By Dave Boyce
The regional office of the Association of California School Administrators, a professional organization, has named Superintendent Pat Gemma of the Sequoia Union High School District as Superintendent of the Year for San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
The award, which Mr. Gemma received April 27 at the Grosvenor Hotel in South San Francisco, recognizes superintendents who are "collaborative leaders, able to get the best out of site leaders and district staff, all with the focus of doing their very best for the students they serve," according to an e-mail from Sequoia district spokeswoman Bettylu Smith who quoted a statement from the organization.
Don Gibson, president of the Sequoia district board of trustees, said in the e-mail that Mr. Gemma "is an exemplary educator who has achieved noteworthy success in his six years leading the Sequoia district. It's especially (fitting) that Dr. Gemma receives this honor at this time, when he is doing such a stellar job in navigating the district successfully through unprecedented economic conditions and other serious challenges."
San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Jean Holbrook nominated Mr. Gemma for the award, saying in the e-mail that he "understands the importance of visionary leadership."
Before coming to the Sequoia district in 2003, Mr. Gemma oversaw the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District as superintendent. He received a master's degreein school administration from California State University, Hayward, and a Ph.D in education from the University of LaVerne in LaVerne, California.