Mentors needed at Dunbar School
Sylvia Crawford/Glen Ellen Columnist
Dunbar School, our north Valley jewel of a campus, provides much of the good news this week. First up, we offer sincere congratulations to Mike Witkowski and Sandi Everett on their retirement. I know they are old-timers (not unlike myself) having been at Dunbar since our boys began. Yet, they maintained a youthful enthusiasm through all those years.
Remembering Mr. Mike (as he is affectionately known by students) pedaling his bicycle over Sonoma Mountain while doing graduate work at Sonoma State University, we suspect he has many plans for an active retirement. Admittedly that was decades ago, but old habits live on.
As for Sandi, good news is a grandchild on the way. Hurray. We celebrate and salute these two dedicated teachers, wishing them well in their next adventures.
Next up is kudos and congratulations to the folks at the Dunbar Mentor Center. Center Facilitator Mary Jane Arner sends this good news: many of the students at Dunbar School have flourished because of the Dunbar School community support. She thanks the wonderful mentors who give generously of their time and talents. These fabulous folks include: Angela Santos, Amanda Shone, Tracy Chourré, Chris Kennedy, Candy Badiner, Pam Butchart, Peter Mistretta, Maria Fajardo, Roger Gilbert, Jack Hamilton, Leigh Hall, Jerry Bourne, Karen de Forero, Deanne DiPietro, Diane Kenworthy, Beth Michelson and Mary Ann Allen.
MJ also is grateful to a dazzling Dunbar staff, especially Linda Dehzad, the amazing office manager; Maria Farjardo, office assistant and translator extraordinaire; and Melanie Blake, enthusiastic school principal.
Mary Jane also sends kudos out to the Dunbar school community for their generous donations of gently used books, board games, sports equipment, puzzles and more. Currently MJ is looking for children- and adult-size baseball mitts so that mentors and mentees can play catch outdoors as the rain recedes.
Check out the Stand-By-Me Mentoring Alliance website at www.sonomamentoring.org to learn more about becoming a mentor. The Dunbar list of children needing mentors continues to grow. MJ would love to have enough mentors to match up with each child who needs one; that requires your participation.
Dunbar's Mentor Center closes for the summer soon reopening mid- August, while MJ attends to grandchildren, some already here, others arriving on this planet imminently. You can connect with MJ via her email address:email@example.com.
Last week's column included an error that I want to fix. First District Supervisor candidate Gina Cuclis' name was misspelled. It should be as shown. No doubt we'll be hearing more from her and Valerie Brown, as well as a few others waiting in the wings, as the year progresses. All we know for now is that Gina's Greek papa will be proud to know we got it right. This time.
Yet another apology: Seems I could make a yearly ritual of apologies to dear J. J. Fernandez. He's the fine fellow at Sonoma Developmental Center who supervises, among other things, the occasional disaster drills. He warned me mid-May that SDC's loud horn (that can be heard throughout our town, north and south) would be blasting out 10 hoots on May 26. He wanted me to give folks a head's up, so no panic would ensue. All went well despite my failure to warn you. So, J. J. give me another chance next year.
This time no bubbling curries were involved, just plenty of book time. I was in another century, another place - the fascinating world of cloistered nuns in 16th century Italy. An engrossing read recommended by my friend Victoria Graves. May be a good fit for your summer sunbathing; assuming Ole Sol shows his shining countenance.
Finally, don't miss Mark Dennis' rousing rock 'n rollers of Vox Populi in concert next Monday, 7:30p.m. at the Sebastiani. Still crazy after all these years? You bet!
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Share your good news with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at the numbers up there by my smile. Or email me @Creekbottom@earthlink.net.