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After four terms, county schools superintendent is ready to step down

After serving for 51 years in California public schools, Steve Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, said he will not seek a fourth term to start Jan. 2023.

Herrington has spent 39 years in the role of superintendent in three Northern California school districts. He began his career in education as a high school history teacher. He gained experience as a superintendent in rural, suburban, and urban settings, and has led services for students pre-K through high school. Prior to his election as Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools in 2010, he served as superintendent of Windsor Unified School District.

“The past four years have been the most challenging in my career,” reflected Herrington. “Besides the academic challenges of the job, I have had to navigate our local schools through three national disaster fires, two mass community evacuations, a federal disaster flood, mass county power outages, school closures due to air quality and a continuing worldwide pandemic.”

Herrington said he still enjoys the job of county superintendent. “There are many experienced district superintendents that are qualified for this job,” he said. “I also have an exemplary support team of assistant and deputy superintendents that are equally qualified.”

Herrington said he is proud of the following ongoing efforts with local school districts during his 12 years in office:

• Collaborative initiatives with school districts helped equalize the graduation rates for Anglo and Latinx students.

• SCOE’s partnership with 10,000 Degrees increased the number of first-generation students going to college by 30%.

• SCOE’s continued offering of behavioral health and mental health support to districts dealing with the effects of multiple disasters on students, their families, and school staff.

• SCOE’s North Coast School of Education’s seven affordable teaching and administrative credential programs offered at half the cost of any university program.

• SCOE’s million-dollar scholarship program recruits diverse teaching and administrative candidates who better reflect Sonoma’s student population.

Herrington said he will continue concentrating the next 16 months on providing coordinated support to get 70% of Sonoma County’s 5-11-year-old students vaccinated. Currently 70% of students 12-17 years old have met that goal.

In addition, he will finalize the zoning approval for a new school workforce housing project. “A community of 60 townhouse units named Casitas de Amarosa will allow districts wishing to offer a below-market, affordable housing option to new employees to do so as a recruitment incentive.”

Herrington said he is thankful for the SCOE employees and his administrative team and leadership team as well as the County Board of Education “for their dedication, loyalty, and hard work for the past 12 years. It has been an honor to serve alongside everyone at the Sonoma County Office of Education.”

The County Superintendent is elected by the voters of Sonoma County. The Superintendent is a state constitutional officer who acts as a liaison for local school districts and the state. The Superintendent provides leadership, support, and state-designated fiscal and program oversight for the county's 40 school districts and their more than 68,000 students. This position also serves as the chief executive officer of the Sonoma County Office of Education.

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