The Santa Rosa school board on Wednesday approved a three-year contract for Socorro Shiels, 41, who was tapped to replace Superintendent Sharon Liddell.

Liddell announced her resignation in February after nine years with the district.

Shiels's base annual salary is $177,270 which will be reduced to $170,315 in 2013-14 to reflect board-approved furlough days. Shiels also will receive a $500 monthly vehicle allowance.

She is eligible for an additional $1,200 annually for a master's degree and another $1,200 for a Ph.D. Shiels is currently working toward a Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis.

Her medical coverage is paid from her salary. The district provides dental coverage.

Shiels, currently the assistant superintendent of educational services in the Morgan Hill Unified School District, also has worked as a bilingual teacher, high school vice principal and elementary school principal.

She is to take the helm of Sonoma County's largest school district on July 1.