FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OAUSD BOARD OF TRUSTEES ANNOUNCES NEW SUPERINTENDENT
Ms. Sonjhia Lowery Brings 25 Years of Public Education Service to OAUSD
Petaluma, CA July 23, 2020 – The Old Adobe Union School District Board of Trustees appointed Ms. Sonjhia Lowery as the District’s new Superintendent, effective July 27, 2020, with a unanimous vote at its Board meeting on July 23, 2020. Ms. Lowery succeeds Mr. Craig Conte who will retire on July 31, 2020 after 25 years of excellent service as the District’s Superintendent.
Ms. Lowery brings to the position over 25 years of service in public education. She has experience as an elementary, middle, and high school teacher, elementary school Vice Principal and Principal and as the Director of Learning Support Services for the Elk Grove Unified School District. Most recently, Ms. Lowery served as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Stockton Unified School District. In this position, she was responsible for the adoption of curriculum, creating conditions that supported equitable student outcomes, and the development of systems to enhance professional learning across all of the District’s 55 schools.
Ms. Lowery is committed to student achievement and the success of all students. She has extensive experience with the development and implementation of continuous improvement processes and systems that have worked to enhance culture, climate and student outcomes. Sonjhia is a collaborative leader that works to build relationships in order to achieve common goals. Her leadership has been recognized at the local, regional, and state levels. She was named the 2018 Administrator of the Year – Central Office by the Association of California School Administrators Region 13. In 2019, she received the Outstanding Leadership in Education Award by the California Association of African American School Administrators.
“After an extensive search Ms. Sonjhia Lowery stood out as the top candidate because of her enthusiasm for our district, her eye on diversity and her focus on student achievement,” said Heather Burton, OAUSD Board President. “We look forward to her leadership during this unprecedented time.”
Ms. Lowery has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the California State University, Hayward, and a master’s degree in Education from the University of La Verne. She grew up in Oakland, California and is married to her husband Josh. They have two daughters, the oldest Nia, is a sophomore at the University of Washington and Nyah is a sophomore in High School. Sonjhia looks forward to listening, learning and leading during the next 100 days to truly understand Old Adobe's points of pride and greatest challenges.
"It is a privilege and honor to have been selected as the next Superintendent to lead Old Adobe… I am drawn to this District because of its commitment to excellence for learning and ensuring equity for all students,” Ms. Lowery said. "The next 100 days are crucial for OAUSD and we have complex issues to tackle, but I believe we can accomplish great things for kids by working together to grow through this uncharted territory. Leaning on our collective responsibility and wisdom to lead the transformation in a respectful and inclusive way is my commitment to our students and families, staff, and the community. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and serve.”
The Old Adobe Union School District is located on the east side of Petaluma. The District serves almost 2,000 students enrolled in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. More than 190 certificated and classified employees work daily at five elementary schools as teachers, classroom aides, support staff and administrators.
Dawn Walker, Assistant to the Superintendent