Tired of feeling crappy about how things are going?


Homeostasis means that we have to keep balanced and when I read back on much of what I’ve written this year I realized,


“Wow, when did I turn into negative Nelly?”


Well, that ends now. And, since this blog is all about rainbows and flowers, I will be using real names (I try not to throw anybody under the bus by using real names unless they really deserve it) so let’s start with the numbers:


52: Dean Knight retired this year after 52 years of teaching Science at SVHS. Can you imagine how much the classroom has changed since 1972? The high school had to tear down his classroom and put up a new science wing this week in his honor (not really true but there is a beautiful new Science building to go with our beautiful new pool and stadium and weight room).


33: The number of Creekside graduates this year. They come in lost and unfocused and they graduate a little less lost and a little less unfocused (not really our educational philosophy but whatever). Sam, Liz, Terri, Tracy, Dan, Anahi, Flor, thanks for all your hard work. Ya did good, now rest up and get ready to do it all again next year!


17: The number of years MK coached the SVHS girl’s tennis team. Love her or hate her, MK inspired many over the years. Coaching tennis is deceptively hard especially when you have 4 courts and over 30 girls but MK and her team did it well for 17 years. Kristi Amoroso and Rachel Pederson will take over the coaching position this Fall.


15: Number of players on this year’s SVHS girls golf team. When the average teen was watching and scrolling you were lugging clubs across big green fields and learning to hit a tiny ball with a long metal stick. More doing, less watching. Coach is proud.


11: Shireen Ellis retires after 11 years at Creekside. As I said at graduation, thanks for changing lives and overcoming tragedy but mostly for the chocolate chip cookies that always magically appeared just when we needed them.


10: The number of players on the greatest boy’s tennis team of all time. All seniors, all connected, all fun, all the time. Special shout out to Noah who went from the only player to come out for tennis in 2023 to leading the team to the best season ever (we might not have the most wins but we have the most smiles in the league).


And while I’m talking about SVHS, thanks to Mike Boles, Molly Kiss, Owen Pencil, Yessenia Tellez, Ms. Kuprian, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Mitchell, and Mr. Steinberg for all you do and for helping my home/hospital student graduate. A special shout out to Ms. Fox who created an alternative curriculum for Hamlet and worked well with the home/hospital teacher (me) even though he was a little “Shakespeare challenged”.


So, where do we go from here? Well, planning for the best year ever of course. We have a new superstar teacher at Creekside hired primarily to teach math (which I have done, not so well, for the past 24 years). The teachers want to designate our school a cell free zone (the #1 reason students aren’t learning, period), teach through projects, design cross-curricular lessons and work to make education matter.


Challenges? Sure, an ugly district deficit, a school board full of strong personalities, a relatively new superintendent, changing racial makeup in the district not to mention all the mental health challenges of kids these days (my simple advice, take away their phones and replace them with frisbees and tennis rackets and golf clubs and art supplies). Challenges are like failure, you learn from them and they make you stronger.


Wanna help? It does take a village and we are so lucky to have the village we have so let’s utilize it the best we can.


Two quick village shout outs first to Miki and Margie and Linda at SVMA where they were cleaning out their spare wood supplies (and Miki’s storage shed) which led to inspiring lessons and projects about abstract art, collages, mobiles and my favorite recycled art project ever (checkerboards made out of recycled colored strips of used canvases woven atop a wooden base).


And many thanks to the Sonoma Community Center where MC and Vanessa and Jill and Megan and Molly and Gerardo always welcome our students for a day of ceramics and cooking and printmaking and fiber arts and all the other creative experiences available at the center.


Plus, Plein Aire and SIFF and the Author’s Festival and all the programs and events who support students throughout the year.


We will have to do more with less next year but we’ve done it before and, like always, we are Sonoma Strong (sorry, had to say it) and we’ve survived worse.


Celebrate the good and learn from the bad.







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