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Daily education news and conversation

Summer algebra academy graduates

An intensive program meant to give students learning English as a second language, a boost in their math skills over the summer wrapped up its seventh session Friday when more than 100 students graduated on Sonoma State University’s campus. The Mike Hauser Algebra Academy, which is put on by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, since 2008 has taught math skills to middle school-aged, non-native English speakers from the Santa Rosa area. Last year, the academy expanded to include Healdsburg… Read More »

Casa Grande High in Petaluma gets a new vice principal

Sharon Howell has been named a new assistant principal at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, said Ron Everett, HR director for the Petaluma City Schools District. Howell, a Penngrove resident, is the lead counselor at the large Petaluma high school and has worked as a counselor there for 14 years. She was also an adjunct counselor and instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College for some of those years. “Sharon was instrumental in restructuring the counseling department at Casa Grande… Read More »

Piner High teachers take to the lab for the summer

Three Piner High School teachers spent the beginning of their summer in class, learning about stem cell research at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. They plan to take what they learned in the three-day “externship,” formed by Buck Institute supporters and the Marin and Sonoma County offices of education, and use it in the classroom next year. During the externship, World history teacher Heather Benson worked with career tech teachers, Judy Barcelon and Dante DePaola,  to learn about… Read More »

Waugh School District in Petaluma hires new principal/ superintendent

Waugh School District in Petaluma has hired a new person to fill the dual role of superintendent and principal at the two-school district. Rebecca Rosales will take the reins at the roughly 1,000-student elementary school district, which consists of Meadow and Corona Creek schools in Petaluma, district officials said in a news release. Rosales has been deputy superintendent in the San Rafael City Schools district since 2007. In that position, she’s overseen human resources and curriculum and instruction. Before that,… Read More »

Kenilworth Junior High gets new interim principal

Kenilworth Junior High School, in Petaluma, has a new interim principal after Emily Dunnagan stepped down to take the reins at Grant Elementary, also in Petaluma. Bennett Holley, assistant principal at the school for the last year, will take over as interim principal. The school district was unable to find a good fit for principal when interviewing for the position, said the district’s director of human relations, Ron Everett. So they appointed Holley to take charge for the 2014-15 school… Read More »

San Antonio and Valley Oaks high schools in Petaluma get new principal

Rebecca Lofton, a former teacher at San Antonio High School in Petaluma, will take over as principal next fall as Rusty Sims retires, Petaluma City Schools district officials said. Lofton will serve as principal of San Antonio and Valley Oaks, both alternative schools. San Antonio is the main continuation school for Petaluma, serving about 90 students who have fallen behind in credits or require smaller class sizes for other reasons. Valley Oaks is an independent study school where about 60… Read More »

Four Sonoma County schools win state award for excellence

Four Sonoma County schools were among just 373  around the state to be named Gold Ribbon Schools this May. The  new, statewide award recognizes schools that are “academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching,” said State Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson in a press release. “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right—embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.” The award  was created to honor schools… Read More »

Montgomery graduate wins local environmental scholarship

A Montgomery High School senior has earned a scholarship from Audubon Canyon Ranch for his “countless hours of volunteer work” at Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen through a junior naturalist program. Audubon Canyon Ranch buys and protects sensitive environmental lands, including Bouverie Preserve. Jared Abramson took his first hike at the Preserve in the fourth grade. Then, as a participant in the junior naturalist program, he completed a five-course training program that provides an in-depth look at the environment and natural history… Read More »

El Molino seniors present capstone projects

Elizabeth Bryant researched the use of body cameras by law enforcement. Dillon McLean helped Geurneville eighth graders learn to build and use robots. Loring Hartmann researched whether youth should be taught about nutrition and exercise under the mentorship of a dietician at Sutter Regional Hospital. Veronica Salas caught, housed and fed the many feral cats in her Graton neighborhood so she could have them spayed and neutered. These were among 130 diverse career- and/or community service-oriented senior projects completed by… Read More »

Kenilworth’s Isaac Raya named Sonoma County Teacher of the Year

    Isaac Raya, a history and digital media teacher at Petaluma’s Kenilworth Junior High, has been named Sonoma County’s Teacher of the Year. The Sonoma County Office of Education announced the honor this week. Raya will go on to represent the county in the state’s Teacher of the Year program. Raya started teaching 12 years ago and has been at Kenilworth for a decade, according to SCOE.  While there, he has become known for bringing history alive and making… Read More »