Former Palo Alto Superintendent Kevin Skelly is taking the same position in the San Mateo Union High School District pending a site visit in Mountain View, where he is currently interim superintendent, the San Mateo district announced Thursday.
He was selected as San Mateo's superintendent from a national pool of candidates, the school board said in a press release, citing his "known success" in Palo Alto for addressing the achievement gap and increasing the number of students who meet the University of California and California State University's "A-G" graduation requirements.
"Beyond needing someone with a track record of ensuring students of all backgrounds and abilities have what they need to be ready for college and career, we also needed someone with a record of working with all stakeholders on issues of high community interest," San Mateo Union Board Vice President Stephen Rogers stated in the release. "Kevin has the experience, desire and community mindedness that will help guide the SMUHSD in listening to our stakeholders and gaining valuable perspectives on important issues."
Skelly is set to assume his new post on July 1, pending a site visit scheduled for Thursday, April 30, and finalization of an employment contract, according to the board. The board anticipates finalizing the appointment at its next regular meeting on May 12. Skelly is replacing Scott Laurence, also a former Palo Alto district administrator, who announced in November he would be resigning for "quality of life reasons," namely, to end a 60-mile commute. Laurence worked in the Palo Alto school district first as a teacher and later as principal of both Palo Alto and Gunn high schools and assistant superintendent.
Skelly worked as Palo Alto's superintendent for seven years, with the last few marred by the opening of several U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights investigations and criticism that his leadership lacked transparency. Skelly was replaced by current Superintendent Max McGee last fall.
With current enrollment of 8,200, San Mateo Union comprises six comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school, an adult school and a middle college that operates on the campus of College of San Mateo.