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Sassarini principal to accept Sonoma school district admin job

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The Sonoma Valley Unified School District now has another key post that needs to be filled. And fast.

Sassarini Principal Andrew Ryan is making the jump from school administration to the district office. He will fill the position of human resources director left vacant by the departure of Jonathan Ferrer, announced last week.

Ryan took the helm as principal at Sassarini Elementary School two years ago, in July 2017.

Prior to that job, Ryan was a vice principal at Sonoma Valley High School from 2011 to 2017, where he was involved in the athletic program, as well as the creation of the freshman teams, CTE courses including the engineering pathway and the agriculture program.

Prior to SVHS, he taught P.E., leadership and health, and served as athletic director at Altimira Middle School.

He grew up in Sonoma Valley and attended Sassarini Elementary and Altimira Middle School, before graduating from SVHS in 1998.

In addition to attending Sonoma Valley schools, Ryan noted at the time of his arrival at Sassarini that he has also now worked at every school he attended in town. He and his wife and children also currently live in the Sassarini school district.

Ryan said that the decision to leave Sassarini to take the district role was a hard one. In a letter to Sassarini families and staff, he said that the school “will remain near and dear” to his heart.

He noted that he will be facilitating the process of identifying a new principal for the school, starting first with a public meeting to discuss “what qualities and characteristics we would like to see in a new principal.”

No timing was indicated.

Ryan described himself as “ecstatic” to continue his “journey with SVUSD.”

“As for leaving Sassarini, I have a heavy heart,” he wrote in an email to the Index-Tribune. “Sassarini has been a part of my life as a Sonoma Valley Youth and now as a professional.”

Added Ryan: “It’s always a great day to be a Seahawk!”

Ryan received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Chico State University in 2002, his teaching credential from Chapman University in 2004, and his master’s degree in education in 2005 also from Chapman. He earned his administrative credential in 2009.

Ryan’s wife, Richelle, teaches mathematics and history at Adele Harrison Middle School; his mother, Julie, teaches English at Adele Harrison; and his brother-in-law, Doug Stewart, teaches in the special education department at SVHS. The Ryans have two sons and a daughter.

Prior to Ryan, Sassarini was led by Jacqui Parker from 2014 to 2017.

The Sassarini principal job is now posted on the Ed Join website, along with 41 other vacancies in the district.

Ryan’s district appointment needs to be formally approved at the Tuesday, Aug. 6 Sonoma Valley Unified School District board meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. The Aug. 6 meeting will be held at the district offices at 17850 Railroad Ave.

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