Sonoma County Office of Education

Jason Lea Selected to Lead North Coast School of Education

05/16/2018 -

Jason Lea, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at Santa Rosa City Schools for the last four years, will become the executive director of the North Coast School of Education (NCSOE) effective July 1, County Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington announced today.

Lea will replace Karen Ricketts, who is retiring after serving in the position since 2012. NCSOE is a program of the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE). It serves 155 school districts and multiple charter schools across Northern California by preparing more than 2,000 teachers and administrators for the classroom through numerous, high-quality credentialing and induction programs.

“Jason is going to be a great next executive director,” said Ricketts. “This is a role where your goal is to keep kids as your first priority and support administrators and teachers to meet the needs of students. Jason is always looking out for what is best for kids.” She added that Lea’s strengths as a listener and a manager, as well as his familiarity with Sonoma County schools, make him an excellent fit for the job.

Prior to his current position with Santa Rosa City Schools, Lea worked in the district for more than 20 years. Before his current role, he served as principal at Herbert Slater Middle School for 13 years. Prior to that, he was assistant principal for one year, a teacher for five years, and a coach for five years. His wife is a teacher in Bennett Valley Union School District and his four children all attended public school in Sonoma County.

“The best part of my current role has been collaborating with teachers and administrators to help them improve their practice and working as a thought partner to assist them with issues they face,” said Lea. “I’m looking forward to this new opportunity because I’ll be able to help new administrators and teachers with their careers.”

Herrington said he was thrilled to have Lea join SCOE to carry on the good work started by Ricketts. “Karen helped grow NCSOE into an adaptable, innovative program that serves the unique needs of our educational community,” he said. “Jason’s deep knowledge of our local school system combined with his human-centered approach will ensure NCSOE’s success into the future.”

About NCSOE: NCSOE partners with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) to provide state-approved programs and services for teachers and aspiring administrators. NCSOE grew out of the North Coast Teacher Induction Program. It was founded in 2015 to address a growing teacher shortage by providing a range of high-quality teacher and administrator preparation programs. Today, NCSOE offers teacher induction programs, teacher intern programs, and administrator preliminary and induction programs that serve more than 2,000 beginning teachers, administrators, and mentors. Operating with a staff of roughly 10 full-time employees and 150 limited-term employees, it serves 155 districts around Northern California and partners with nine universities and eight county offices of education. Learn more at