The Sonoma Valley Unified School District today named three top school administrators, promoting the High School vice principal to the lead job, and filling posts at Flowery Elementary and Adele Harrison Middle School.
Molly Kiss is Sonoma Valley High School’s new principal. She was hired a year ago as vice principal after serving in that job at San Francisco’s Galileo Academy of Science and Technology.
At Flowery, long time teacher Liliana Zepeda is the new principal. And Danna Rocca, the current Petaluma Junior High School assistant principal, is the pick as Vice Principal at Adele Harrison Middle School.
The hires were announced today by Superintendent Dr. Adrian Palazuelos. Board approval is expected.
Kiss joined SVUSD in the summer of 2021. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Kiss is a graduate of the University of San Francisco. She possesses a Pupil Personnel Services credential, Administrative Services credential, and holds a Master’s degree in Education in School Counseling.
During her time as a vice principal at SVHS, she oversaw the counseling department, student wellness, discipline, and many other aspects of the student and staff experience.
“I look forward to serving students and supporting our staff as we continue to adjust to a new normal with a focus on high expectations, support, and wellness, for all in our SVHS community,” she said. “I know the Sonoma community has had its fair share of turnover at several levels of our system. I appreciate the community’s faith in me.”
Superintendent Palazuelos said Kiss’ veteran leadership as a secondary administrator here and in San Francisco will serve students well. “I welcome her to this leadership position and remain committed to supporting her and the Sonoma Valley High School community.”
Flowery’s new principal Liliana Zepeda joined the faculty in the Spring of 2013 as a bilingual classroom teacher. She has taught Kindergarten and 4th grade, led Professional Learning Community work, served on the Valley of the Moon Teachers Association executive board as secretary, and served as a teacher leader to many new teachers over the years.
“I am so honored to step into this role and lead such a wonderful school with rich traditions, committed staff, and beautiful community,” said Zepeda, who earned her credential at CSU Long Beach. “I have dreamed of taking this step in my career and am grateful to the community who selected me.”
Palazuelos said Zepeda’s dual immersion experience and instructional leadership “will help provide a steady hand as we continue to address our return during the pandemic. She clearly has the support of the Flowery community and I remain impressed with her instructional leadership and work ethic.”
The third announced hire was that of Danna Rocca as vice principal of Adele Harrison Middle School. Credential at CSU San Francisco with a Masters from University of Phoenix Rocco comes to Sonoma after two successful years as an assistant principal at Petaluma Junior High.
“I love middle school students, they make me smile every day,” she said, adding, “I’m inspired by the various programs that Adele offers its student body and see Adele as a natural fit for my dedication to students and drive to make a positive impact on their lives.”
Palazuelos said Rocca will make a great team with new SVHS principal, Kelly Kriss. “The energy that Ms. Rocca brought in the interviews, specifically when speaking about her work with young adults was contagious and we look forward to this translating to positive outcomes for the Adele Harrison community.”