port of Everett christens new Norton cargo terminal

The $40 million terminal took two years to complete and doubles the port’s storage capacity.

Snow lingered outside the office building of Receivables Performance Management on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood data breach exposed sensitive info for 3.7 million across US

Lawsuits allege lax security at a debt collection agency led to the attack. It wasn’t announced for over a year.

Most Read