Tuesday night’s Sonoma Valley Unified School District meeting has been moved to the Altimira multi-purpose room because of an expected large crowd.
That’s because the school board will be voting on a new superintendent – and on the new superintendent’s proposed contract.
The board will be voting on whether to name Socorro Shiels, the board’s favored candidate, to the superintendent’s position.
And then the board will vote on the proposed three-year contract that will pay Shiels $225,000 a year. That would make Shiels the highest-paid school superintendent in Sonoma County and that includes Steven Herrington, the Sonoma County superintendent of schools who makes $217,000 a year.
Former Superintendent Louann Carlomagno, who left last June, was scheduled to make $186,858 this year.
Only two other superintendents in the county make more than $200,000 – Santa Rosa, with 14,346 students, will pay its superintendent $201,200 this year, while Cotati-Rohnert Park, with 5,557 students, will pay its superintendent $204,662 this year.
The proposed contract also includes a per diem of $1,004 a day for five days in April and 10 days in May for services rendered and a $10,000 one-time tuition reimbursement for earning her doctoral degree. The district will also pay a $400 a month car allowance. The Valley of the Moon Teachers Association president Renea Magnani said because of the calls she’s received from educators who’ve worked under Socorro, the union has “serious reservations” about the district’s choice.
Earlier this month, union chief Magnani told the Index-Tribune that, based on a combination of feedback she’s received from Santa Rosa educators and a review of records from Shiels’s tenure as superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools, the VMTA couldn’t support her hiring.
“I am hearing from teachers in Santa Rosa that she is not a good choice and that we should be worried,” said Magnani, who teaches at Dunbar Elementary School and serves as president of the 264-member local educators union.
The 46-year-old Shiels was superintendent of Sonoma County’s largest school district, Santa Rosa City Schools, from 2012 to January 2016.
Tuesday’s meeting was originally scheduled for the district offices, but was moved Monday morning to Altimira. The closed session is set to start at 5 p.m., but the public can comment on closed-session items before the board goes into closed session. The open session is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Altimira is located at 17805 Arnold Drive.
Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.