Sonoma County Office of Education

Assistant superintendent of special education selected

05/09/2014 - Concluding a statewide search, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington today announced the selection of John D. Laughlin, M.Ed., as the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) assistant superintendent of special education. Mr. Laughlin will fill the position currently held by Ron Whitman, who is retiring.

In this executive leadership post, Mr. Laughlin will plan, organize, and direct all of the special education programs administered by SCOE, which serve over 650 of the county’s most severely disabled students, preschool to age 22. He will also oversee the special education support services provided to 350 students with vision and hearing impairments and 100 students residing in licensed children’s institutions. As SCOE’s top special education official, he will coordinate these efforts with local school districts, SELPA, and other public and private agencies serving these populations.

John Laughlin’s professional career in education spans more than 20 years. He is currently completing his third year as regional principal for SCOE’s special education transition program. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead SCOE’s Special Education department as we continue to provide excellent programs and services for students from all districts in Sonoma County,” he says.

Prior to coming to SCOE, John Laughlin held a variety of positions in the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, eventually advancing to director of the district’s special education department. He began his career in education as a school psychologist and has taught graduate-level courses in education and counseling. He is active in a number of professional associations and serves on the Bennett Valley school site council, where his children attend school.

In announcing Mr. Laughlin’s selection, Superintendent Herrington said, “We reviewed résumés and interviewed candidates from across the state and John was far and away the most qualified. We are extremely lucky to have found someone with his skill and experience within our own organization. He will be an outstanding addition to the SCOE leadership team.”