McAteer stepping down as county schools chief |

McAteer stepping down as county schools chief

Terry McAteer is stepping down from his position as Nevada County Superintendent of Schools after being elected to the post four times, he told The Union in a surprise announcement Tuesday.

But the 50-year-old isn’t aiming for a higher position. Instead, he’s following his heart and returning full-time to the job he started with ” that of a high school teacher.

“I leave my position with no regrets and with a genuine excitement towards returning to the classroom to relive the magic that takes place every day in the most important job in our society,” McAteer said in a letter he personally delivered to The Union Tuesday morning.

He will officially leave the post at the August meeting of the Nevada County board of Education, he said. Also in August, McAteer will become a full-time teacher at Bear River High School, teaching government, economics and journalism.

He will recommend the apointment of Assistant Superintendent Holly Hermansen ” a former teacher, principal and school superintendent ” as his successor, McAteer said.

His mother’s death last September made him reevaluate his goals.

“I think it’s one of those lifetime experiences that make you think,” he said. “I thought, what do I really want to do in life? My passion lies in the classroom, so I’m going back to the classroom.”

For the past 17 years ” including his 13-year-tenure as the elected county superintendent of schools ” McAteer taught advanced placement government and A.P. U.S. history at Bear River.

His new job will cost McAteer a 50-percent pay cut, taking him from earning $120,000 to $60,000 yearly, McAteer said.


When asked what he hoped people would say about his tenure, McAteer replied: “He worked his tail off for kids. He was creative and innovative.”

Starting the Imaginarium experiential science museum, realigning special education and bringing in a university-level teacher training program are some of his achievements McAteer said he hoped would form his legacy in Nevada County.

During his tenure, the County Superintendent of Schools office budget has increased from $1.2 million to $35.6 million.

“I’ve really worked hard for the citizenry,” he said. “And when I felt I could not be effective, I felt it was time to seek my real passion.”

McAteer emphasized a need for a private life ” something he hadn’t been able to enjoy as the superintendent of schools, McAteer said.

“I love Nevada County,” McAteer said. “I love living here, but I look forward to being a private citizen.”


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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User