This afternoon, Palo Alto Unified School District Superintendent Kevin Skelly announced, via email, that he plans to step down at the end of this school year. The Paly Voice has confirmed with Skelly that he will end his role as superintendent on June 30 of this year. Below is a copy of his email.
February 18, 2014
Dear Palo Alto Unified School District Community:
Last Tuesday I informed the board of my decision to step down as superintendent on June 30, 2014.
Nearly seven years ago I was blessed to be chosen to serve Palo Alto as superintendent. Since then I have so enjoyed working with students, parents, staff, and the school board to create the best possible environment for students to learn and grow. The sense of collaboration and the commitment to serving students better that I see in so many people has been a source of continuous inspiration. Each year, in my beginning of the year talk, I have said: “Hot dang, I get to be the superintendent of the Palo Alto Unified School District!” And while the work of a school superintendent is not always easy or enjoyable, I have fervently loved almost all aspects of this job.
I want to thank the school board for the confidence they showed in me when they named me superintendent and the support these eight extraordinary individuals have given me, individually and collectively, during my tenure. I am grateful to those in the district office who diligently work to support the efforts of our schools in educating our students. I believe there is no better faculty and staff than the dedicated people we have working in our schools. My wife and I are particularly grateful to the teachers and other staff members who have cared for our children. Like so many other students in our district, they have received a transformative educational experience; one that they simply could not have had in another educational setting.
Finally I want to thank the parents and community members who so strongly embrace all the children in our school district. I know of no other community where student well-being across multiple dimensions permeates every aspect of civic life. Our students are the better for it.
The reason I am making this decision now is twofold. First, the district community deserves a chance to have an inclusive, rich discussion about the characteristics they wish to see in their next superintendent. That process, combined with the recruiting and selection of someone worthy of the talents and promise of our students, will easily consume the next four months. The second reason is personal – I want the chance to spend some time dwelling in the possibilities for the next phase in my life. There are many people I love with whom I want to spend more time. Perhaps this next school year is the Gap Year I never had!
Thank you again for the chance to be superintendent and I look forward to good things during the rest of the school year.
Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.
More information to come.