McAteer resignation takes county educators by surprise |

McAteer resignation takes county educators by surprise

Education officials in Nevada County expressed surprise at Terry McAteer’s decision this week to step down as the County Superintendent of Schools.

“I was shocked and very disappointed, because he was doing a beautiful job,” said Robert Stone, a member of the Nevada County Board of Education for the past 13 years. “He has been marvelous in his position. We have been very supportive of him, and he has been very supportive of us.”

McAteer will start as a full-time teacher at Bear River High School in August, teaching government, economics and journalism.

Maggie Deetz, superintendent of the local high school district, said she was “thrilled to death” at the prospect of having McAteer teach at a high school.

“My son had him for several years, so I know how good he is (as a teacher),” Deetz said. “I think the students of Bear River are winners in all of this.”

Deetz called McAteer a visionary.

“As the county superintendent, he did a great job, supported a lot of schools, started new programs,” Deetz said.

Voters re-elected McAteer last year to a fourth term in office.

At the June meeting of the Nevada County Board of Education, McAteer “will start a discussion as to what process they (the board) want to undertake” to select a new superintendent of schools, McAteer said.

There is no well-defined procedure to nominate a replacement, McAteer added.

McAteer will recommend Holly Hermansen, an assistant superintendent in his office, for his position. If selected by the County Board of Education, she will serve as the superintendent of schools till the 2011 election.

“Holly is even-tempered, she’s well respected and she has a great breadth of knowledge,” McAteer said.

Hermansen has worked in education in Nevada County for 13 years in a wide variety of positions.

“I’ve been a program specialist, the principal of Gold Run School for three years, superintendent of Nevada City School District for one year, and I’ve been an assistant superintendent with Terry for three years,” Hermansen said.

On hearing McAteer’s decision to step down, Hermansen said she was shocked “like everybody else.” But she was happy McAteer had found his passion, she said.

Deetz said Hermansen would do well as McAteer’s successor.

“She’s worked under him as assistant superintendent all these years and knows what he does,” Deetz said. “Terry also has an excellent support staff who will help her.

“Holly is very intelligent and knowledgeable. She will do things her way,” Deetz said.

Hermansen said she’s honored to be the prospective superintendent.

“Terry has done incredible things for education in Nevada County, and to know he has confidence in me to continue (his work) is a pretty powerful message to me,” Hermansen said. “It feels pretty good. I’m excited.”


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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