Tom Mohr

Tom Mohr

Thomas C. “Tom” Mohr, longtime teacher, principal, school administrator, superintendent, college president and college board trustee, died early Wednesday morning.

He was 85.

Born and raised in Ohio, Mohr moved to the Bay Area more than 50 years ago and embarked on a career in public education, serving as a high school chemistry and math teacher, principal at three different high schools in San Mateo County, as assistant superintendent and ultimately as superintendent of the San Mateo Union High School District. After his retirement from the high school district in 2004, Mohr served as president at Cañada College for six years and as a trustee of the San Mateo County Community College District. He also served on boards, commissions and committees and received countless awards and recognition over his five decades of public and community service.

The college district sent out a community message Wednesday about his death. It was at the district that Mohr last served the public in a long career that carried him through a number of jobs as an educator. He last served as a member of the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees for four years until 2018.

“Tom’s life was filled with family and friends who loved and cherished him and who he loved and supported, including so many within the SMCCCD,” according to the message to the community from Michael Claire, chancellor of the community college district. “He was a mentor to countless teachers and educational professionals throughout the county, an advocate for equity, diversity, fairness and social justice, and a man of deep integrity and compassion; he was a true humanitarian. Tom had unwavering principles in protecting and promoting the needs of underserved, disadvantaged and marginalized people throughout the community and he never lost sight of the need to have tough conversations and make difficult decisions in order to do the right thing to help people.”

Mohr was a voracious reader and consumer of information and he was learning until his last day. In those rare moments of quiet, Tom enjoyed watching Cal football, hiking, exploring the coast, fishing, playing with his dog, connecting with friends and, of course, consuming any desserts or sweet foods that he could get his hands on, according to the college district’s message.

Mohr is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sandy Mohr (and Molly, a black poodle), three children, seven grandchildren, two siblings and a host of extended family and friends. His family asks for privacy and requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Tom’s memory to the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation (for Project Change) (, CASA of San Mateo County (, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA ( and/or Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

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(4) comments


Need I mention my older sons' friends were all Tongan which made the bully even more scared..


Tom Mohr was San Mateo high school principal when my youngest son went there in 1993. My son almost had his teeth knocked out in the lunch line by another student calling him a punk and bullying him. My oldest son packed a truck full of friends to find this guy and proceeded to visit San Mateo HIgh school looking for him He went to Aragon and didn't know he asked the Vice Principal of San Mateo where this guy was.. My youngest son almost lost all his front teeth. Mr Mohr kindly handled this Mother full of fear as to what was happening.. Some years later my oldest son is sitting at a bar when he sees my youngest son's bully sitting there also. This bully was still scared sitting there some years later..Sometimes the administrators don't handle things like the kids believe they should be handled This kid is still afraid of the group looking for him. As mother I was angry his older brother decided to take care of matters on his own with his buddies. He was defending his little brother much to the bully's surprise One of the kids in line said the bully was hittinig my son so much he had to turn his head. Problem solved by the older brother .

Michael B. Reiner, PhD

I never met Mr. Mohr; I only know him by reputation. His reputation is one of a gentleman, public servant, and a person of substance. There are fewer and fewer individuals in public life who leave a mark on the community. We need more Mohrs.


♥️ a life of service will be remembered.

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