Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Casey Shea

09/11/2023 - Casey Shea

Casey Shea

Years at SCOE:
Nine years counting my first two years as a teacher on loan.

Job Title:
Program Coordinator - Expanded Learning

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
I tell them that I am lucky enough to have a job where I get to work with amazing educators interested in providing their students with engaging opportunities that help develop creative problem-solving skills.

Where did you grow up?
I am a Sonoma County native, born in Santa Rosa. We built a house on property that my grandparents owned in the woods near Petrified Forest when I was in elementary school. That experience provided some of my most significant opportunities for growth during my youth, and the property continues to provide opportunities in the present.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
Santa Rosa High School history teacher Emmett O’Neill was an amazing educator and human. Among all the K-12 teachers I had, he stands out for encouraging and pushing students to think for themselves. In addition to sparking a lifelong love for history, his Asian Studies class opened my eyes to ways of being in the world that still influence me today.

What is your favorite thing about SCOE?
The brilliant, passionate, and dedicated people I get to work with here and throughout the county who come to work every day with the goal of making a difference for Sonoma County students.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
There have been so many “pinch yourself” moments in my time here, all of them centered around seeing people deeply engaged in a task or activity that unlocks some curiosity and wondering. My favorite moments are when teachers become learners and get to experience the joy and frustration of gaining new knowledge and skills.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
Rafting and kayaking are my go-to activities when I have the chance to get on whitewater. When I can’t get to a river, I enjoy picking on a number of different stringed instruments.

Do you have a favorite TV show, movie or book that involves a school setting?
The documentary Most Likely to Succeed or any book by Sir Ken Robinson.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
There are so many amazing places in Sonoma County, but if I had to pick one it would be the section of Deadhorse Creek that runs through my family property. Despite the name, it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I know.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
Probably just about anything that took place in the 1980s…