Tops in teaching: Sonoma County Office of Education runs an annual Teacher of the Year program. School sites and districts are encouraged to nominate an outstanding teacher by March 30. The winning teacher receives a $3,000 prize. Visit for details.

Careers in fire service: The Schell-Vista Fire Department’s Fire Explorer program gives area youth the opportunity to explore a career in the fire service. Open to ages 15 to 21, the group meets every Wednesday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. There is hands-on training in medical, structural firefighting, wild land firefighting and auto extrication. Call Stuart Bobo at 318-1665 or email to apply.

Art awards: Students between the ages of 16 to 21 who are studying visual, literary or performing arts can apply for Sonoma’s 2018 Student Creative Arts Award. Apply at by March 23.

Swim meet: Sonoma Aquatic Club will host an all-school swim meet for all K-12 students at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 24. Sign up by emailing your child’s grade to The student does not need to be on a swim team, just water safe. There is a $10 entry fee at the door.

Blue Oak news: Blue Oak School, a progressive, private Napa kindergarten-8th grade school, plans to build a new $10 million middle school campus, across the street from its current campus on Polk Street. The school currently has about 125 students, including 60 middle schoolers. Since the school opened in 2002, enrollment has previously reached as high as 180 students total between both campuses. The school’s goal is 200.

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