Image of Nancy MageeSan Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee was named Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 5. The San Mateo County Superintendents’ Association (SMCSA) nominated Magee, citing her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Audra Pittman, SMCSA President, shared “we as individual districts would not have been able to navigate the pandemic without Nancy leading and supporting this work.”

In Spring 2020, Superintendent Magee led a countywide effort to create a framework for guiding the safe reopening of schools. The resulting Pandemic Recovery Framework (PRF) provided public and private schools with much needed information to plan for a safe return to school even before such guidance was available at the county and state level. The County Office of Education has continued to update the PRF to reflect changes in public health guidance.

According to Jefferson Elementary School District Superintendent Bernardo Vidales, “Ms. Magee's leadership in response to the ever changing federal and state guidance has provided a steady, coordinated and effective response to COVID-19 in San Mateo County School Districts - a task that was unimaginable at the start of the pandemic but has been made possible through Ms. Magee’s perseverance and her ability to connect, gather, and amplify leading perspectives in response to the pandemic.”

Throughout the pandemic, Superintendent Magee met regularly with superintendents to listen, provide updates, discuss strategies, and lend support. Las Lomitas Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Beth Polito shared, “Nancy did a fantastic job pulling us together to interpret public health data and problem solve. She gave essential guidance to make vital decisions. Drawing us together as a team and showing us that we were not alone in what ultimately were life and death decisions was a critical component to our own mental and physical health.”

Superintendent Magee has always worked hard to make sure all districts, regardless of size or location, had a voice and received the support they needed to serve their students. This became even more critical during the pandemic as other challenges hindered districts’ ability to serve students in person. Amy Wooliever, Superintendent of the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District, offered that “Superintendent Magee is a strong voice for schools in places where we typically have no voice. When I was frustrated that my district often lost power for days on end due to our rural nature, Superintendent Magee called PG&E to remind them that they have schools in our outage area. Now the outages are hours, not days.”

The superintendents have also appreciated Magee’s countywide leadership on behalf of schools, with Superintendent Vidales sharing, “She has also made regular presentations to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, further consolidating support for a coordinated response to the pandemic in schools across a diverse county with many local jurisdictions.” He also added that Superintendent Magee has built on her collaborative relationship with San Mateo County Health “to set up and execute a coordinated educator and student vaccination effort across the county, supported the development of COVID-19 satellite testing centers, and oversaw the distribution of over 90,000 Home Self-Test kits within a few days to all school districts in San Mateo County!”

Superintendent Magee was elected San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools in 2018. She had previously served as a county office of education administrator, district administrator, school librarian, and classroom teacher for more than 20 years.

Superintendent Magee will receive the award tonight at a ceremony hosted by the Association of California School Administrators Region 5.

The Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 17,000 California educators. ACSA advocates for public school students in kindergarten through grade 12, as well as adult learners. One of ACSA’s priorities is to ensure that school leaders are recognized for their excellence. Through its annual awards program, ACSA honors administrators for their achievements and dedication to public education.