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WHILE TONY RIVAS, foreground, works on a math problem, aide Merell Matheson, student Leslie Ponce and teacher Megan Gauchi explore another math problem at Dunbar Elementary. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Math, reading program expanding

The Grade Level Proficiency Project represents a sea change for teachers and as the first campus to pilot the program, Dunbar Elementary Principal Melanie Blake knew that getting her staff on board and excited about the project was going to be key to its success. She began by issuing each teacher an iPad mini.

Megan Gauci, a second- and third-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary, helps Victoria Magnani with Dreambox, a multi-tiered math program, designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of math concepts. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Pilot program targets reading, math

Gary Nelson thinks local but he never thinks small. A serial entrepreneur, he has always been interested in education. Twenty years ago, he was the driving force behind the creation of one of the first charter schools in California, Sonoma Charter School.

Jack Hamilton/Special to the Index-Tribune 
THE RUNWAY at the Boys & Girls Clubs Fashion show was packed with notable locals, including Tony Moll, left,  and Danny Fay, right.

Sonomans strut the runway

Sonoma Valley High School graduates Tony Moll and Danny Fay, both class of 2001, right were among the local models who strutted the runway at the annual Fashion in the Vineyards event held by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley last week.

ADELE HARRISON MIDDLE SCHOOL’S leadership class posed with motivational speaker Justin Boudreau (center) just prior to his talk in front of the entire student body.

Motivational speaker inspires Adele students

Known for his energy and humor, motivational speaker Justin Boudreau took the gym floor at Adele Harrison Middle School last month and wowed the assembled 433 students with his empowerment message. He focused on inspiring students to worry less about being cool and to focus more on their future. Adele math teacher Liz Bauer won a… Continue Reading >>

Casey Jones may only be 25, but he comes to Sonoma Valley High School with a great deal of experience and enthusiasm for his new job teaching the band and choir electives.

High school band under new leadership

Casey Jones may only be 25, but he comes to Sonoma Valley High School with a great deal of experience and enthusiasm for his new job teaching the band and choir electives.

THE SONOMA VALLEY EDUCATION’S Laura Zimmerman (left) recently handed out checks to all Valley public school PTO presidents including Monica Conway (Woodland Star), Denise Wilbanks (Booster Club), Kate O’Hara (Dunbar), Lucie Szakallas (Sonoma Charter), Kate Molesworth (Sonoma Charter), Lani Gullotta (Prestwood), Regina Hughes (Prestwood), Michelle Rulmont (SVEF) and Darlene Llanos (SVEF).

PTOs receive checks, school supplies

PTO presidents from schools across the Valley stopped by the farmers market in mid-September to receive $1,500 checks from the proceeds of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s recent Red & White Ball.

Ted Mitchell – Kim Leeson/Special to the Index-Tribune

New truths in higher education

“The U.S. needs to increase access to college at a lower cost with greater completion rates and better long-term student success in the workplace,” said Department of Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, at a breakfast in Dallas I attended earlier this month.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley enjoyed a busy summer with 53 different summer camps offered for teens, middle school and elementary school students.

Boys & Girl Club summer wrap-up

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley enjoyed a busy summer with 53 different summer camps offered for teens, middle school and elementary school students.

Trustees take stock of school projects

Valley schools opened for the 2013-14 academic year without any significant earthquake issues, enabling the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees to breeze through the agenda at its second meeting of the school year in less than 90 minutes. In a move that may have a widespread, positive impact on hundreds of Valley… Continue Reading >>

Revelers who enjoyed the appetizers at last Saturday’s Red & White Ball can thank Cody Williams and his Food Services staff at the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (right), Culinary Arts teacher Jonathan Beard (left) and a handful of high school students who helped prepare the finger food passed by volunteers as guests arrived.

Food Services and Culinary Arts team up for Red & White Ball

Revelers who enjoyed the appetizers at last Saturday’s Red & White Ball can thank Cody Williams and his Food Services staff at the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (right), Culinary Arts teacher Jonathan Beard (left) and a handful of high school students who helped prepare the finger food passed by volunteers as guests arrived. (Above)… Continue Reading >>

EL VERANO’S Dave Neubacher, Adele Harrison’s Kathy Eschleman and Sonoma Valley High’s Andy Gibson have been named Teachers of the Year and will be honored at the Red and White Ball on Saturday. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Teachers of the Year to be honored at Saturday’s Red & White Ball

Before heading off for the next chapter in their lives, each member of Sonoma Valley High School’s class of 2014 was asked to reflect on their education and to choose a favorite elementary, middle and high school teacher. For the first time, the three teachers with the most votes, at each level of schooling, will be honored at the Sonoma Valley Education Foundations’ Red & White Ball on Saturday, Sept. 6.

FLOWERY SCHOOL third grader Walker Keys, 8, looks through a cutout square to visualize an image he is about to draw.

Thousands flock to ARTescape

Early in 2012, a group of local working artists decided to take a leap of faith. On the premise that, if you build it, they will come, Thena Trygstad, Janis Kobe, Gayle Manfre, Penny MacNaughton and Kate Ortolano decided to create a nonprofit program, called Artescape Sonoma, to provide professional, free or low-cost art instruction… Continue Reading >>