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New principal named for Sonoma Valley High

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After a three-week search, Alberto Solorzano has been named as the new principal of Sonoma Valley High School. He replaces Justin Mori, who announced his resignation on May 24, after one year in the job.

Solorzano launched his 25-year career in education as a PE teacher, before transitioning to school administration. He has served as a middle school assistant principal, a high school assistant principal and as a principal of five East Bay high schools – as well as director of secondary education for the Dublin Unified School District. He has also coached high school soccer.

Most recently, Solorzano served briefly as principal of Amador Valley High School, a 2,700-student school in Pleasanton, before taking a personal leave of absence in February.

A press release from the district announcing his selection touted Solorzano’s experience in master scheduling – specifically supporting English learners and special education students’ access to courses – and increasing enrollment for Latino and African-American students in Honors and AP courses.

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District held multiple “community engagement meetings” in the weeks since Mori announced his departure, focusing on what characteristics SVHS stakeholders were seeking in the next principal of the high school. According to district human resources director Jonathan Ferrer, meeting participants stressed several characteristics: bridge building, communication, visibility, transparency, longevity, bilingual and “a true leader.”

“It is clear that through our selection process, Mr. Alberto Solorzano truly represents these characteristics and is qualified to be the next Principal of Sonoma Valley High School,” reads the June 18 press release.

Solorzano, who is bilingual, grew up in Union City, and attended James Logan High School there, before moving on to San Francisco State University where he graduated with a degree in kinesiology. He later earned a master of science degree from California State University, East Bay, in educational leadership.

Justin Mori, 43, accepted the position of principal at Petaluma High School, his alma mater, for next school year. He had served as head of SVHS since July, 2018.

The open position of Sonoma Valley High School principal was posted on May 24 on the Ed Join website. The salary range cited was $115,150 - $134,097. According to the Amador school newspaper, Solorzano earned $153,000 in his last position. Attempts to confirm his SVUSD salary by press time were unsuccessful.

Solorzano’s official start date will be July 1, according to Ferrer.

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