Soraya Sablo Sutton

Soraya Sablo Sutton is the Program Director of the Principal Leadership Institute. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education in the division of Language, Literacy, and Culture in 2003. A central focus of Dr. Sablo Sutton's research is school leader retention and sustainability, instructional coaching, and literacy in urban schools.

Dr. Sablo Sutton has taught courses for the PLI since 2014 covering a wide range of leadership topics including School Supervision and Evaluation, Data for School Improvement, School Finance and Resources, and Fieldwork Practicum. In addition, Dr. Sablo Sutton coordinates programs for teacher leaders, works with local school districts to support practicing administrators, and facilitates professional learning workshops for PLI alumni. As part of the Chancellor’s Partnership Grant, Dr. Sablo Sutton supports the professional development of the Leaders of Color Network in Berkeley Unified School District. She coordinates the Change Makers project, a state-wide grant funded by the Stuart Foundation, designed to support school principals and combat leader burnout.

Dr. Sablo Sutton also serves as an international consultant on projects focused on school-wide improvement efforts. Most recently, she worked with administrators and teachers to implement a Pedagogical Mentoring reform initiative in Santiago, Chile at the Universidad de Diego Portales.

Prior to joining the PLI, Soraya Sablo Sutton worked in San Leandro Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District as a teacher, instructional coach, and elementary principal for over a decade. In Oakland Unified, she served on the design team for the Small Schools Initiative. In San Leandro Unified, Dr. Sablo Sutton led district-wide equity-focused professional learning for teachers and administrators. Dr. Sablo Sutton is a graduate of the Principal Leadership Institute, Cohort 13.


Cheung, R., Sablo Sutton, S. and Flores, C. (2019) Tipping the Balance: Social justice leaders allying with marginalized youth to increase student voice and activism. Journal of the California Association of Professors of Educational Administration, Vol:30, March 2019.

Sablo Sutton, S. (2004). Spoken Word: Performance Poetry in the Black Community. In J. Mahiri (Ed.). What They Don't Learn in School: Literacy in the Lives of Urban Youth. New York: P. Lang.

Mahiri, J. and Sablo, S. (Summer, 1996). Writing for their lives: The Non-School Literacy of California's Urban Youth. The Journal of Negro Education, 65 (2), 164-180.


Sablo Sutton, S., Cuéllar Becerra, C., González Vallejos, M. P. (2020). Leadership and Pedagogical Mentoring in Chilean Schools: An Innovative Approach to Professional Development. American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA.

Sablo Sutton, S. & Cheung, R. (2019) Creating a Leaders of Color Network: Combating Leader Burnout. University Council of Education Administration Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Cázares, L. & Sablo Sutton, S. (2019). Special Dollars for Special Scholars: Equity Centered Resource Allocation. Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, Orlando, FL.

Sablo Sutton, S. (2019). Collective School Leadership: Towards a model of sustainable reform. Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez, Santiago, Chile.

Sablo Sutton, S. (2019). Pedagogical Mentoring & Coaching. Universidad Diego Portales, Centro de Desarrollo de Liderazgo Educativo, Santiago, Chile.

Sablo Sutton, S. (2018). Instructional Coaching. Universidad Diego Portales, Centro de Desarrollo de Liderazgo Educativo, Santiago, Chile.

Sablo Sutton, S. (2012). Integrating Arts for English Learner Success. California Association of Bilingual Educators, Sacramento, CA

Sablo Sutton, S. (2011). Revolutionary War Journals: Integrating Art, Social Studies and English Language Arts. California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Conference, Sacramento, CA

Professional Experience

Principal, Roosevelt Elementary School, San Leandro Unified School District (2014-2017)

Assistant Principal, Wilson and Jefferson Elementary, San Leandro Unified School District (2013-2014)

K-12 Instructional Coach, San Leandro Unified School District (2012-2013)

Elementary Teacher, San Leandro & Oakland Unified School Districts (2006-2012)

Regional Director, Kaplan K12 Learning Services (2001-2006)

Interests and Professional Affiliations

Educational Equity
Urban School Leadership
School Supervision and Evaluation
Instructional Coaching and Mentoring
International Education Reform
Literacy in Non School Settings

Coordinator, California Administrator Performance Assessment (2019-2020)

Soraya Sablo Sutton

Soraya Sablo Sutton

Program Director, Principal Leadership Institute


Ph.D. Education: Language, Literacy and Culture, University of California, Berkeley.

M.A. Education: Language Literacy and Culture, University of California, Berkeley.

M.A. Educational Leadership, Principal Leadership Institute, University of California, Berkeley.

B.A. Sociology and African American Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.


Office #4326

Graduate School of Education
Berkeley Way West Building (BWW)
UC Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670