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Daily education news and conversation

Rancho Cotate holds a drought-friendly Ice Bucket Challenge

Riffing on the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Rancho Cotate High School this month plunged some of its top officials into a dunk tank to raise money for the degenerative disease ALS. After students spent about two weeks raising more than $600, six staff members were plunged into the icy water: Principal Amie Carter,  Assistant Principals Melissa Quinn, Henri Sarlatte, Josh Wilson and Angela Scardina, and Associated Student Body Advisor Jessica Holman. The dunk tank was brought in to save water because… Read More »

Petaluma Junior High students wear mismatched socks to take stand against bullying

A number of students at Petaluma Junior High School wore mismatched shoes and socks to school this week – on purpose. They donned the unmatched shoes, as well as blue shirts, in support of a 26-year-old Delaware man who was recently the victim of alleged bullying and beatings by teenagers. The mentally disabled victim was known for wearing such clothing. Petaluma Junior High School seventh-grader Hana Seals said she learned about what had happened on social media and knew she wanted to do… Read More »

Cardinal Newman celebrates 50th year

Cardinal Newman High School celebrated its 50th anniversary on Monday with the dedication of a new statue of Jesus, a blessing ceremony and a visit from Bishop Robert Vasa. The Catholic school first opened on Sept. 8 1964. It has seen many changes since then, some of them very recent, said Principal Graham Rutherford. That includes opening the doors to female students in 2011 following the closure of the all-girls Ursuline campus, making Cardinal Newman co-ed. The first class of boys and girls will be… Read More »

Petaluma teachers’ union holds candidates forum

The Petaluma Federation of Teachers held a public question and answer session for Petaluma City School Board Candidates Sept. 2, drawing a crowd of more than 50 people, said union member Carrie Caudle, who co-chairs a committee on political education. Two challengers and three incumbents, Sheri Chlebowski, Michael Baddeley and Phoebe Ellis, are running for three open seats this November. The union is keeping a close eye on the election as it finds itself at loggerheads with Petaluma City Schools… Read More »

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 »