After 12 impactful years at SMCOE, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell will join the Santa Clara County Office of Education as an Assistant Superintendent.
Gary has spent his career in service of equity, ensuring that schools positively impact all students. He holds several degrees, including a Doctorate in School Leadership, a Master’s Degree in School Counseling, an Educational Specialist Degree in School Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Drama. Gary has served as a school principal, and has received awards for leading his schools with innovation and equity, and for drastically reducing the achievement gap while simultaneously raising the achievement of all students. He has been a school counselor at the primary, elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Before serving as Deputy Superintendent, Gary was the Associate Superintendent of the Instructional Services Division (ISD) and served as Curriculum Services Administrator. During his leadership of ISD, he led teams that launched a number of innovative initiatives, such as the San Mateo County STEAM Center, the Center for Learning Analytics, the environmental education initiative, and the arts initiative, and expanded efforts to provide quality early learning and support on the Local Control Funding Formula and Accountability Plan, among a host of other initiatives.
“Some of my fondest moments at SMCOE have been working with the stellar teams of professionals. The yardstick for measuring our work has always been our success at changing the conditions of life and learning for all students, particularly those on the margins. I am proud to have been a part of that and will miss the colleagues at SMCOE and at the districts with whom I have shared that journey,” commented Gary.
In addition to his role at SMCOE, Gary is a former Chair of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association's (CCSESA)'s Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) where he worked alongside the California Department of Education and State Board of Education as well as with other county offices of education throughout California to implement educational policy. Gary is the Chair of the statewide Visual and Performing Arts Subcommittee and serves on the statewide Accountability Subcommittee and CISC Executive Committee. He was recognized in 2017 with CCSESA's Star Award for his statewide curriculum leadership.
"Throughout my career, it has been my honor to strive to serve students with high caliber, dynamic learning opportunities, and positively impact the lives of all children and youth, regardless of race, gender, gender identity, ability, language, socio-economic, or immigration status," said Gary.
In his new position, Gary will oversee work in public affairs and lead Santa Clara County Office of Education initiatives focused on leadership, equity, and educational progress. His last day at SMCOE is Friday, November 16.