March 2015 Member Spotlight - Socorro Shiels

Ms. Socorro Shiels,
Superintendent, Santa Rosa City School District
Santa Rosa, CA
ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy (SLA) Alumnni

Career Highlights & Education: I am completing my doctorate at UC Davis in Education. My career highlight is being the Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools in Northern California.

I am most proud of moving our district towards authentic dialog of educational equity and creating community school models. The work of strengthening schools and providing educational opportunity for every child will only be realized when we are working together with other organizations to ensure strong communities and families. Schools hold every community’s greatest asset- its children. We must be a centralizing force to bring services together to provide families and communities with the tools they need to thrive.

What I like best about my jobI have the privilege of ensuring this system serves all children and holds the highest expectations for each child's gifts and abilities. I also have the honor of working with the greater community to bring people into and around our schools and build assets in our neighborhoods.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  Be bold. Be fearless. Be you. I literally got that text this week in the face of a rough incident at work. It helped me tremendously to dig deep and do the right work the right way. Our children deserve no less.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader:  See above. If we aren't willing to take leaps of faith and risks for our students- who will?

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: Laughing and enjoying with good friends.

People would be surprised to know that:  Tough question- I don't know- I have never had a bloody nose? Have I jinxed myself now?

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS is:  Our voice together is powerful. We can't do this work alone or in isolation. The issue of educational equity is greater than any one system. We do the work in our local space and we must also fortify the movement together. ALAS creates that space for national synergy. Let's boldly use the microphone we have for change.