Kevin Skelly named San Mateo Union's superintendent

Former Palo Alto district head moves to new permanent post

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.

Skelly, who resigned early from his post in Palo Alto in June 2014, has been the Mountain View-Whisman School District's interim superintendent since Jan. 1.

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.


5 people like this
Posted by Experience
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:23 am

[Post removed.]

9 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:46 am

So when he does a great job, we'll all go, "Oh, it WAS us!"

18 people like this
Posted by crap
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm

We were considering moving to San Mateo since our child is doing so poorly in the high-pressure environment of PAUSD. Now we'll need to look elsewhere I guess.

7 people like this
Posted by Lackluster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Ooohhh. That's going to leave a mark.

[Portion removed.]

Better read about the Poway lawsuits before you close that contract.

6 people like this
Posted by Shocked
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

[Post removed.]

13 people like this
Posted by parent2
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

parent2 is a registered user.


From: President, SMU HS Board
To: Self

Increase liability coverage.

16 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 24, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Retired Teacher is a registered user.

Congratulations, Kevin Skelly! You withstood unrelenting and unfair attacks and responded with care and compassion to the many issues you faced here in Palo Alto. You'll do well in a district with a more balanced and less angry and spiteful group of dissident parents and school critics. And you'll do well for the San Mateo District and its students, teachers, staff, and administrators!

It would be great if many here in Palo Alto would take a good look at themselves and their tendency to blame others for stressful situations that are often of their own making..

All best to you and yours!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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