I just returned from a reunion of the original founding members of the Sonoma Charter School in Sonoma California of which I am proud to say, I am one of. The Sonoma Charter School was the 9th charter to be granted in California where there are now over 1100 Charter schools. This was a grass roots organization started by a handful of concerned parents more than 16 years ago. In those early charter days, we battled the district, the state and the California Teachers Association for the right to start our own school. Despite the powerful opposition then, and the fact that we had no money, no facilities, no teachers and no director, today, I am pleased to say, the Sonoma Charter School is the highest ranked school in Sonoma Valley, and one of the highest ranked K-8 schools in the state of California.

As the founding families sat together this afternoon and recalled those extremely trying early days, and as we looked around at our now college aged children sitting among us, it was evident to everyone that the effort was well worth the outcome. For a school that opened on it's first day with no desks, no chairs, no books in the library and barely a clue of what we were up against, I am proud to say we have come a very long way. Far from being the shunned black sheep of the district that we were in 1993, the Sonoma Charter School is now embraced by the district and the community and stands as a model school that so many since have followed.

Rather than trying to shut is down as they did in those early years, they now hold us up as a shining example of what can be done when people with good ideas, strong morals and solid ambitions persevere. I just wanted to put this out there for anyone who might currently be on the journey we started now so many years ago. Never take no for an answer, believe in your work and commit yourself to your beliefs.

Prior Sonoma Charter School students Schorr, Jasperse top SVHS grads, valedictorian and salutatorian of the class of 2009
http://sonomanews.com/articles/2009/06/04/news/doc4a286f1be4200145018735.txt

Related article, Charter, Prestwood hit state API target
http://sonomanews.com/articles/2009/05/28/news/doc4a1f458cec9c0498359271.txt

I have to say, I am very proud to have contributed in some part to the story and the success of the Sonoma Charter School.

Visit the Sonoma Charter School website

Visit the Sonoma Valley Unified School District website>/a>

Blaine Tra...

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