Education Roundup: News, tips and resources for Sonoma Valley parents and children, Aug. 6

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Important dates: The first day of school for Sonoma Valley campuses is Monday, Aug. 19. There is back to school registration at Sonoma Valley High on Aug. 12 and 13, check the school website for details. On Aug. 19, 20 and 21, students will be released early; check your school calendar for specifics. More dates are online at

Health Fair: The Sonoma Valley Back to School Health Fair is back for its fifth year and co-sponsored by Sonoma Valley Community Health Center in partnership with the Sonoma school district, Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sonoma Sheriff’s Office, FISH, La Luz Center, the Club at Maxwell, 4Cs of Sonoma County, Valley of the Moon Lions Club, SV-SEAC and Sonoma Parent University. The health fair will take place on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Altimira Middle School.

Family film: On Thursday, Aug. 8, the Sonoma Valley Film Festival is offering an evening of entertainment at Cornerstone that will include live music, wines, spirits and pizzas, followed at dusk by the Australian film, “Oddball.” Tickets are $15 (and include a glass of wine) and kids under 16 are free with an adult. 23570 Arnold Drive.

Plant Sale: The Sonoma Valley 4H/FFA is hosting on Monday, August 12 from 5 to 6 pm. at 2568 Dale Ave. On sale will be prize-winning Sonoma County Fair plants "at very reasonable prices." All proceeds benefit both clubs.

Internship: There is still more than three weeks left in the season and the Sonoma Stompers are seeking a few interns to finish out the season with them. Experience in baseball statistics, stadium operations and marketing/sales is a plus. If interested, call 938-7277 or email

Kids ride free: Through Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2, kids ages 18 and under ride for free on the SMART train on weekends and holidays (accompanied by a paying adult). The 42-mile route between the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and San Rafael not only allows people to ride rather than drive, it also offers stops at stations close to shopping, dining, art and music.

Staples gives back: Staples office and school supply store has introduced a Classroom Rewards program. Teachers enroll at; once enrolled, parents can visit the website, select a teacher and enter their receipt number and purchase amount. Teachers earn 5 percent back. Learn more at rewards.

Water play: Spring Lake water park in Santa Rosa is now offering modified play and swim sessions for sensory-sensitive individuals on the evening of Monday, Aug. 12. Children must be at least 6 years old and 48 inches tall. Sign up now at The park is open generally from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Food Handler’s Permit: Teen Services offers a course (free to ages 14-24) that teaches what you need to know to pass the certification exam that allows you to work in the food service industry in the state of California. (Exam is included.) The next class is Aug. 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at Teen Services, 17440 Sonoma Highway. To register, call 939-1452 or email or

Park events: Junior Ranger Program will be at the farmers market on Tuesday, Aug. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Look for the State Park table on the Sonoma Plaza to learn about history and nature. All ages welcome to participate in an activity to earn the Junior Ranger badge.

Twilight Nature Hike: There is a family- friendly twilight hike from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11. The starting point for the walk on the Montini Trail is at the parking lot of the Vallejo Home at 363 Third St. West. This is a one-mile, slow-paced hike with minor elevation change. Free, no reservation needed.

Congratulations to:

Sonoma Valley High School alumni Martin Christopher Ananias and Amy M. Balch were awarded law degrees from Empire College School of Law in Santa Rosa in June. Ananias was awarded a Juris Doctor degree, after receiving his master of legal studies degree in 2017. He also holds an A.A. in social science from Santa Rosa Junior College and an A.A. in paralegal studies from Empire College. Balch was awarded dual Juris Doctor and master of legal studies degrees. She also holds a B.A. in sociology from Sonoma State University and an A.A. in social and behavioral Sciences from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Jordann Dagner, recently received her masters in communications and speech disorders from Chico State University and will be moving to San Antonio, TX to work as a speech therapist in the North East Independent School District.

Nathan Ostrander of Kenwood (95452) graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2019 with a BS in motion picture science.

Graciela Ponce Juarez and Melissa Woltering graduated from Empire College in June. An alumna of SVHS, Ponce Juarez graduated from the clinical medical assistant program. She is now employed as a medical assistant with St. Joseph Medical Group. SVHS grad Woltering graduated with dean’s honors from the accelerated business professional program.

Frances Minigan has received a bachelor of arts in broadcast and electronic media and Zachary Parr has received a bachelor of education in sport management from Gonzaga University.

Email graduation and career news to

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