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Bettylu Smith 2/12/2010 7:47 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bettylu Smith
Sequoia Union High School District
(650) 369-1411, ext. 2361

Sequoia district superintendent to retire in June

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 12, 2010 – Patrick Gemma, Ed.D., 60, superintendent of the 8,200-student Sequoia Union High School District, has announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2010, when he completes the term of his current contract.

At the board meeting on Feb. 17, trustees will discuss the process for naming Gemma’s successor.

“Dr. Gemma has been an outstanding superintendent and we are very sad to see him go,” said Olivia Martinez, Ed.D., president of the district’s board of trustees. “The district has achieved some significant milestones under his leadership. During his tenure, the district passed two additional bond measures, which has allowed us to offer students some of the best facilities and technology anywhere. In addition, the district has recruited and retained outstanding leaders and some of the best faculty and professional support staff in the state.”

“Dr. Gemma also led a pivotal strategic planning process for the district that led to development of a new vision and goals for the 21st century,” she continued. “His leadership will be missed but his legacy will continue for many years to come.”

Gemma joined the Sequoia district in February 2003 after serving five years as superintendent of the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District. Previously, he served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel in the Piedmont Unified School District, and principal and vice principal at the high school and middle school levels. He started his career in public education 38 years ago as a special education teacher.

Gemma, who currently holds the honor of Superintendent of the Year for the Association of California School Administrators’ Region 5 (encompassing all of San Mateo and San Francisco counties), is still formulating plans for his retirement.

“I’m looking forward to rejuvenating over the summer and spending more time with my aging father and family, reconnecting with friends, and contemplating which interests and challenges I might like to pursue next,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gemma says he is focused in the months ahead on the budget planning cycle for 2010-11 and continued work in strengthening efforts to close the achievement gap, possible expansion of alternative education offerings, transition to a new student information system, and planning for upcoming expansion of the district’s career technical education facilities and programs.

“It has been a privilege to have served the Sequoia district and the community for the past seven years,” he said. “Our schools are such valuable community resources, and the Sequoia district is fortunate to have an engaged and supportive community.”

Like school districts throughout the state, the Sequoia district has faced financial challenges for more than a year.

“Although we’re still experiencing the effects of the state budget crisis and the struggling national economy, the Sequoia district is on solid footing – with a sound recovery plan in place – to continue on our path to fulfilling our 21st century vision and goals,” Gemma said.




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