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A Press Democrat Blog

Extra Credit

Daily education news and conversation

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 »

Petaluma names new curriculum director

Mila Kell has been named the new director of curriculum and instruction at Petaluma City Schools. Kell has spent the last 22 years in Chicago Public Schools, most recently as the program manager for the Office of Language and Cultural Education where she developed curriculum guides for English learners among other duties. She also served as a citywide math facilitator. Kell spent 11 years as a teacher in Chicago and 10 years teaching in Kiev, Ukraine. Kell earned her Ph.D.… Read More »

Full contact alumni football game in the works between Analy and El Molino

A full-contact alumni football game between grads of El Molino and Analy high schools is in the works for June 20. Sign ups are open to ex-players ages 18 to 65, according to Alex Cosentino, El Molino class of 2011. Players can register through http://www.alumnifootballusa.com/index.php/gamelist The game will be played at 7 p.m. June 20 on El Molino’s field, 7050 Covey Road, Forestville. For more information, contact Darren Taylor at 327-6079.