June 29, 2017

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) Superintendent Dr. Max McGee, who has led the 12,000 student school district since 2014, has announced his retirement effective June 2018, which marks the end of his four-year contract with PAUSD. Dr. McGee has served 30 years as a Superintendent out of a 45-year career in education serving thousands of children in Illinois and California.

“I am grateful for the support of staff, students, parents, and the greater PAUSD Community,” said Dr. McGee in announcing his plans to parents, employees, and the PAUSD community. “I have deeply enjoyed my first three years with PAUSD and decided to present the Board of Education with this one-year courtesy notice. I am deeply honored, highly energized, and intensely committed to making my final year in the superintendency the very best one yet for our PAUSD students, our staff, and our community. 2017-18 will be one of connection, engagement, wellness, and academic excellence as we continue the good work we have started the past three years on some innovative initiatives including readers and writers workshop, social emotional learning frameworks, project based classes, blended learning, Advanced Authentic Research (AAR), the work of the Minority Achievement Talent Development (MATD) advisory committee, standards-based grading, and more. I intend that the initiatives we started together will be advanced and that our district will be in terrific shape for the next leader in 2018-19.  I will continue to work with our Board of Education and leadership team to assure a smooth, successful transition. I have loved every minute of this job, I love our schools, and I love Palo Alto, and these thirty years at the helm of great districts and a state have been exciting and extremely rewarding.”

The PAUSD Board of Education supports Dr. McGee’s leadership and is eager to work with him to make his final year in PAUSD a highly productive one for students, staff, and community.   

“The PAUSD Board of Education appreciates the vision, energy, and spirit of innovation that Dr. McGee has brought to our district,” said Board President Terry Godfrey. “This will be Max’s thirtieth year as a superintendent and we look forward to working with him and our talented staff to make it one of the best yet in PAUSD. Over the next twelve months, we will work together as a team to ensure a smooth transition and forge ahead on our goals. We believe that Dr. McGee’s experience, expertise, and enthusiasm will serve our students and district well as he puts the people and processes in place to successfully bring in our next superintendent.”

Dr. McGee started his career in education as a substitute teacher and coach of the Lebanon (NH) High School ski team when he was senior at Dartmouth College in 1972. His first full-time teacher followed with Detroit Country Day School in the fall of 1972 before moving to public school teaching in 1975.  Since then, he has taught sixth grade and middle school, and he has coached elementary baseball and soccer, middle school baseball and football, and high school wrestling and lacrosse.  In 1980, Dr. McGee became a principal, and in 1987, he was named Superintendent of the Aptakisic-Tripp School District, launching his thirty-year career as a superintendent. He has served as superintendent in three districts (including Palo Alto), as well as the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and he was the founding Head of the Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science. In 1998, he was appointed as the Illinois State Superintendent leading 800 public school districts and improving public education for 2.1 million children across the state.

The PAUSD Board of Education will bring a plan for the search for the next PAUSD superintendent to the community in the late fall.

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