WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa superintendent search is on


Santa Rosa City Schools is pressing forward with finding a new superintendent after accepting Sharon Liddell’s resignation late Wednesday.

Liddell announced Friday that she is leaving the district after seven years as superintendent.

Sharon Liddell

“She is a workhorse,” said board President Larry Haenel. “She did a remarkable job in reaching out to the community.”

The seven member board voted to solicit search firm proposals for recruiting for Liddell’s replacement and scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday to hear proposals.

“The sooner we get started, the better chance we have of picking a winner like Dr. Liddell,” trustee Tad Wakefield said.

“There is a time crunch,” Haenel said.

Some board members expressed concern that hiring a firm with a pricetag ranging from $18,000 to $30,000 would not sit well with a community facing $8.3 million in cuts to its $130 million budget for the next school year.

Board veteran Frank Pugh urged the board to move slowly, suggesting members should seek community and employee comments on what the district should look for in a successor.

“To me it’s a significant process that has to be carefully done to respect the community’s needs and desires,” he said.

Board members said district discussion of a potential tax measure in November should not be affected by Liddell’s departure.

“I think we can go ahead and explore that and work on replacing Sharon at the same time,” trustee Donna Jeye said before Wednesday night’s regular board meeting. “I don’t see one hindering the other.”

Liddell, who turns 65 next month, has said she is interested in pursuing a position with a district with more than Santa Rosa’s 15,500 students or potentially teaching at a university. Her current salary is $179,500 from which she pays her own medical benefits.

4 Responses to “Santa Rosa superintendent search is on”

  1. Graeme Wellington says:

    Whoever is running Calistoga needs to just take on the 30 schools to justify the salary — even though it won’t make the slightest difference. How much child warehouse supervison do we need anyway?

    These bureaucrats are about as interested in the kids as their parents are, which is to say not much. Warehoused at home and warehoused at school.

    The kids are being cranked out illiterate other than with dexterity for computer games and iPhones.

    The depressing truth is that our young people leave schools with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call “lives”: they simply exist.

    The notions of doing a nine-to-five job, marrying and sticking with a wife and kids, taking up DIY or learning to read properly, are beyond their imaginations.

    It is because it is fantastically hard to help such students, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better. Lidell’s didn’t make them better. The kids coming out of our schools were manufactured in Lidell’s warehouses so she must accept some of the blame.

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  2. Me says:

    You think this salary for SRCS is a waste?

    Look at the Calistoga Joint Unified Superintendent’s salary! It’s just as high — plus medical benefits (plus another annual raise) — for a position that is responsible for only TWO SCHOOLS (whereas SRCS has nearly 30 schools)

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  3. bear says:

    And where have YOU made a difference?

    What job? When? How?

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  4. Graeme Wellington says:

    I say “No Vacancy.” No amount of $100,000 plus a year employees is going to solve any of the problems with our schools.

    Don’t even bother replacing her. She made no difference on the job and her absence or departure won’t make any difference either.

    Save the money.

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