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Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune
AMONG THE TOP district staff newly hired or assuming new positions this year are (left to right) Karla Conroy, Jacqui Parker, Nikarre Redkoff, Michael Waters, Susan Langer, Mary Ann Spitzer, John Bartolome and Chrissy Towner.

Sonoma sees changes in leadership at district, school level

Sonoma welcomed a large number of new administrators into leadership roles this fall, many in positions that will be key to the success of Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s (SVUSD) ambitious goal to have all students graduate college and career ready.

District welcomes 24 new teachers at nine schools

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District welcomed 24 new teachers to its K-12 classrooms this fall, a third of whom will fill a range of special education roles, largely due to retirements and staff changes.

Sonoma Valley High School freshman Alissa Schimm and junior Michelle Pudillo are two of the more than 40 local teens who were employed by the school district this summer to do projects sprucing up school facilities.

Local students spend summer employed by district

Sonoma Valley High School freshman Alissa Schimm and junior Michelle Pudillo are two of the more than 40 local teens who were employed by the school district this summer to do projects sprucing up school facilities.

The new Dutch Bros. coffee franchise up Broadway from Sonoma Valley High School is proving to be a big hit with local students, both as customers and as employees.

Dutch Bros. a hit with students

The new Dutch Bros. coffee franchise up Broadway from Sonoma Valley High School is proving to be a big hit with local students, both as customers and as employees.

Jimmy Wright-Corrao/Special to the Index-Tribune
SCHOOLS OF HOPE volunteer Kelsey Woodward tutors at Sassarini and Michael Reinhardt tutors at Dunbar Elementary School.

Schools of Hope needs volunteers

United Way’s Schools of Hope program recruits, trains and places volunteers in local elementary schools as a means of empowering students who are reading below grade proficiency.

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Students relish Rawhide role

At last year’s Stompers Baseball job fair, Sonoma Valley High senior Joe Peterson quickly raised his hand when asked if he might be interested in serving as the new professional baseball team’s mascot at home games.

PAUL BARRON, marketing and community relations team leader for Whole Foods, corrals some healthy lunch food. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Kids can build a lunch Sunday at Whole Foods

With students heading back to school this week, Whole Foods Market in Sonoma is offering its popular Build-Your-Own lunch event this Sunday, Aug. 17. Local elementary school students and their families are invited to stop by from 1 to 3 p.m. for this free event.

Front row from left, are George Stewart, Olivia Boles, Anna Zhang, Andrea Evans, Alison Perkins, Audrey Castillo, Lucy Sondheim, Emily Curiel, Hannah Chun, Tucker Pierce, Liam Sheldon, Kelly Needleman, Michaela Schillinger, Sam Fannucchi, Karlilie Goodman, Sydney Boldt and Natalie Gulrajani. Middle row from left, Madeline Jaycox, Mikaela Zeiter, Elizabeth Moore, Emily Hengehold, Alison Arntz, Sarah Kiser, Lauren Worona, Ellie Bon, Elise Stewart, Alyssa Schimm, Amy Stanfield, Emma Bartolomee, Anna Cline, Heather Durfee, Maya Reilly, Lily Toulze and Maddie Welsome. Back row from left, Nikki Sandhu, Genaro Panatz,, Julia Little, Lauren Smith, Mario Coranado, Dominic Chiotti, Kayla Minehan, Alissa Orr, Juliet Gude, Hannah McNeely, Gavin Lehane Pablo Rubio and Cian Martin.

Faire celebrates middle school writers

This year’s Jim Thrower Rotary Writing Faire Authors’ Reception was held at a new venue by Sonoma Rotary Club, which not only supported the Faire monetarily but, this year, hosted it at the newly refurbished Sonoma Community Center.

Ten high school seniors from eight Sonoma County high schools were honored by the Press Democrat last month for their leadership and civic contributions at the 26th annual Community Youth Service Awards.

Larson honored with top community youth service award

Ten high school seniors from eight Sonoma County high schools were honored by the Press Democrat last month for their leadership and civic contributions at the 26th annual Community Youth Service Awards. Sonoma Valley High senior Erica Larson won the top honors in the category of agriculture/vocational.

Dunbar students across all grades have been working on a colorful new mural outside the school library under the leadership of Mendocino artist Janet Self.

Dunbar unveils new mural

Dunbar students across all grades have been working on a colorful new mural outside the school library under the leadership of Mendocino artist Janet Self.

Sassarini Elementary School second-grade teacher Meghan Leary recently organized for two athletes to visit the school to speak about their basketball championships in Special Olympics competitions.

Special Olympic athletes visit Sassarini

Sassarini Elementary School second-grade teacher Meghan Leary recently organized for two athletes to visit the school to speak about their basketball championships in Special Olympics competitions.

Sonoma Valley High School’s agriculture mechanics class, under the direction of teacher Dan Aschwanden, custom built, by hand, a shed this year at the high school farm on campus.

Ag mechanics builds shed on campus

Sonoma Valley High School’s agriculture mechanics class, under the direction of teacher Dan Aschwanden, custom built, by hand, a shed this year at the high school farm on campus.

Nancy Heil, and sisters Joanne Merritt and Jacquie Phillips, collectively worked for the Sonoma Valley Unified School district for 76 years before retiring this year.

District honors retiring teachers

A dozen retiring teachers and staff were honored last month at the Sonoma Valley School District’s annual retirement celebration, held at Gundlach Bundschu Winery.

Justin-Siena High School valedictorian Siena Guerrazzi was raised in Glen Ellen.

Glen Ellen student named valedictorian at Justin-Siena

For the past two years, either the valedictorian or salutatorian at Justin-Siena High School in Napa has hailed from Sonoma Valley. Siena Guerrazzi, of Glen Ellen, was recently named as the school’s valedictorian for 2014, and Mary Bridget Pecha of Sonoma was the school’s salutatorian in 2013.