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USF Alumnus Awarded Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year

School of Education


Cynthia Manalo Rapaido, Ed.D.

School of Education alumnus, Cynthia Rapaido, Ed.D., was selected as 2013 Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).

Dr. Rapaido began her career in education as a teacher and progressed toward leadership as her talent for organization became increasingly recognized and she was asked to fill more leadership roles. Taking the step into leadership academically, she came to USF where she received a Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership with the Administrative Services Credential. Rapaido later returned to the USF School of Education to continue her education, graduating with a Doctorate in International and Multicultural Education in 2011.

Rapaido is currently an assistant principal at South San Mateo High School (SMHS) in the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD). As a co-administrator, she oversees multiple areas such as, facilities, school calendar, co-curricular activities, student leadership, student discipline and teacher evaluations. She also serves as the administrative liaison to the Music Boosters, Drama Boosters, SMUHSD Black Parent Association and SMHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.

Secondary co-administrator is a role that is crucial for the smooth operation of schools preparing students for college and careers. Rapaido brings her natural ability to see the overall view of what is going on to this vital role. She is known for a caring and supportive style, a high level of organization, and, as noted by colleagues, for her calm in moments of crisis which she has described as part of her overall personality.

In an interview for the ACSA, Rapaido commented, “The calm comes from a desire from within to achieve a state of grace. It is a life-long goal of learning, observing and training. I observe others who are able to demonstrate being calm and collected and try to emulate that. Those who are calm and collected are able to articulate, communicate, and delegate what needs to get done and can achieve this in the most difficult situations. The communication is clear, and across all levels, so everyone is aware of what needs to be done and who needs to get it done.”

The ACSA 2013 Administrators of the Year will be formally recognized during the Leadership Summit in San Jose, November 7-9. More Leadership Summit information »

Written by SOEnews@usfca.edu