Cotati-Rohnert Park school district hires San Rafael official as new superintendent

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Mayra Perez, a San Rafael schools official with more than two decades of experience, was named the new superintendent of the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District this week after the school board approved her contract.

The board on Tuesday unanimously adopted a three-year agreement with Perez that will take effect July 1.

She will receive a $230,000 salary as well as a benefits package that includes health care, retirement and stipends for car and cellphone use.

“When I had the opportunity to visit a school showcase recently, it was evident to me that the community is not only welcoming but also proud of their schools,” Perez said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be part of this positive energy.”

Perez has been the deputy superintendent of instruction for San Rafael City Schools since July 2016, focused on instruction, innovation and social justice issues, and oversaw the English learner program for the district.

She is a Los Angeles area native and held a variety of positions at the San Gabriel Unified School District. Perez earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.

Perez takes the helm of the third-largest district in Sonoma County, with more than 6,100 students enrolled in the 2018-19 school year. She follows Robert Haley, who stepped down in October 2018 after seven years to pursue the same position at a larger district in San Diego County.

Cotati-Rohnert Park had two interim superintendents during that span, Tony Roehrick and Michael Watenpaugh, who was the top district official in San Rafael for 12 years. Watenpaugh will stay through November to help Perez with the transition.

You can reach Staff Writer Yousef Baig at 707-521-5390 or On Twitter @YousefBaig.

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