Best of the County and Beyond 2021: Education

Need to know where to send the little ones? Here’s the favorites from our readers.

Best Bay Area University/College

University of California, Berkeley


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The history, the rigorous academics, the annual Cal-Stanford game — there are so many things to love about this standout school.

Runner Up

University of California Santa Cruz


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Best Preschool

Marin: Marin Horizon, Mill Valley

Marin Horizon School

Though the school runs from the toddler years through eighth grade, many students begin at the beginning to fully experience the immersive indoor-outdoor program with STEM and SEL built in from the start.

Bay Area: The Little School, San Francisco

The Little School

Runners Up

Marin: Belvedere Hawthorne Nursery Schools, Belvedere

Bay Area: Cow Hollow School, San Francisco


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Best Private School

Marin: Mount Tamalpais School, Mill Valley

Mount Tam School

Tucked into the Almonte neighborhood, this school turns out students versed in Latin and comfortable with advanced technologies.

Bay Area: College Preparatory School, Oakland

Runners Up

Marin: Marin Catholic


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Bay Area: Lick Wilmerding


Best Public School

Marin: Hidden Valley

hidden valley

San Anselmo’s Sleepy Hollow neighborhood boasts a Marin favorite: this elementary school where academic rigor is balanced with social-emotional well-being.

Bay Area: Lowell High School, San Francisco

Runners Up

Marin: Bacich Anthony Elementary School

Bay Area: Redwood High School


Best Tutor

Marin: Headlands Preparatory School, Sausalito

A full-time high school, Headlands Prep is wellknown for its separate, open-to-all tutoring and test-prep programs that offer the same support and skill development as their full-time education program.

Runner Up

Marin: Bridge the Gap, Sausalito

Best Art Instruction

Marin: Studio4Art, San Rafael and Novato


Boredom busters, pottery painting, art camp and birthday parties are just a few of the hands-on imagination expanding programs available in person or virtually from this favorite with young children.

Runner Up

Marin: Marin School of the Arts

Visit our Best of the County winners page for more.

Christina Mueller

Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract PublishingSunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon SocietyPEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.s the Assistant Editor at Marin Magazine and a graduate of Elon University where she studied Professional Writing and Fine Art. Born and raised in San Francisco/Marin, she loves traveling just as much as coming home to the Bay Area. She has curated a sophisticated palate for food, travel and culture and uses her travels as an outlet to develop her photography portfolio and hone her writing craft.