The elected Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools is a state constitutional officer who serves as an intermediary between local school districts and the state. The Superintendent provides leadership, support, and state-designated fiscal and program oversight of all school districts in the county. This position also serves as the chief executive officer of the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE).
Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D., was elected Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools in 2010, took office on January 3, 2011, and began a second term in office on January 2, 2015. In this elected position, he provides countywide leadership for the K-12 public school system, which is comprised of 40 school districts with a combined student population of 70,932 students.
Dr. Herrington is a native Californian who began his career in education as a history teacher. He served as superintendent for three Northern California school districts, gaining experience in rural, suburban, and urban settings and overseeing educational services for students from pre-kindergarten through high school. Prior to his election, he was superintendent of Windsor Unified School District.
While serving as a district superintendent, Dr. Herrington was recognized with several state and national awards, including a National School Boards Association Magna Award, four California School Boards Association Golden Bell Awards, eight Distinguished School Awards from the California Department of Education, and the California Governor’s Award for Community Service Collaboration.
As County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Herrington’s education initiatives have focused on service to students, service to districts, and service to the community. He believes that one of the best ways to maximize support for education is through community-linked collaborative projects. Current projects are centered on building:
- A well-educated, career-ready workforce
- A vital, healthy, and engaged student community
- Educational programs that support early literacy for all students
- A countywide cadre of teaching professionals using 21st century instructional practices to fully engage young people in learning
Dr. Herrington ensures that SCOE’s resources are concentrated in these key areas and effectively provide support and service for Sonoma County’s schools, students, and communities. Each year, he sets an Educational Agenda (pdf) for the Sonoma County Office of Education, then his leadership team establishes personal and departmental performance goals linked to that agenda. A new priority for the 2015-16 school year is the development of a training center to provide working adults with the education and support they need to earn a teaching credential and enter the teaching profession. This effort is in response to Sonoma County’s need for additional highly-qualified teachers as today’s teachers reach retirement.
In addition to his history in education, Dr. Herrington is a Vietnam Era veteran who served in the United States Army and National Guard. He and his wife, a former writer and editor for Walt Disney Productions, live in Windsor. They have two grown children, both graduates of California public schools and its university system. Their daughter is a project director supporting charter school teachers for the North Coast Beginning Teacher Program and their son works in business administration at a medical technology company.
Dr. Herrington’s Community Affiliations
10,000 Degrees, Sonoma County Advisory Board
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association
Northern California Career Pathways Partnership
Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
Santa Rosa Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force
School and College Legal Services of California, JPA Board
Sonoma County Community Corrections Partnership
Sonoma County Education Coalition
Sonoma County Health Action
Sonoma County Innovation Council
Sonoma County Proposition 63 Mental Health Advisory Board
Sonoma County Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board
Sonoma County Upstream Investments, Policy Committee
Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board and Youth Council
United Way of the Wine Country, Board of Directors
Communications & Interagency Support
Working out of the County Superintendent’s office, professional and support staff provide communications, public relations, and interagency support for SCOE. Print and electronic publications, news releases, social media communications, and management of the SCOE website are among the key responsibilities of this office. Staff also support communication and articulation between SCOE and county, state, and community organizations that provide services to schools and students.
- Steven Herrington, Superintendent of Schools
- Kristen Johnson, Public Information Assistant/Liaison
- Anne Layton, Executive Assistant