Matthew Roberts has been chosen as the new superintendent of Galt Joint Union High School District and will earn $139,382 annually. His three-year employment contract was approved at Tuesday's board meeting.
Roberts' appointment comes within weeks of former superintendent Daisy Lee's last day, June 30. Roberts is expected to start July 23.
"His experience and credentials are a great match for our ... community," board president Art Oelsner said in a written statement. "In East Nicolaus, Matthew crafted a vision, which resulted in all schools in his district exceeding 800 — from a beginning point of 730 on the Academic Performance Index — an excellent relationship with the elementary feeder districts, increased enrollment, and decreased unnecessary costs and spending."
Roberts most recently served as the principal and superintendent for the one-school East Nicolaus Joint Union High School District in Sutter County where he has been in the leadership position for 10 years, according to trustee Kathleen Amos.
Before becoming superintendent, Roberts was the principal of Three Rivers Continuation High School and assistant principal at East Nicolaus High School. He lives in Elk Grove with his wife and two children.
In 2011, East Nicolaus High School was chosen by the state as a distinguished school. On the district's website, Roberts said it was because the school attained high levels of student performance and sustained growth, and made significant progress in closing the academic achievement gap.
That same year, the school gained 59 points on the annual API, placing it as the top performing comprehensive high school in Sutter County and the first to reach the coveted 800 mark.
In 2010, the school launched Learning Pathways, a specific course of study in the following areas: academics, agriculture, culinary arts, industrial arts, information technology and sports medicine. Completion of a pathway gives students direct access to a variety of post-secondary opportunities, including apprenticeships, college and employment.
Serving as both superintendent and chief negotiator for the school district, Roberts' district enjoyed successful annual labor negotiations and strong collaboration with labor units to create educational changes, according to Oelsner.
"Roberts is known as a leader who creates an openly collaborative climate, which fosters support and 'buy-in' for educational change. He is also known as an accessible leader whose communication style instills confidence in employees, parents and students," Oelsner said.
Roberts has also been trained as a chief business official, which has helped him to understand and direct the budget process and allocation of resources in order to build upon and sustain high quality high school educational programs for all students, Oelsner said.
Roberts earned his doctoral degree from the University of the Pacific in educational administration, his Master of Arts in history and education at Northeastern University, and his Bachelor of Arts in history at the College of Notre Dame.
In addition to his annual base salary and stipends based on his degrees, Roberts will receive a cellphone and reimbursement of $400 per month for use of his own car. He will not receive mileage for driving within the district, according to the contract.
The Galt board voted 3-1 in April to hire a headhunting firm to replace Lee whose annual salary was $154,000. She retired after 2 1/2 years in the position to care for a grandchild.
The same firm, California School Boards Association, was hired to find Lee when former Superintendent Tom Gemma left the district in 2009. He served in the district's top position for about four years.