After a struggle with medical challenges that have taken a turn for the better, San Carlos Charter Learning Center’s Christopher Mahoney announced he is stepping down from the school.
Mahoney, age 44 and the center’s director, announced his departure last week in a letter to the community. In March, he received a liver transplant for the autoimmune liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis, known as PSC, which he was diagnosed with in 2003. Then, in 2007, he was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer with about a 5 percent chance of survival.
“As most of you know, the last year has been a real personal challenge for my family and for me,” he wrote in the letter dated Sept. 27. “While my recovery has shown great progress, there continues to be more work to do. As we are now at a point of natural transition, it feels like the right time for me to step aside so that the school can continue to grow and enhance its programs while I focus on completing my recovery.”
Stacy Emory, director of curriculum at the school, has been acting as director since January when Mahoney went out on medical leave. Currently, the school is in the hiring process to decide what to do with Mahoney’s role. She was not surprised by his decision to step down.
“He had a lot of healing left to do,” she said. “He’s super resilient and very positive and looked at times of crisis as opportunities.”
San Carlos Elementary School District trustees expressed their support for Mahoney.
“Chris has always been a vocal supporter of the overall district’s vision and push into 21st century learning, and I suspect you’ll see him back in public education very soon involved with similar initiatives,” Trustee Seth Rosenblatt wrote in a blog post. “I certainly wish him the best of health, and good thoughts to the CLC community as they work through the transition.”
It’s for the best at this point, said Trustee Adam Rak.
“He’s definitely made a lot of positive changes for the school,” Rak said. “He’ll be leaving a legacy of that.”
The 15-year-old San Carlos Charter School Learning Center is a K-8 charter school that emphasizes project based learning and thematic units. It is the oldest charter school in California and one of the oldest operating charter schools in the United States.
Mahoney began work with the school six years ago.
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