New head of schools preps for 1st day
Last updated 4/28/2016 at Noon
The Edmonds School District’s new superintendent is doing her homework.
Dr. Kris McDuffy was selected by the district’s Board of Directors as the new superintendent on April 1, and she said she’s studying up for her first day on July 1.
“That’s my official start date; however, a lot of work is underway already,” McDuffy said.
Since her selection, McDuffy has been holding meetings with various employee groups, and reviewing the district’s key documents.
“I’m doing a lot of homework right now, while still trying to finish up and finish strong in Arlington.”
McDuffy has been the superintendent of the 5,400-student Arlington School District since 2008.
“I’m really proud of the work that we’ve led in Arlington,” she said. “We’ve made huge strides in student achievement, graduation rates and financial stability, so I’m leaving, I believe, a system in really good shape, and that feels good.
“But when the Edmonds position opened, it was just tugging at my heart that I could really make a difference there.”
She said the Edmonds School District has always had a special place in her heart. She attended Edmonds Community College after high school and did her student teaching at Lynnwood High School.
During the hiring process, McDuffy returned to Lynnwood High for a tour, and also visited Scriber Lake High, Beverly Elementary and Edmonds eLearning Academy.
McDuffy was impressed with the “deep commitment by staff in making a real difference for students everyday.”
She has spent most of her 33-year career in public education in Snohomish County, and said the Edmonds School District has “always been held up as a flagship school district in the region,” with a strong reputation for community and “great people doing great work.”
McDuffy said she is not coming into the position with a particular agenda, and the board did not ask her to address any particular areas of need. However, she said there is always room for improvement.
“I’m really excited to listen and learn, and have already started that journey,” she said. “I am looking forward to having a deep understanding about where the district is and how to build on the good works that are underway, and I’ll be helping the current leaders in the system and teaching staff to build on the good work underway.
“I have a deep passion for this work, a strong commitment to build the best educational system, and a lot of experience.”
In addition to the new job, McDuffy and her husband of 38 years are starting the search for a new home. They live within the Arlington School District.
“We’re moving for sure,” she said. “We absolutely want to live in Edmonds School District.”
The couple has a 30-year-old son, who’s “on his own,” McDuffy said, but the family’s two dogs will be making the move, too.
McDuffy will replace the district’s current superintendent, Nick Brossoit, following his retirement in June. Brossoit has served as superintendent since 2004. The Edmonds School District serves 20,000 students and families from the communities of Edmonds, Brier, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and portions of south Snohomish County.