Kenneth “Chris” Hurst Sr. is the new leader of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, replacing Matthew Duffy, who led WCCUSD for five years. Before taking the job in May, Hurst was superintendent of the Othello School District in Othello, Washington, for five years, where he is credited with increasing graduation rates and decreasing overall student absences. Prior to his long career in education, he served 12 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following that, he received his doctorate in education at the University of Southern California in 2011. He holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s in mathematics from California State University San Marcos. He and his wife, Crystal, have two grown children. Hurst is the district’s 10th leader and its first non-interim African American superintendent.