Public invited to meet new superintendent Tuesday

Reception for Glenn 'Max' McGee precedes board vote on his contract

Glenn "Max" McGee, presumptive new superintendent of the Palo Alto Unified School District, will be the guest of honor Tuesday, June 17, at a brief, public "meet and greet" session.

The 6 p.m. reception immediately precedes a 6:30 p.m. meeting of the Board of Education, in which members are slated to take a final vote on a $295,000-a-year contract naming McGee to lead the district through June 2018. His start date is Aug. 1.

McGee, a former Illinois state superintendent, served for six years as president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a state-sponsored boarding school for high-achieving youth. For the past year he served as head of school at startup Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science.

The public reception for McGee will be held in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.

In other business Tuesday, the board will vote on a resolution "to call attention to significant concerns" regarding investigative practices of a federal civil rights agency that has launched multiple investigations of the district in recent years. See "Palo Alto school board set to vote on challenging OCR" for more background.

Also Tuesday, the board will hear an update from outgoing Superintendent Kevin Skelly on negotiations with the City of Palo Alto on the pending renewal of the city's lease of Cubberley Community Center. At its June 10 meeting, the City Council agreed to not set aside any money in the upcoming budget for the "covenant not to develop," a contentious provision in the city's long-standing lease of 27 acres of Cubberley from the school district. In a report to the school board, Skelly said he agrees that the covenant not to develop is out of date but that its associated $1.8 million annual transfer from the city to the district should continue because it was intended by voters in a 1987 Utility Users Tax election and because it supports valuable programs.

The school board will also get an update from Skelly on a proposed new athletic center at Palo Alto High School to be financed primarily by a private donor.

The board is also set to vote on a proposed school district budget for 2014-15, which lays out a spending plan of $184.56 million against projected revenues of $184.46 million.

Tuesday's meeting is the last scheduled board meeting before a summer hiatus until Aug. 26 and is also the last board meeting for Skelly, whose resignation is effective June 30.

Board President Barb Mitchell has recommended that Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers serve as interim school superintendent for the month of July.

Read our in-depth cover story on Max McGee: New Palo Alto superintendent comes with personality, long career

Chris Kenrick

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