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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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San Mateo CountyCandidate for Superintendent of Schools

Photo of Gary Waddell

Gary Waddell

Deputy County Superintendent
64,485 votes (49.54%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • World-Class Schools for Every Child -- Committing to equitable and innovative schools that meet the needs of every learner, regardless of zip code, ethnicity, gender, disability, or language.
  • Educating the Whole Child -- Reinvesting in Civics Education, Arts Education, Environmental Education, and Social-Emotional Learning. Creating schools that are safe, but also inspire and engage all learners at high levels.
  • Quality, Affordable Preschools for Every Child -- Working with community partners and at the policy level to close the preschool gap and ensure that all of our children have quality early learning from birth through 3rd grade.



Profession:Deputy County Superintendent of Schools
Deputy Superintendent, San Mateo County Office of Education (2010–current)
Associate Superintendent of Instruction / Curriculum Administrator, San Mateo County Office of Education (2007–2010)
Principal, Patterson Elementary School and Viewmont Elementary School (2001–2006)
Adjunct University Professor, Lenoir-Rhyne College; Western Carolina University (2000–2006)
School Counselor (at various elementary, middle, and high schools), Asheville City Schools and Haywood Public Schools (1990–2000)


Western Carolina University Educational Doctorate, Educational Leadership (2000)
Western Carolina University Educational Specialist, School Administration (1998)
Western Carolina University Masters of Arts in Education, School Counseling (1990)
University of North Carolina - Asheville Bachelor of Arts, Drama (1984)


Dr. Gary Waddell is a former Foster Parent for special needs children, School Counselor, and Principal.  He currently serves as second in command at the San Mateo County Office of Education as Deupty Superintendent.  He has served as a statewide educational leader.  He was the first in his family to attend college and went on to earn 4 degrees, including a doctorate. He knows firsthand how education spells opportunity. He has spent his career as a tireless advocate for high quality education for all children and youth.  Learn more at

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Organizations (5)

  • California Teachers Association of San Mateo County
  • San Mateo County Central Labor Council
  • Equality California
  • American Federation of Teachers local 3267
  • California School Employees Association local 158 and 887

Elected Officials (13)

  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier
  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
  • Assembly member Kevin Mullin
  • Former Assembly member Rich Gordon
  • Assembly Member Marc Berman
  • Senator Scott Wiener
  • Former Assembly member Ted Lempert
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
  • Supervisor Don Horsley
  • Supervisor David Canepa
  • Supervisor Carole Groom
  • Assembly member Phil Ting
  • Supervisor Warren Slocum

Individuals (13)

  • Shelly Masur, Redwood City Council
  • Manufou Liaiga-Anoa'i, San Mateo Council on the Status of Women
  • Memo Morantes, Chair, Latino Leadership Council of San Mateo
  • Susan Alvaro, President, San Mateo County Board of Education
  • Muhammed Chaudhry, Former COE, Silicon Valley Education Foundation
  • Rosanne Foust, CEO, SAMCEDA
  • Karen L. Clancy, UC Regent Emeritus
  • Virginia Chang Kiraly, San Mateo County Harbor District
  • Floyd Gonella, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools (Retired)
  • Jean Holbrook, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools (Retired)
  • Cecily Harris, Chair, San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee
  • Davina Hurt, Belmont City Council
  • Kalimah Salahuddin, Jefferson Union High School Board of Education

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Gary has spent his career as an advocate for children and youth.  He is a courageous, seasoned leader who will take a stand for our shared educational values of diversity, inclusion, and excellence.  He is an advocate for empowering children and youth and engaging all communities as partners in designing innovative educational opportunities that excite, engage, and inspire all learners.

Position Papers

San Mateo County: TOGETHER


Dr. Waddell's Priorities for Education in San Mateo County


Videos (2)

Meet Gary — April 13, 2018 Paid for by the Committee to Elect Gary Waddell for San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, FPPC # 1395781

Meet Dr. Gary Waddell!

Imagine a world where every child succeeds. — April 13, 2018 Paid for by the Committee to Elect Gary Waddell for San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, FPPC # 1395781

A vision for equitable, innovative schools for all children.

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