Hermansen makes the grade for schools superintendent | TheUnion.com
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Hermansen makes the grade for schools superintendent

When you meet Holly Hermansen, the successor to the outgoing county superintendent of schools, you’d be surprised how relaxed she is about her new position as the top boss of county education.

Hermansen is the assistant superintendent and director of special education for Nevada County. She takes office as the new superintendent of schools on Aug. 15, after Terry McAteer announced his resignation last month.

Members of the Nevada County Board of Education appointed Hermansen unanimously at their meeting last week. Board members had considered about 13 candidates before making their decision, said President Bob Altieri. From those 13, three – including Hermansen – were shortlisted, Altieri added. But Hermansen’s fellow finalists declined to be considered for the position, he said.



The work at hand

Hermansen pinpointed three major challenges facing Nevada County schools that she’d have to address.




“We are always faced with declining enrollment,” Hermansen said. “I think that’s a major issue in our county.

“I think continuing to meet the accountability standards set by the No Child Left Behind program and the California Legislature is something we have to keep working toward.

“Another challenge I think is continuing to attract quality and highly qualified teachers to our county because it’s so expensive to live here,” Hermansen said.

Hermansen said county schools were already doing all they can to attract families with their superior programs and school options. But she was going to keep working with the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction “to make sure all students reach state requirements.”

Hermansen’s peers seem to have faith in her abilities.

“Holly has tremendous integrity, is organized and is a great team facilitator,” said Maggie Deetz, former superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District. “She is fair, kind and generous, both professionally and personally. She has excellent people skills and is well-respected by all of the superintendents and administrators in the county.”

Following her predecessor

Hermansen said she wasn’t daunted by succeeding long-time superintendent Terry McAteer.

“Terry did an incredible job in our county,” Hermansen said. “He really expanded the role of the superintendent’s office. He developed some innovative and quality programs like the Imaginarium, the 3-R schools, and the TV station.

“This is a perfect time for me to come in and have the county office continue to have quality service programs. It’s about refining and continuing the programs Terry developed,” Hermansen said.

At the meeting where Hermansen was elected, superintendents from school districts across the county expressed their approval of her as the appropriate candidate, Hermansen said.

“Holly is not a micromanager,” Altieri said. “She is very capable of communicating with her subordinates. She’s diligent. She is a follow-through person.”

Hermansen earned a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from California State University in Hayward. She also has a teaching credential from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, an administrative services credential from California State University in Sacramento, and a master’s degree in special education and a special education teaching credential from California State University in Hayward.

Before becoming the assistant superintendent, Hermansen was a principal of Gold Run School in Nevada City and later the interim superintendent of the Nevada City School District.

She lives in Nevada City with her 16-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter, Hermansen said.

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To contact Staff Writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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