Pandemic shifts Superintendent Skelly’s responsibilities


Photo courtesy of SMUHSD

Kevin Skelly is the superintendent of the San Mateo Union High School District.

William Chastain, Staff Reporter

Superintendent Kevin Skelly has been on the frontlines of the battle to support students and families during the  COVID-19 school shutdown. As the superintendent of a large school district, it is his responsibility to make sure that students receive the best education possible while remaining safe.

This extra responsibility that Skelly has taken up has affected his work in various ways. Although he has not seen an increase in work hours, he has had to attend more Board meetings to discuss ways in which the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) can adapt to distance learning.

The nature of Skelly’s work has changed drastically due to the lack of in person interaction.“I [got] to bask in the afterglow of great teachers and great students, and I don’t get to see nearly as much of that,” Skelly said. 

The things that used to motivate Skelly to continue working, like being able to see the work that students and teachers were accomplishing, aren’t there anymore. Being able to see the quality of education and work that’s being done allows Skelly to do his job better; however, in the current climate it is impossible.

Not being able to see the work he is doing taking effect makes the character of the work change in various ways. In Skelly’s case, it means the majority of his work revolves around COVID-19 because it’s difficult to see whether his methods of dealing with distanced learning are effective.

“[COVID-19] is all everybody talks about,”Skelly said.

Skelly has been able to stay motivated by keeping in mind that the pandemic will eventually end and that we will make it through these trying times.

“When we’re all done with this we’ll certainly appreciate the chance to see each other and not worry about COVID and [also to] see each other’s faces in real life,” Skelly said.