Mike Matthews grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. The son of an attorney and the oldest of four children, Mike planned to attend law school and entered Stanford University in 1980, where he majored in international relations, but he changed his plans and became an educator. Matthews earned his B.A. in international relations and M.A. in education from Stanford University. He also holds an administrative services credential from U.C. Berkeley, and a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University.
Mike began his 25-year career in education as a high school social studies teacher and became a school principal when he was just 29. “Even though I was young to be a principal, I wasn’t scared,” he said. “In fact, I was probably more confident that I should have been. I learned quickly that it’s a job of responsibilities that aren’t visible to most people.” Mike eventually became principal of Malibu High School, a high school he built from the ground up, and moved up to become assistant superintendent of human resources for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. He was chosen by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) Board of Trustees as superintendent of schools for the Manhattan Beach School District in 2010.
As Superintendent of MBUSD, Mike works with a 5-member Board of Trustees to supervise 8 schools, over 700 employees, and nearly 7,000 students in Manhattan Beach, California. Student achievement scores in MBUSD are very high, doing extraordinary work in the areas of writing and technology.
Mike has been described as “a compassionate man whom you can trust,” “an individual who knows how to handle difficult situations and problems,” “an educator who will support you in your battles for excellence” and “a man who can play as hard as he works, bike for 100 miles, swim faster than high school kids, beat you in a game of any kind, cook like you can’t believe, and entertain you as Elvis Presley.”