The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has announced that County Superintendent of Schools David P. Meaney, Ed.D., will retire in July 2004. Dr. Meaney, who has held the post of Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools for the past 15 years, retires after serving in California public education for more than 39 years. He is the third-longest serving Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools since the County Superintendent position was established by the California State Constitution 150 years ago. Superintendent Meaney joined the Sacramento County Office of Education as Associate Superintendent in 1985, and also served as Deputy Superintendent until he was named Superintendent in 1989.
Elinor L. Hickey, a member of the Sacramento County Board of Education since 1990, identifies Dr. Meaney as one of the most successful leaders in California public education. She says, "Throughout his career, Dr. Meaney has been recognized statewide and nationally for his leadership in implementing innovative educational programs that benefit all children, especially those at risk." During Dave Meaney's tenure, she says, the County Office increased its revenues from $30 million a year to nearly $170 million a year by actively seeking and securing government agency and foundation grants and contracts—efforts that have enabled the County Office to greatly expand its services to local school districts.
Dr. Meaney is known for his commitment to providing quality programs and support services to the county's 16 school districts and their students. Dr. General Davie, Jr., Superintendent of the San Juan Unified School District, says, "I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Meaney the last 15 years. Dave has always stood for innovation and improved quality service to school districts." Dr. Meaney met regularly with district superintendents and, as a result, many cooperative programs were started. Continues Dr. Davie, "Under Dave's leadership, the County Office—in cooperative partnerships with school districts in Sacramento County—has provided exceptional service in the areas of special education, substance abuse and violence prevention, and more recently, support to low-performing schools, to mention just a few achievements. He has brought millions of dollars to the Sacramento County Office through technology-related grants, as well as saving school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars through projects such as the Digital California Project." Districts have also benefited from teacher and principal training, and new teacher induction and support provided by the County Office. Over 25,000 local teachers and administrators are trained at the County Office each year.
Under the leadership of Dr. Meaney, the Sacramento County Office of Education earned a reputation as a statewide and national leader in many areas, especially in teacher training in reading and mathematics, and in the use of technology. The Sacramento County Office of Education has provided, under contract, teacher training in reading for many of the lowest-performing school districts in California, including Los Angeles Unified School District. In that district alone, the Sacramento County Office has trained over 30,000 teachers during the past three years.
Superintendent Meaney has been credited with advancing the use of computers and technology in education throughout the state. He served as chair of the County Superintendent's Association Technology Committee an unprecedented four years. He was instrumental in working with the state in developing a statewide high-speed Internet2 network for school districts called the Digital California Project. He and his staff provided leadership with the Sacramento Cable Commission in developing a countywide high-speed Internet network connecting local school districts that is considered by many as the best in the country.
During his 18 years in Sacramento, Dr. Meaney has been actively involved in community and civic affairs. He has served on the boards of more than 30 community organizations. He received several of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon school administrators in California and nationally. In October 2000, he received the "Educational Leadership Alumni Award" from the College of Education at St. Cloud Minnesota State University for his career accomplishments and contributions to the field of education. In 2001, he received the "Executive Leadership Award" from the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. This award is the highest honor given to a County Superintendent in California by the Association. The Association of California School Administrators awarded Dr. Meaney its "Ferd. Kiesel Award" in 2002. This is the most prestigious award the Association gives to a school administrator in California each year. The American Association of School Administrators and Apple Computer Company recognized David Meaney in 2003 by naming him a national award winner of the "AASA President's Technology Award."
David Meaney has served in leadership position in several professional organizations, including ten years on the Board of the Far West Federal Research Laboratory, now WestEd); he was Northern California Chair for the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program for five years; and served on the State Board of the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He has been appointed by two California Governors to serve on advisory commissions that made recommendations on the development of state education initiatives. Dr. Meaney has served on the adjunct faculties of San Diego State University, the University of San Diego, the University of Redlands, the University of La Verne, and California State University, Sacramento, where he currently teaches classes for principals on the effective use of technology. Prior to joining the Sacramento County Office of Education, Dr. Meaney served as a teacher and administrator in the Oxnard School District for ten years. He then served as a Regional Curriculum Director and Director of Effective Schools for ten years at the San Diego County Office of Education.
In recognition of his contributions to education in Sacramento County, the County Board of Education named its recently completed administration and conference center at Mather Field the David P. Meaney Education Center.
The Sacramento County Board of Education has been working with the firm Leadership Associates to assist in the recruitment of Dr. Meaney's successor as County Superintendent. Dr. David Meaney will retire as Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools on July 2, 2004.