Michele Garside has dedicated her life to education, first as a teacher, then as principal, and today as the second female district superintendent in San Mateo County. She is recognized statewide as a leader and role model for students and teachers alike. Dr. Garside’s goal in Pacifica has been to ensure that all children, especially those in low-wealth areas, have access to an excellent education. To accomplish this, she first conducted an exhaustive study of the district’s curriculum, then launched a strategic planning process in collaboration with teachers and parents that has resulted in Pacifica students scoring higher for the last five years in literacy and math than both state and San Mateo County averages. A Ph.D. graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Garside taught at both Saint Mary’s College and the College of Notre Dame. She is also an artist, performing with the Sweet Adelines and appearing in local theatre productions to cheer people in hospitals and retirement homes. Dr. Garside is known to bring a joyful attitude to whatever she does. She is an inspiration, a true leader who has made a difference in our community.