North Bay Leadership Council is pleased to announce that the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) is its newest member. Education is the top public policy priority of NBLC and the addition of SCOE strengthens its public policy work by bringing more focus on and understanding of the K-12 educational system.
NBLC’s board chair, Patty Garbarino, said “There is great alignment between the mission of SCOE and NBLC. Both organizations want to foster student success so there is a well-educated, career-ready workforce. We are excited to be able to work more closely with the K-12 educators on this important mission.”
SCOE is a partner to the county’s 40 districts, providing services and oversight that help them serve roughly 71,000 students. The day-to-day operations of each public school district are overseen by a district superintendent and an elected board of education. Like the other 57 county offices of education in California, the Sonoma County Office of Education’s role is to provide leadership, support, and fiscal oversight to the county’s school districts.
Sonoma County is divided into 40 school districts for kindergarten through twelfth-grade (K-12) educational services. There are 31 elementary, 3 high school, and 6 unified districts. Unified districts operate both elementary and secondary schools for the students residing within their boundaries.
The county’s school districts vary in size, serving both rural and urban areas. The smallest district in the county, Kashia, is located in a rural area and has about 11 students. The largest district, Santa Rosa City High, enrolls over 11,000 students in the county’s most populous city.
The member representative is Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D., who was elected Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools in 2010. He believes that one of the best ways to maximize support for education is through community-linked collaborative projects. Dr. Herrington said, “Given SCOE’s interest in community engagement and desire to collaborate with employers on improving student success, it is a good fit for us to join NBLC and work together on these goals.”
As County Superintendent, he received on behalf of SCOE a special recognition by the White House for SCOE’s Maker Certificate program for teachers and serves as state officer in the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCESA).