School district Superintendent Max McGee has been on the job for just over a month, but he has already demonstrated an ability to respectfully, calmly and firmly lead the school board and his staff in setting clear and important goals and accountability measures for the coming year.
In a two-day board retreat a month ago and in just two regular board meetings since he started, McGee has shown he will be much more intentional and engaged as a forward-thinking leader of the district than his predecessor, Kevin Skelly.
This desire and capacity to lead, combined with what appears to be a belief in strong accountability for both staff and successful program delivery, will hopefully re-balance the relationship between the elected school board and the administration.
Palo Alto schools have suffered from a lack of strong district leadership, which has led to confusion, defensiveness and alienation. Digging out of that will not be easy, but it starts with a superintendent who has the skills and confidence to make difficult judgments, articulate and carry out an agenda, and carefully filter the input the school board has to offer.
So far at least, McGee seems like the right person for the job.