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Isaac Raya: Teacher of the Year


Congratulations to Mr. Raya. Isaac Raya teaches history, digital media and coaches wrestling at Kenilworth Junior High School. Last week, Raya was named the Teacher of the Year for Sonoma County. Raya started teaching 12 years ago, with the past 10 years spent at Kenilworth Junior High School. Raya will represent Sonoma County in the 2016 Teacher of the Year program according to the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE).

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The dedication of “CJ’s Garden” at Meadow Elementary School will take place on Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. CJ was a student of Meadow School when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He passed away last summer. The community is invited to share in this special event that will include a short ceremony and an Alex’s Lemonade Stand sale. Proceeds from the lemonade stand will go to support cancer research. Guests are encouraged to wear orange, CJ’s favorite color.

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Dunham Elementary School’s Science Fair took place last week, and featured the work of students in fourth through sixth grades. Projects incorporated design experiments to answer a question. After these young scientists conducted the experiment, collected data and documented their results, they created a display board demonstrating their research. Results of the experiments were presented at the campus open house. Students also wrote essays describing their experiments and the process used to arrive at a result, shared principal Adam Schaible. Presentations on the projects were made to the younger Dunham students as part of the academic event.

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Harvest Christian School has been awarded another three-year term of full accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). “We are again fully accredited through 2018 when we will undergo another self study for accreditation,” according to Kerri Petersen.

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Grammy nominated Native American performer Tony Redhouse came to Corona Creek School on May 21 to celebrate Native American culture. He performed an Eagle Dance, Hoop Dance and brought both teachers and students on stage to participate in a very inspired music performance. The program was sponsored by the local group History Connection (historyconnection.net) offering the school community a wonderful opportunity to learn about early American traditions.

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Sonoma Mountain Elementary School debuted its new Buddy Bench last week. This student gathering spot was created by Tony, from the campus facilities staff, and local artist Jason Holtz. The colorful bench will be a wonderful new feature on the campus for all students.

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Petaluma school Alums Amy Gutierrez and Jonny Gomes had a few minutes to catch up on Petaluma news when both were at AT&T Park recently. Gomes was in town with the MLB Atlanta Braves team and Gutierrez (aka Amy G.) is the SF Giants in-game reporter on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

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Petaluma Adult School, part of the Petaluma City School District, celebrated the graduation of students from its Avance Program. The ceremony took place on May 27 with both parent speakers and children performances. Avance is a program focused on strengthening families through effective parent education and support programs.

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Coming soon — iPads. For the 2015-16 school year students in all K-12 grade Petaluma City Schools will receive an iPad, fulfilling the 1:1 device plan as part of the recent bond passed by voters. Information for access to online videos to walk both students and parents through the “who, what and why” of iPads will be distributed this summer. Notification of parent meetings and other resources for understanding the process of the roll out of the new technology tool will be sent out in the coming weeks.

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Summer Break starts after this week for almost all our local schools. Penngrove Elementary School and Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley, both year-round schools, kick things off again on July 21 with their first day of school for the 2015-16 school year. Visit school websites for more important dates and information.

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(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and executive director for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at schools@ar guscourier.com)