THE CHALKBOARD: Amy G brings Smarty Marty to Loma Vista

FACEBOOK PHOTO Petaluma's Amy Gutierrez talks to Loma Vista students about what it's like to be a sports journalist and her children's Smarty Marty books.


Petaluma’s Amy G. (Amy Gutierrez) is a fan favorite in-game reporter for the San Francisco Giants. Gutierrez is a Petaluma school alum who also is an author of the books “Smarty Marty’s Got Game” and “Smarty Marty’s Official Game Day Scorebook.” A recent addition of the first in a series of chapter books, “Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game” continues to bring the love of reading and passion for baseball to students everywhere. On Monday, this local celebrity made a special visit to Loma Vista Immersion Academy for a schoolwide assembly author visit and book-signing event thanks to support from Copperfield’s Bookstore. Students could get their (English or Spanish version) books autographed by Gutierrez. Wearing special-event orange and black clothing or accessories, students were thrilled to welcome Gutierrez to campus and hear about her experiences as a sports journalist.

The Petaluma High School Leadership class hosted Mayor David Glass as part of its inaugural Speaker Series. Mayor Glass spoke to the Leadership students about his experiences working in television and radio, as well as his initial campaign for mayor in 1998. His speech concluded with questions and answers from the students regarding how he decided to run for mayor, as well as his work on the Theater District redevelopment project in the early 2000s. Prior to his presentation, Mayor Glass issued a proclamation on behalf of the PHS Skills USA Chapter that the City of Petaluma recognizes Feb. 4-10 as Skills USA Week. Skills USA members Kim Garcia, Nathan Wong, Matthew Kalemba, Annika Schmid, Cooper Woods and Larissa Kiefer accepted the proclamation on behalf of the PHS Skills USA Chapter, according to PHS principal David Stirrat. Teachers Andrew Aja and Kevin Jackson coordinated the inaugural PHS Leadership Speaker Series featuring community leaders, local business owners and government officials helping connect Leadership students’ class curriculum and activities with leadership opportunities beyond high school.

Mr. Emery’s third-graders at Valley Vista Elementary got to perform for, and with, the Petaluma Senior Center Line Dancers last week. Invited by Valley Vista dance instructor Barbara Arhon, the ladies were treated to a few dances the third-graders have learned. Then the Line Dancers showed the young students some of their dance moves. The visit culminated in learning a dance all together, shared principal Catina Haugen. “It’s great to have an audience for our students who love dancing,” said Haugen.“We may even take a field trip to dance at the Senior Center before the year is out.”

Cinnabar School’s third-graders visited Steamer Landing Park by the Petaluma River for a day of science and stewardship with LandPaths. “One of the favorite activities was finding sit spots where the students sit alone in silence, observe the sights and sounds of nature, and write in their journals,” shared teacher Lucienne Wurr. To help the environment, the third-grade students worked together to pull out invasive non-native plants and then plant native plants. The students chose to sit together in an old boat by the David Yearsley River Heritage Center to eat their lunch. Afterward, they painted flags with their hopes and dreams for the environment, capping off a full day of outdoor exploration and environmental education.

Gallery One in downtown Petaluma is featuring student work from St. Vincent High on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. The show will be on display until March 4. Gallery One owner Michael Gonzales was a longtime SVHS Speech and Debate teacher. In other school news, the SVHS debate team recently competed at the Stanford Invitational program. Emma Page and Colin Birkenstock made it to the elimination rounds where they earned an outstanding victory, and then finished against the top-ranked team at the tournament. Ford Stolp and Meghan Hill also earned a winning record in the JV division. Congratulations to all the skilled debaters on an excellent tournament.

Petaluma City Schools (PCS) is offering students the opportunity to submit projects for presentation at the PCS Innovation Showcase on March 1. The program will accept up to 300 registered entries focusing on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) applications. The deadline to submit projects entries is Friday. More information about the event taking place at Lucchesi Community Center can be found at

(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and executive director for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at