Fitzpatrick takes helm at high school
LYNN FITZPATRICK is the interim principal at Sonoma Valley High School.
The recent resignation of Sonoma Valley High School Principal Dino Battaglini was unexpected, but families of high school students can breathe a sigh of relief at the qualifications of his replacement. Battaglini’s interim successor, Lynn Fitzpatrick, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction, is widely regarded as one of the top deputies in the county.
Fitzpatrick came to Sonoma in 2010 and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of California at Davis. She already holds a master’s degree in curriculum, teaching and learning from Sonoma State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Davis.
In her role in the district office, Fitzpatrick has been responsible for overseeing the planning, delivery, assessment and ongoing improvement of the curriculum and instruction in the 11 public schools of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Prior to coming to Sonoma, she coordinated curriculum and instruction for the Santa Rosa City Schools and served as the language arts specialist on the Sonoma County Achievement Team.
There is hard work ahead for Fitzpatrick, and for the eventual permanent principal hired. That won’t be Fitzpatrick; she has already announced she plans to retire at the end of the school year. But meanwhile, the high school’s standardized test scores lag behind other high schools in the area with similar demographics, as does its four-year-college-bound rate, which is approximately 40 percent.
Fitzpatrick has an intimate understanding of the challenges and opportunities the school faces. She helped lead the implementation of the new freshman team experience, as well as the group that put the fledgling engineering, design and technology pathway into place.
“I’m excited to be at the high school and to see first-hand, day-in and day-out the results of these new programs,” said Fitzpatrick.
She also voiced her confidence in the administrative team in place at the high school, particularly vice principals Andrew Ryan (in charge of discipline, safety, attendance, data), Kathleen Hawing (the academic coordinator) and Paul Tuohy (in charge of athletics, operations and facility management). Fitzpatrick is also no stranger to the high school setting; she spent many years as an English teacher and resource specialist at some of the top high schools in the county.
Fitzpatrick is well-known within and beyond the county for her professional development presentations, her innovative curriculum development and her participation in high school accreditation site visits for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
School Superintendent Louann Carlomagno said of Fitzpatrick, “Lynn is an excellent fit for Sonoma Valley High School. Previously teaching high school herself, she clearly understands the needs and demands of a high school campus. She is well-respected throughout the district and she is one of the hardest-working people I know. The high school is in good hands and we are hard at work already advertising for the position.”