Cyndi Soraoka was in elite company as one of only four advisers from HOSA-Future Health Professionals at the Office of the Surgeon General.

The Dozier-Libbey High instructor spent a week in a summer internship in Washington, D.C.

Soraoka said she was "privileged to learn about our public health system," including the Medical Reserve Corps, the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, "which is on par with the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard in service to our country."

The week included visits to the Department of Human Services, learning about the Emergency Management System (a nationwide medical service) and the Secretary's Operation Center, which serves as the "nerve center for public health emergency preparedness."

Soraoka was privileged to meet Dr. Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general, even nabbing a group photo with her.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," she said.

The Antioch teacher said she plans to share what she learned with the Dozier-Libbey HOSA chapter and will be incorporating it into the 10th-grade health science curriculum.

AND, THE BAND PLAYED ON: With instruments in hand, music students from Bristow and Adams Middle schools and Heritage High join forces for a free evening of song.

The seventh annual collaborative effort of the Brentwood schools is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Heritage gym, 101 American Ave. Each band will perform three selections. The trio will end the night by playing "America the Beautiful" together.

Mark Morello, Bristow band director, said, "This year will include a record number of students -- with (more than) 300 students." Lindsay Kellogg is the director at Adams, and Steve Ernest heads up the band for Heritage.

CRAFTY EVENT: The Deer Valley High grad night committee hosts a craft and vendor fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Antioch school, 4700 Lone Tree Ave.

Entry fee for vendors is $25, while admission is free to shoppers. Already on board are reps from Avon, Princess House, Thirty One, Pampered Chef, PartyLite, Mary Kay and Stella & Dot.

The vendor fair will be in the school's cafeteria and feature more than 20 vendors. All proceeds benefit the Antioch school's grad night event. For more info and how to participate, call 925-754-3910.

COLLEGE CROWD: Some 400 folks attended Antioch School District's recent college fair.

"The gyms were (filled) with the visuals and sounds of a college-going culture," said Pamela Price, DVHS' career center technician. "The event went well (and was) attended by students, parents and the community."

A large array of college reps handed out brochures, pens, pencils and many other promo materials.

Price said she appreciated and was grateful to the College Fair planning team and all the "student ambassadors who made the event successful."

She gave special thanks to those who helped with hospitality and catering, including Quizno's (Brentwood) and donations from Starbucks (Lone Tree Way), Antioch's Panera Bread and pasta from Antioch's Uno Chicago.

Jason Murphy, Antioch High's vice principal, thanked Price and said "it was exciting to see all the students meeting with college representatives and taking those steps to make the college dreams a reality."

Darice Ingram of Cal State East Bay told Price, "I was impressed with the organization of the college fair, (but) what most impressed me was the steady stream of students that visited our table."

For more information about the fair, call 925-756-6792.

ROYAL CHARMS AT ANTIOCH HIGH: Antioch High recently channeled its royal charms during the annual homecoming event. Sporting a new tiara is Makayla Hall (escorted by Cristian Avalos), who was crowned queen. The court included Viviana Escobar (Andrew

Gadson), Emma Martinez (Mark Macaalay), Lindsay McGrath (Joey Ulloa), Alyssa

Perry (Tommy Hartrick) and Yvette Santos (Lorenzo Ramos).

If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net. You can also reach Judith Prieve at jprieve@bayareanewsgroup.com.