At glance: Things to know about Sonoma Academy

In 2021, Sonoma Academy marked its 20th year in operation. Here’s more about the prestigious private high school at center of a storm over one of its former teachers.|

Sonoma Academy is a prestigious private, co-ed high school in Santa Rosa. It marked its 20th year in operation in 2021.

It serves a student body of about 330. When it was first opened in 2001 at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts it had only 45 students.

It moved in 2008 onto a 34-acre, $35 million state-of-the art campus at the base of Taylor Mountain. The site was donated to Sonoma Academy by Kendall-Jackson founder Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, after they purchased it in 2000.

Annual tuition is $46,620, the highest in the county. A $1,570 dining plan is optional. About half of the students annually receive a total of nearly $3.9 million in financial aid, according to the school’s website.

It has a staff of about 30 teachers, and about 40 employees in administrative roles, with overlap between the two groups.

The school is an academic powerhouse, with most of its graduates going on to leading colleges and universities.

Its speech and debate teams have placed at the top in Bay Area competitions and regularly vie for state championships.

Its 19-member board of trustees includes a half-dozen executives from the county's wine industry, as well as banking, law, development and education sectors.

Nancy Lasseter, owner of Lasseter Family Winery and wife of former Pixar executive John Lasseter, is a founding trustee. Katie Jackson, the daughter of late billionaire Jess Jackson and Banke, and a vice president of Jackson Family Wines, is an alumna (Class of 2004) and trustee.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette