New Agreement with MBUTA
I am happy to report that we reached an agreement with our teachers’ union that the Board approved May 21.  The main provisions of the agreement include:
  • A 5% raise retroactive to July 1, 2013 (Applies to classified and management as well)
  • A new teacher evaluation system in 2015-16.
  • Four professional development days in 2014-15 (This changes the school year calendar)
  • New school year calendars for 2014-15 and 2015-16
  • Forming a committee to examine health insurance costs and plans
You can see the new 2014-15 calendar here, and the new 2015-16 calendar here.  Changes include:
  • The first day of school next year will be on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
  • The last day of school next year will be on Thursday, June 18, 2015.
  • We have non-student days for staff development on September 26, November 10, and March 16.
Honoring our Outstanding Teachers


One of my many favorite things about MBUSD is our annual Teacher of the Year celebration.  I am so proud that our own Michael Hayden is a California Teacher of the Year this year, and that Linda Okumura, Linda Gesualdi, Bill Fauver and Shannon Vaughan, our last four MBUSD Teachers of the Year, were county finalists.  Our process is rigorous and thorough; Carolyn Seaton and her team of teachers and administrators does an impressive job interviewing each school’s candidate, observing them in the classroom, and working together to select our MBUSD Teacher of the Year.  It is NEVER an easy choice.  But in the end, we have a teacher of the year who represents the best of MBUSD.   Our eight teachers of the year this year are:
  • Debbie Dreiling, Robinson Elementary, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Patti Ackerman, Manhattan Beach Preschool, Preschool Teacher
  • Gelane Cameron, Pacific Elementary, First Grade Teacher 
  • Kim Price, Pennekamp Elementary, First Grade Teacher
  • Maggie Mabery, Manhattan Beach Middle School, Science Teacher
  • Sharon Witzansky, Grand View Elementary, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Tammy Kostan, Meadows Elementary, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Wayne Knutson, Mira Costa HS, Model UN and Social Studies Teacher 
    (pictured below in order from left to right, top row to bottom)
We will honor these teachers at our June 4, 2014 Board Meeting, and announce the District Teacher of the Year.

Honoring our Graduating Seniors
It is that time of year.  Our seniors graduate on June 19 in what is always a wonderful ceremony.  The annual senior awards assembly was held last week, and our scholarship assembly occurs next week.  College admission is more cutthroat each and every year, and our Mira Costa students continue to be among the most competitive in the world.  Looking at the map of where our Costa students will attend school next year, you cannot help but be impressed.  I hope that when you look at the list, that you look beyond the Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and UCLA names that some of our students will attend, and notice all of the colleges.  There is a right place for everybody.  I believe that some of our students and parents can be too focused on the name, and not focused enough on what is the best fit for the student.  I love the variety in our list, and I hope that all of our graduating seniors finds the experiences they are looking for in their next destination.

Investing in Energy Conservation
In 2012, voters approved Proposition 39, which provides funds for schools to invest in solar energy and lighting solutions that will save energy expenditures in the future and leave a greener footprint for generations to come.   MBUSD is considering working with Chevron to add solar panels on our high school campus and convert the entire district to LED lighting.  We are also considering investing in efficient air conditioning systems for our middle school and for high school classrooms with inadequate ventilation.  The cost of this entire program is over $8 million.  Chevron would work with us to offset all costs, so that after realizing the energy savings, MBUSD would have no out of pocket expenses.   The payments towards the $8 million are made over 18 years, and Chevron guarantees that if our anticipated energy savings are not realized, they would make up the difference.  Details of the plan are available here.  It will come back to the Board on June 17, 2014 for approval.

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Let the countdown to summer begin!

Michael D. Matthews, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Manhattan Beach Unified School District
325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA  90266
310-318-7345, x5900
Copyright © 2014 Manhattan Beach Unified School District, All rights reserved.