Christopher J. Steinhauser has served as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District since 2002. The school district is California’s third largest, with about 72,000 students. Steinhauser has more than 40 years of experience in Long Beach's diverse school system and has earned a national reputation for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. His school district won the national Broad Prize for Urban Education and has qualified as a finalist for the award five times. A report by McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the most influential businesses and institutions in the world, named LBUSD as one of the world's 20 leading school systems – and one of the top three in the U.S. – in terms of sustained and significant improvements. The school district was listed among the world's top five school systems by the nonprofit Battelle for Kids organization. LBUSD also was named National District of the Year by business news publisher Industry Dive and its publication, Education Dive, which honored "top disruptors and innovators."
LBUSD's students, 65 percent of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged, tend to outperform their counterparts in the state based on multiple metrics. Lists of America's top high schools published by the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report have regularly included LBUSD schools.
Steinhauser has a strong track record of boosting achievement in all geographic areas of the school district. Beginning as a successful teacher at an inner-city elementary school in Long Beach, Steinhauser went on to attain high student achievement as a school principal. He became Deputy Superintendent in 1999 before his unanimous appointment as Superintendent in 2002. During his years as Deputy Superintendent, students in all major racial and ethnic groups throughout the district made unprecedented gains on state tests.
Steinhauser is a product of LBUSD, where he attended continuously from kindergarten until his graduation from Wilson High School in 1977. He attended Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in educational administration. He earned multiple-subject and administrative services credentials at the university.
Steinhauser’s wife, Alida, is a retired LBUSD teacher. Their son, Edward, graduated from Long Beach’s Wilson High School in 2005, and their daughter, Patricia, graduated in 2007. Both Edward and Patricia teach in the school district.
Updated August 2019