New principal named for Sonoma elementary school

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The Sonoma Valley Unified School District has hired Catherine Larkin as the new principal for Prestwood Elementary School, effective July 1.

Larkin, 34, has been working in San Francisco Unified School District for the past eight years. She has served as assistant principal at Francis Scott Key Elementary School in San Francisco for the past 11 months. She has also held the role of classroom teacher and literacy coach.

Larkin received her bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University in 2006; a master’s degree in education focused on language and literacy from San Francisco State University in 2014; and her administrative credential from Sonoma State in 2018.

She was born in Santa Rosa and grew up in Marin County.

Larkin will officially begin on July 1, but district human resources manager Jonathan Ferrer said that she “will be present at Prestwood as much as possible beforehand to familiarize herself with the community and to work alongside the current principal, Jason Sutter, to assure a smooth leadership transition.”

Larkin said she plans to move to Sonoma County on July 1, and that her two young boys will attend preschool in Sonoma.

“I look forward to them joining the Prestwood community when they are old enough,” she said.

After six years as principal of Prestwood, Sutter announced in April his plans to take a position as director of curriculum and instruction in Petaluma City Schools.

Prior to coming to Sonoma, Sutter was principal of McNear Elementary School in Petaluma.

Over the past month, the school district arranged parent meetings to discuss the key characteristics that school families wanted in the new principal. The district also developed a survey for school parents, available on the school website.

According to Ferrer, Prestwood and district staff, as well as parents representing various student groups, participated in the selection process through paper screenings and interviews with candidates.

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