When Dr. Ramona Bishop was chosen in 2011 to be superintendent of the Vallejo Unified School District, she wanted to make sure schools are safe and supportive environments.
Dr. Bishop has worked to incorporate restorative justice programs like conflict resolution and promote Science Technology Engineering Arts Math (STEM) curriculum in middle schools.
“This year, every 10th grader is enrolled in a high interest academy, where students can explore their areas of interest such as obtaining a law degree in more depth,” she said. “We’re also trying new approaches by rewarding positive behavior, making sure to work with community to set the right expectations of students.”
She also plans to reach out to gain the perspectives of students, staff, parents and community members. Her priority is to ensure that all students in the Vallejo City Unified School District achieve at high levels wile being prepared for success in college.
Since the 2010-2011 school year, student disciplinary referrals have dropped by 75 percent. Suspensions dropped by nearly 70 percent, and expulsions are down by 50 percent.
“Last year was hard, and we’ve had to deal with being under state receivership, but with the governor’s local control funding formula, we can start building again,” she said. “Urban school districts are difficult, which is why we need to build support systems within the community for parents and students.”
Dr. Bishop grew up in Richmond and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley as well as a teaching credential from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree and administrative credential from California State University East Bay.
She has also been awarded a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Pacific.
She has served as principal of three elementary schools and has worked as an administrator in Emery School District, Sacramento Unified and Del Paso Heights Elementary School District. She was superintendent of the Del Paso Heights School District prior to its consolidation with three other districts to become the Twin Rivers Unified School District.