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Extra Credit

Daily education news and conversation

Analy ranked one of nation’s top high schools

For the fifth year in a row, Analy High has been ranked in the top 735 high schools in the nation by the Daily Beast Media Group, Principal Chris Heller announced this week. To create its top schools list, The Daily Beast reached out to what it considered the top schools around the country and asked them to complete a survey, around 1,200 schools responded. From there, the schools were ranked based  on criteria such as graduation rates, performance on college-entry exams, acceptance to college and… Read More »

Petaluma High on mission to launch NASA research project

Petaluma High School is racing to raise about $10,000 in the next week so that they can participate this semester in a national program where students develop microgravity research projects that, if accepted, will be launched into space next year. “I think we’ll get there, but it’s a little tight,” said Linda Righetti Judah, a Petaluma High School teacher who has coordinated the effort to bring the project to Petaluma. Her school has started an online fundraising campaign, which you can… Read More »

New principal at St. Vincent Elementary

St. Vincent Elementary, the 126-year-old Catholic school in Petaluma, has a new leader following the retirement last year of longtime Principal Susan Roffmann. The new principal, Stephanie Quinlan, grew up in Napa and has worked in Novato at Our Lady of Loretto School. Most recently, she was at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica. Being at St. Vincent and leading the 275-student campus, she said, is “a calling.” “My focus has always been on Catholic elementary schools,” she said. “That’s my passion, my… Read More »

Young grape growers harvest crop at El Molino

A class of El Molino High School viticulture students got a hands-on lesson in grape growing early in the school year Tuesday when they helped harvest plump, ripe pinot noir grapes from the  school’s one-acre vineyard. For about  15 years, students have grown and harvested the grapes — about 2 tons a year —  in collaboration with a local grape grower. Right now, Dutton Ranch oversees the vineyard operations. About two to five tons are harvested each year, then sold… Read More »

Do you know an awesome teen?

I know it is the sleepy summer time but The Press Democrat still needs ideas for our Teen Face profiles. Do you know a teen doing great things? We don’t necessarily need the A+ scholars (although they are welcomed too), just a great kid who is doing something special with his or her time and gifts. Please send suggestions to Kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com and include your name and contact information as well as the name of your nominee and a good daytime… Read More »

Lion scholars honored by Russian River Rotary

Fourteen El Molino High School members of the class of 2014 were awarded a record $13,500 in scholarships from Russian River Rotary. The aid is the biggest ever amount from the club, according to President Brendan Coen.Recipients include: Louis Rampone, Kelsey Sword, Megan Cheatham, Mandi Young, Erika Sween,  Riana Andersen, Isabella Negri, Fiona Barbolak, Ezgar Sanchez, Angelica Lezama, Megan Simmons, Mariah Udell and Sam Flood. Not pictured are Tomas Guzman, Emily Lewis and Mitchel Reesink. In addition, the El Molino… Read More »

927 years of experience retiring from SRCS

At the close of the current school year, Santa Rosa City Schools will say goodbye to scores of staffers who have spent more than 927 years serving Sonoma County’s largest school district. Some of the longer tenured staffers include Louise Bostrom of the business services department who spent 39 years with the district; Pamela Sorensen, a math and business teacher at Piner High, and Mary Ann Azhderian, a 30-year veteran and teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. Santa Rosa High’s Jake… Read More »

El Molino celebrates 50 years with style

El Molino High School celebrated its 50th birthday May 10 with a grand celebration at the Santa Rosa Junior College Shone Farm. The party served as a reunion of sorts for many Lion alums but also a fundraiser for the school’s ag, performing arts, athletics and culinary arts programs, among others. Check out the photos, supplied courtesy of longtime El Mo booster Jim Walton.

Cook community plants Mustang memorial garden

Students and staff at Cook Middle School dedicated a memorial garden last week to honor all Mustangs who have died. A tree was planted and a memorial marker was placed in honor of Andy Lopez, a former Cook student who was killed by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy last October. The incident has continued to spark emotional response across the community and among students in particular. The new garden is located near the Via Esperanza Center of Education facility on… Read More »