Superintendent candidate responds to critics

Posted on May 8, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A letter from Socorro Shiels to the  Valley of the Moon Teachers Association: 

I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve the Sonoma Valley school community, and I am optimistic that I will be able to build the necessary trust with all employees, parents and students to support and advance the great work that is taking place in your district.

Recently, you shared concerns expressed by association members, and thank you for the forthright presentation of those issues. I appreciate you communicating with me and for your calm confidence and willingness to share; thank you. It is important to me to have a strong, collaborative relationship with all employees and bargaining units. We will move forward addressing concerns transparently and collaboratively finding solutions.

As an educator, I fully understand the anxiety that teachers, and all members of the school community, feel as they transition to a new leader. Transitions can evoke many emotions, and I believe that when we address them promptly and positively, we build trust.

I want to take this opportunity to share a sentiment that I stressed when interviewing for the position: I wholeheartedly believe that education magic happens in the classroom. It happens between teachers and students. Every position in a school district is vital, from food service and transportation to custodial services, counseling, administrative support and all other professionals. These functions exist to create the system that ensures teachers can focus on student learning.

The work of educating our children is sacred to me. We have very little time in which to provide each student with what they need to understand the strengths, capabilities and skills necessary to achieve their highest potential. Please accept my commitment to meet with and listen to all members of our school community, so that I can build the trust and understanding necessary to work collaboratively.

Again, I thank you for sharing the worries expressed by teachers. I hear your concerns and am listening. We will address them directly and move forward together.

— Socorro Shiels

cc: Sonoma Valley Unified Board President

2 thoughts on “Superintendent candidate responds to critics

  1. “. . .to support and advance the great work that is taking place in your district.”
    ~ For many years being one of the worst school districts in the county in teaching math and reading proficiency is “great work?”
    ~ Having a dilettante school board that allowed the last superintendent to run the district to the brink of financial receivership is “great work???”
    ~ Installing an interim superintendent who had none of the required credentials to run a public school district and who has proven demonstrably clueless about running one is “great work???”
    If so, students, parents, teachers and taxpayers can look forward to more “Great Work” under the new superintendent.

  2. Can you please explain why you are paid 1000.00 a day to introduce yourself to schools this last week? 1000.00 a day to shake hands when our students do not have a pool-or lockers-or decent desks? If it were me, I would have donated the money to each school.

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