Dr. Gary Waddell most recently served as the associate superintendent of equity, educational progress, and public affairs at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. In this role, he led teams providing oversight of Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP), differentiated assistance, state and federal programs, assessment and accountability, the Inclusion Collaborative, and public affairs, media, and communications. He was formerly the deputy superintendent of the San Mateo County Office of Education, where he led instructional services including curriculum and instruction, assessment and accountability, STEAM, environmental literacy, administrator preparation, early learning services, and state and federal initiatives, among others. The San Mateo Board of Supervisors has recognized him for his programs that closed achievement and opportunity gaps.
Gary holds a doctorate in educational leadership in addition to degrees in administration, school counseling, and drama. He has over 35 years of service in public schools as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator at every level in both California and North Carolina. He has been recognized with numerous leadership and human rights awards, including being the recipient of the 2017 CCSESA/CISC STAR Award, the NCCSA Human Rights Award, and the prestigious Jack McCall Leadership Award from the Center for School Leadership Development at the University of North Carolina. He has served as a school principal in both North Carolina and California as well as a school counselor. He is a former statewide Counselor of the Year in North Carolina.
Gary has a passion for equity, arts learning, and transformative leadership. He is a past chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) and has served for many years as the chair of CISC’s statewide Arts Subcommittee. Gary is a former foster parent for adolescents with special needs and has a lifelong commitment to closing achievement and opportunity gaps and providing a vibrant, transformative public education for all children and youth.