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Sonoma Valley Unified names new superintendent

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District board of trustees has hired the former superintendent of the Fillmore Unified School District as its new superintendent.

Adrian Palazuelos will officially be appointed at the upcoming May 18 board meeting and begin his new position with SVUSD on June 1.

Previously Palazuelos led the Fillmore School district in Southern California for seven years. He left in March in what the Fillmore Gazette newspaper described as “a mutual separation agreement” between the Fillmore school board and Palazuelos.

Prior to his time with Fillmore, Palazuelos, 47, served as associate superintendent, school leadership and support in the Natomas Unified School District, in Sacramento, where he led district-wide efforts to create an International Baccalaureate program. Prior to Natomas, he served as a high school principal in Fresno, as well as heading elementary, middle and high schools in Oxnard, California.

A product of California public schools and a first-generation college graduate, Palazuelos began his career in education as a bilingual educator before expanding his collegiate credits to include a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from UCLA, along with a PhD in education from UC Santa Barbara.

“Dr. Palazuelos is an experienced and efficacious leader, who has shown tremendous success implementing educational programs, enhancing communication systems, and positively impacting the districts in which he has worked,” said SVUSD Board of Trustees President, Melanie Blake in the announcement of his selection.

Palazuelos and his wife, Julie, have been married for more than 20 years and have four children.

Palazuelos replaces prior SVUSD superintendent Socorro Shiels, who served for two years before being released from the district unexpectedly in November 2020. Interim Superintendent Esmeralda Mondragon held the post from December 2020 through April 2021.

Shiels was paid $203,751 a year. Palazuelos’ contact terms have not yet been released.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Email Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.

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