As a first-generation college student who earned four degrees, Gary knows firsthand the power that education has in changing the equation for children and youth.  He has committed his career, including 18 years on the ground as a Principal and Counselor, to addressing equity in schools and working to ameliorate the historic inequities that children of color, children living in poverty, and English learners experience - while increasing the performance of all students.  Not some.  Not most.  But all.

The hard truth is that while we have made good progress on some fronts, we are not there yet.  Despite decades of work, the achievement gap in San Mateo County persists.  To ensure that all of our kids thrive and are prepared to excel in a rapidly changing world is our highest calling. Grounded in the San Mateo County Office of Education’s new strategic plan, Gary will prioritize equitable outcomes for all children and youth in San Mateo County.

Gary has a track record of reducing the achievement and opportunity gaps:

  • In 2007, Gary launched San Mateo County’s first “Zap the Gap” conference to close the achievement gap.  This initiative which brings together educators, policymakers, and the community around closing the gap for our kids is entering its 10th year, having served over 1500 educators and policymakers in San Mateo County
  • Gary served as Principal of multiple schools that closed the achievement gap while raising the achievement of all student groups through innovation, smart use of data, personalized learning, and a commitment to all kids.  He led equity teams and implemented innovative approaches to equity
  • Gary has a track record of trail-blazing equity at the San Mateo County Office of Education – such as ensuring that managers receive equity training, hiring and building a diverse staff that is committed to equity, and implementing programs that address equity in innovative ways, such as The STEM Center
  • Gary leads the Instructional Services Division at the County Office of Education in its commitment to equity that expanded access to quality preschool, delivered equity-based teacher and administrator training, oversees local plans that focus on improving student outcomes, and launched innovative programs such as the Center for Learning Analytics that improve outcomes for all students through smart use of data

Gary is committed to ensuring that San Mateo County schools effectively prepare all students succeed and that we realize a San Mateo County in which zip code, race, language, socioeconomic status, or identification as a student with a disability are not predictors of success by:


  • Convening an annual State of the County policy summit that tracks and reports on our progress as a county in serving all students well and sets an annual countywide policy agenda
  • Convening community-based cross-disciplinary teams to design and build innovative programs that support personalized learning so that every child in San Mateo County gets what they need
  • Using data to identify and learn from schools in San Mateo County that are beating the odds and sharing these promising practices throughout the county
  • Ensuring that countywide strategies are in place to address the digital divide and ensure access to technology for all children and youth in San Mateo County
  • Working in partnership with community agencies, communities, and leaders to address challenges around immigration, housing, and homelessness in our community
  • Maintaining a relentless commitment to our amazing kids by doing whatever it takes to meet them where they are and ensure that they soar!

equity: A world-class

School for every child​​

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