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San Mateo Union High School District
A Commitment to Quality Education for a Better Future
650 N. Delaware Street
San Mateo, CA 94401-1732
Phone: 650.558.2299
Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015


For Release: IMMEDIATE


Media Contact:

Sheri Costa-Batis, Communications Manager, San Mateo Union High School District


San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) Board of Trustees Announces

Kevin Skelly as Finalist for Superintendent Position

Kevin Skelly, a lifelong educator with 10 years of top administrator experience,

is anticipated to start his new post as SMUHSD's leader on July 1, 2015


San Mateo, Calif. - The San Mateo Union High School District's (SMUHSD) Board of Trustees announced this evening at its Thursday, April 23, 2015 meeting that the Board has selected Kevin Skelly as the SMUHSD's new Superintendent. The Board of Trustees conducted a thorough and comprehensive national search which began in December following current Superintendent Scott Laurence's resignation. From a very competitive pool of highly qualified candidates, the Board felt that Skelly was the best match to serve in the top spot of a high performing and diverse district that serves 8,200 students.


Skelly is a lifelong educator with more than 30 years of experience and a passion for ensuring every student of every background thrives in high school. He began his career working for a program serving talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Washington D.C. Skelly was also a high school Math and Spanish teacher. In 1993, he began an 11 year stretch as Principal at Saratoga High School in Santa Clara County. From 2004-2007, he was Associate Superintendent of the Poway Unified School District followed by seven years as the Superintendent at the Palo Alto Unified School District. He is currently the Interim Superintendent at the Mt. View Whisman School District where he has served for the past four months. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard, and a PhD in Education Policy and Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.


"What most impressed the Board about Kevin is his passion for ensuring all students fulfill their potential," states Marc Friedman, Board of Trustees President. "His known success at Palo Alto Unified for addressing student opportunity and achievement gaps, and his leadership in increasing the number of students that satisfy the UC and CSU 'A-G' requirements really helped the Board determine that Kevin was the best fit for the SMUHSD." The "A-G" curriculum, established by the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems, has the required courses that the universities deem necessary for college freshmen to have taken in high school in order to attend these universities. The A-G curriculum requires all high school students to be academically challenged through a curriculum that increases analytical thinking, oral and listening skills, and prepares them for college.


"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," states Board Vice President Rogers. "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 anticipated to take over his new post officially July 1, 2015 pending a site visit scheduled for Thursday, April 30, 2015 and finalization of an employment contract. The Board anticipates finalizing the appointment at its next regular meeting scheduled for May 12, 2015.


Skelly shares that he is enormously excited about starting his new position. "I became an educator because I believe those who help young people realize their potential are doing some of the most important work there is," explains Skelly. "I look forward to continuing to do the work I love in SMUHSD and seeing it into its next chapter. I feel extremely fortunate to have the chance to work with the board in leading this nationally renowned district."


More About SMUHSD

The San Mateo Union High School District, in existence for more than 110 years, continues to be a vital community academic and cultural resource. With an annual operating budget that is funded primarily through local property taxes, it provides education to a diverse range of approximately 8,200 students attending six highly-rated comprehensive high schools, a special Middle College program in conjunction with the College of San Mateo and an alternative high school where students voluntarily recover credits. The District has graduated an estimated 129,000 young people since its founding in 1902.


To learn more about the SMUHSD, visit or find us on facebook and twitter @SMUHSD.