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  • Lead with equity 
  • Convene annual summit to report to the community on achievement and highlight bright spots across the county
  • Support personalized learning and innovation & partnerships with the tech sector
  • Build a diverse, highly skilled workforce
  • ​Support programs and services for second-language learners and immigrants
  • Build systems of support for homeless and foster youth
  • ​Support cutting edge STEM education, including supporting girls in STEM education/careers
  • Invest in countywide arts programs to support schools in offering visual and performing arts, preK-12
  • Expand the countywide environmental education/ sustainability initiative 
  • Promote civics education to support student learning about our democracy and build good citizenship
  • ​Support social-emotional learning for all youth to develop the social and personal skills that they need to succeed in life
  • ​Build community partnerships to offer internships  and collaborate 

Dr. Gary Waddell currently serves as Deputy County Superintendent, or second-in-command, of the San Mateo County Office of Education. He holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, is the former statewide Counselor of the Year, and is the recipient of multiple leadership and human rights awards, including being recently awarded the CA County Superintendents' Association 2017 STAR Award.

Gary has over 30 years of experience as a Principal, School Counselor, and Teacher in addition to heading up Instructional Services at the San Mateo County Office of Education. He has been a leader at every level of education - preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and has taught in graduate-level educational leadership programs at the university level.   

Gary is committed to equity and excellence. He was a therapeutic foster parent for adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities. His work as Deputy Superintendent (and previously Associate Superintendent) at the San Mateo County Office of Education has largely been around connecting equity and innovation and has resulted in the opening of the countywide STEM Center, expansion of preschool initiatives, launch of the Center for Learning Analytics, initiating environmental education/sustainability initiatives, expanding arts education, and creating a variety of countywide efforts to close achievement and opportunity gaps. 

Gary is a recognized statewide leader in California.  He is Past Chair of California's statewide Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) where he worked closely with the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and County Offices of Education throughout California to enact education policy.  He currently Chairs California's statewide Visual and Performing Arts Committee.


  • Expand access to quality preschool countywide​
  • Work collaboratively to address shortage of childcare facilities
  • Expand and enhance The Big Lift 
  • ​Support preschool teachers in professional learning and growth
  • ​Build partnerships to ensure high quality early learning opportunities from preK - 3
  • Strengthen countywide programs in parent engagement and education
  • ​Support equitable preschool programs that honor children's cultures and ethnicities

     "Students will be well-served by Gary Waddell’s innovative thinking and leadership.  I highly recommend Dr. Gary Waddell for Superintendent of San Mateo County Schools."
                                           Jackie Speier

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    ​ US Congresswomen Jackie Speier and

     Anna​ Eshoo endorse Gary!


    Tom Torlakson,        Assembly Mbr           Supervisor         Assembly Mbr

    CA Supt. of                Kevin Mullin            Carole Groom      Marc Berman 

    Public Instruction

    As San Mateo County Superintendent, Gary's priorities will be

    The TEACHERS' choice!

    • Model shared leadership and collaboration
    • Build strong community-based partnerships 
    • Lead by example and provide responsible fiscal oversight of local district budgets 
    • ​Advocate at the state level for new resources for California's schools
    • Provide programs and services that respond to local district needs
    • Provide state of the art teacher and administrator training and credentialing
    • ​Work with community partners to develop sustainable funding to support families' preschool needs

    Meet Gary...


    forward-thinking, FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE leadership