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EXPANDED: Sonoma Valley High School principal resigns

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Sonoma Valley High and Petaluma High, side by side:

(Source Ed Data)

Enrollment:

Petaluma 1,338 vs. Sonoma 1,324

Socioecomics:

Petaluma 26.2 percent of its students qualify for free and reduced lunches vs. Sonoma 54.8 percent

English learners:

Petaluma 4.6 percent vs. Sonoma 7.6 percent

US News & World Report Ranking:

Petaluma #329 among Calif. high schools vs. Sonoma #481

SAT/ACT testing taking:

Petaluma 168 students/88 students vs.

Sonoma 118 students/134 students

Sonoma Valley High School Principal Justin Mori has announced his resignation.

Mori, 43, has accepted the position of principal at Petaluma High School, his alma mater, for next school year. Mori will take over for David Stirrat, who is leaving to pursue a PhD after six years as the Petaluma High School principal.

Mori has served as head of SVHS since last July.

The open position of Sonoma Valley High School principal was posted on the morning of May 24, according to Sonoma Valley Unified School District HR Director Jonathan Ferrer.

“It is with very mixed feelings that I announce I will be leaving my position at SVHS at the end of the year,” said Mori in an email resignation letter to the district. Mori went on to apologize for the timing – and for resigning via email – citing the need to communicate quickly with both Sonoma and Petaluma staffs.

“My experience at Sonoma led me to recognize my desire to serve my home community, as so many of you do, and I felt I could not pass on the opportunity when multiple positions opened,” he said.

“We are a community that values home town roots and deep connections so it is easy to understand why Justin would want to go back to his hometown and alma matter,” said Superintendent Socorro Shiels. “The timing isn’t ideal for us however I am confident we will find the right person for SVHS.”

Mori graduated from Petaluma High School in 1994 and he lives with his family in Petaluma.

Mori replaced Kathleen Hawing as principal of Sonoma Valley High School. He had been the principal of San Jose Intermediate School with the Novato Unified School District since 2012. Prior to that position, he was the assistant principal at Terra Linda High School with San Rafael City Schools from 2006 to 2012.

The SVHS principal job now appears on the Ed Join website, where candidates are being asked to submit a letter of intent, resume, three letters of recommendation and proof of a California Administrative Credential. The salary range cited is $115,150 - $134,097.

The high school community is being asked to complete a survey regarding the skills desired in the next principal of SVHS.

The district has also scheduled several community engagement meetings to identify criteria and qualifications needed for the next principal.

• Thursday, May 30, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

• Friday, May 31, 8:30 to 10 a.m.

• Monday, June 3, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

• Tuesday, June 4, 8:30 to 10 a.m.

• Wednesday, June 5, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

The community engagement meetings will be held in the College & Career Center at SVHS and are open to students, parents, staff and community members.

Ferrer said that Mori will identify students, parents, and community leaders from various groups associated with SVHS to participate in the selection process to either paper screen applications or serve on an interview panel.

Anyone interested in applying or serving on an interview panel should contact Terri Hernandez, California State Employees Association president; Renea Magnani, Valley of the Moon Teachers Association co-president; or Cheryl Coldiron, VMTA co-president.

Ferrer said that he expects applications to be reviewed the week of June 3, with interviews possibly scheduled as early as the week of June 10.

Mori’s last day is June 19.

“We posted the opening for the job right away and trust staff, parents and students and community to help us find the right fit for our future,” said Shiels. “We hope to find someone before the end of June so we won’t need interim coverage.”

Contact Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.

Sonoma Valley High and Petaluma High, side by side:

(Source Ed Data)

Enrollment:

Petaluma 1,338 vs. Sonoma 1,324

Socioecomics:

Petaluma 26.2 percent of its students qualify for free and reduced lunches vs. Sonoma 54.8 percent

English learners:

Petaluma 4.6 percent vs. Sonoma 7.6 percent

US News & World Report Ranking:

Petaluma #329 among Calif. high schools vs. Sonoma #481

SAT/ACT testing taking:

Petaluma 168 students/88 students vs.

Sonoma 118 students/134 students

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